A VILLAGE school was celebrating after being praised by OFSTED inspectors.
St John’s CE Primary School in Read was judged to be “good’’ in all areas of teaching and learning, an improvement from its last report when it scored “satisfactory.’’
And inspectors credited the headteacher Mr David Smith for the improvement since the last inspection, stating that his leadership was the driving force behind it. Mr Smith was also praised for providing a clear educational direction and an ambitious vision for further improvement which was shared by all involved with the life of the school.
Staff at the school were also praised for working well with the governing body and morale was seen to be high across the board. Inspectors also found that robust self evaluation was ensuring that the right areas for improvement were targeted. Action taken by leaders and governors had improved the quality of teaching and raised the level of pupils’ achievement.
The report pointed out that the school was not yet outstanding as pupils did not attain as highly in writing as they do in reading and teachers do not maximise the time pupils are able to work independently. Two other reasons given were that staff are not proficient in using questioning to extend the thinking skills of different groups and students are not fully involved in evaluating for themselves how to improve their work.
Pupils were judged by the inspectors to make good progress and achieve above average standards in English and Maths by the end of Key Stage Two.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage worked and played happily together and they made good progress, growing in confidence and able to make choices for themselves.
Pupils in years one to six were judged to have positive attitudes to learning and they also worked well to complete tasks and are willing to persevere in the face of difficulty. Writing skills were judged to be above average and pupils in Key Stage One quickly grasp the skills of mathematical calculation skills.
Teachers were praised for planning effectively and classrooms were managed well so that children are engaged in learning with little time lost. Inspectors also concluded that staff at the school in Straits Lane had a good subject knowledge and created a positive climate for learning with well paced lessons, although the report pointed out that pupils could spend more time on independent learning rather than listening to the teacher. This was one of the pointers given for how the school can improve.
Pupils themselves were praised for their good behaviour and good understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe. Their enjoyment of school was shown by their above average attendance and punctuality.
Inspectors want the school to make further improvements by narrowing the gap between reading and writing and improving the quality of teaching by encouraging teachers to ask challenging questions that encourage the children to think more deeply about different issues.