School sets sights on being ‘outstanding’

Headteacher Elaine Radley with Ben Ankers and Isabella Welsh, both seven
Headteacher Elaine Radley with Ben Ankers and Isabella Welsh, both seven

A school which Ofsted said needs to improve has made changes across the board to quickly get back to being outstanding.

In November Ofsted inspectors said Bourne Westfield Primary Academy needs to raise the level of pupils’ achievement and improve the quality of teaching, leadership and management.

Since then the school has received a follow up visit from inspectors which acknowledged they are on the right track.

Headteacher Elaine Radley, who joined the school in September last year, believes if the school are given time to prove a sustained improvement it will be rated as outstanding next time.

Mrs Radley said: “There were some brilliant things here that have always been good but we have expanded and grown on everything.”

“I take my hat off to the staff and governors. Everyone has worked incredibly hard with a single aim of being better.”

The school has extended its parents evening events and introduced systems and structures to immediately identify if a child is underachieving.

The school has introduced a reading buddies scheme where 28 members of the public give up their time to do one-on-one reading with targeted pupils.

While most school children were tucking into their Easter eggs 22 pupils attended an Easter school for one week of the holidays to help them catch up in areas where they were struggling.

The leadership team have been meeting with the school governors every week since the first inspection.

The governors have received further training and have taken a more hands on approach with the school, even monitoring the progress of the pupils grades anonymously.

Mrs Radley said everyone at the school, including her, need some coaching at times to be better. Even the staff room has teaching boards for the teachers.

The she school has expanded its connections with other schools to learn from their successes, moderate grading and to push its high achievers.

Ofsted inspectors are still monitoring the school and will return for a full inspection in the near future.

In the follow up visit report from February 8, inspector Clive Moss said: “Senior leaders and the governing body are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement identified at the recent inspection.

“They present a clear-sighted picture of the academy’s response to the inspection outcomes and the progress being made.

“They have set out unequivocally an ambition for the academy to be outstanding as rapidly as possible.

“The staff at the academy have endorsed that ambition and, in conjunction with the governing body, acted determinedly in response to the inspection.”

The report said direct action has been taken very quickly to identify where improvement is needed 
most.

Mrs Radley said: “If 
Ofsted come back in the next six month we will definitely get a good, without a shadow of a doubt and they will see many examples of outstanding teaching.”

“If we are given time to show sustained improvement, after two sets of results we will get an outstanding.”