Our Journey to Excellence
After five terms of focused school improvement monitored by regular independent reviews and the School Improvement Board (consisting of the LA School Advisor, School Governors and the school’s Senior Leadership Team meeting half termly) it was unanimously agreed that the school had achieved the step changes required and could feel confident that the points for action had been addressed.
The school expects a return visit from Ofsted late in the Autumn Term 2016 or in the Spring Term 2017.
In Spring 2015 Her Majesty’s Inspector Debbie Clinton visited the school and following an intensive day drafted the following letter.
The letter confirmed we were on-track and addressing the development points highlighted in the Ofsted report.
We were inspected by Ofsted on October 16th & 17th 2014. The inspection was conducted against the more rigorous Ofsted framework introduced in 2012 and amended in 2014.
A full copy of the report can be accessed by clicking HERE. As you will see the overall judgment on the school was changed from Grade 2 (good) to Grade 3 (requires improvement).
We were clearly disappointed by this outcome given the hard work and dedication of our staff, the senior leadership team, governors and pupils and the ongoing support of our families. However, we consider our school has the capacity and determination to rapidly improve and we’re committed to getting back to good, and ultimately to outstanding, as rapidly as possible.
In the paragraphs below we explore why Ofsted made the decision they did and what we plan to do in response.
We are very pleased to note that the behaviour and safety of children was recognised as ‘good’ by inspectors. This highlights the importance we place on behaviour and our high expectations of all children. We thank families for their support in making Normand Croft a safe and happy school for all children.
However, Ofsted now focus very heavily on pupil progress (that is, the measure of how far a pupil has improved from one year group to the next). For a school to be considered ‘good’ it now has to demonstrate that all groups of pupils (irrespective of their level of need or ability or date of entry to the school) make equivalent levels of progress year on year.
The inspection team acknowledged our improving results at the end of year 6 (particularly in Reading and Mathematics) but felt that children’s progress was not yet consistent enough year-on-year (particularly in Writing) as a result they were unable to grade achievement as ‘good’ at this stage.
Despite our disappointment, we do feel that the report was both constructive and helpful. It contains many positives, just a few of which are quoted here:
“Pupils are keen to learn…”
“Pupils behave well. At lunchtime their behaviour is exemplary. They take pride in the presentation of their work, attend regularly and feel safe.”
“As a result of the school’s strong promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development pupils play and work together happily regardless of their backgrounds.”
“Senior leaders and governors are aspirational for pupils. Weak teaching is tackled increasingly robustly, and attainment is rising.”
We also welcome the inspection team’s recommendations for further improvement, and the key message in the report which stresses the need for us to improve consistency in the quality of teaching across the school, with a particular focus on writing and early years.
These improvement priorities had already been identified by the school through our self-evaluation process and much work has already been done to ensure we make rapid progress in securing improvement in these areas.
Please click on the following attachments for more information:
Ofsted Publication: Getting-to-good.pdf
Ofsted Publication: HMI Monitoring Visit