Great Casterton Primary School promises improvement after report

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A headteacher says her school is making progress three months after it was told to improve by inspectors .

Great Casterton Primary School was given a requires improvement grade by Ofsted in July. Inspectors identified several areas where the school was falling below expected standards.

Among the problems were low achievement, particularly in Key Stage 2 maths; girls making slower progress than boys; a variation in the quality of teaching; a lack of checks from governors on performance of senior leaders; and a perception from some parents that their views were ignored.

Inspectors did praise achievement in reading and the behaviour or pupils around school. They said problems had been identified and action had been taken to improve things.

Following the inspection headteacher Claire Rowbotham put a number of programmes in place to address the issues.

She said in a statement: “As the report identifies, the school had already put in place measures to make significant improvements, which have impacted upon children’s progress, particularly in maths.

“These have included boosting girls in small groups and improving the teachers’ feedback delivered to children, giving them more time to respond and make improvements to their own work.

“The new curriculum that has been introduced in September has created an opportunity for the school to reassess their literacy and numeracy teaching allowing for more opportunities to practise these skills in other areas. The school has invited parents to attend many events including, a welcome barbecue, harvest service, maths workshops and a new meet the teacher evening.

“All were well attended giving further opportunities for discussion amongst staff, governors, children and parents.”

The school is expecting a monitoring visit from Ofsted in the coming weeks.

Chairman of governors, the Rev Jo Saunders, said: “The governing body was pleased with the many positive statements in the report, particularly with the judgement of good for behaviour and safety, which it felt to be an accurate reflection of the school.

“As governors we are fully in support of the measures now in place to ensure that the school will be consistently good in all areas, and are working closely with the school to implement them.”

Several parents contacted the Rutland Times about the school. Some of them had moved their children to different schools as a result of poor performance at Great Casterton.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: “You will see from the inspection that the educational standards at the school are poor. There are no social or economic reasons for this, indeed it is quite the opposite as the school has less than average numbers of children receiving pupil premium.

“The low attainment is a poor reflection on the headteacher and the governing body.”