Teaching and behaviour praised at New Road Primary

The new leadership team at New Road Primary School has identified the right priorities for improvement, according to a Government inspector.

The inspector from OfSTED – the Office for Standards in Education – also praised teaching and the behaviour of pupils at the school in Whittlesey. But he said the school was not yet good and required improvement.

“New leaders have quickly identified the most important priorities and are already doing the right things to improve provision more quickly. They know how well the school is doing and have made a start to tackling the most important weaknesses,” said his report.

He said Cambridgeshire County Council had supported the school extensively over the past 18 months. “Its effort in securing interim leadership is already reaping benefits. For example, staff from both of the headteacher’s schools are working together to share good practice and expertise. This is helping to raise aspirations at New Road.”

The inspector said teaching was consistently good in the Reception class and in Years 5 and 6. “Children get a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage where they are taught well and make good progress.

“In Years 5 and 6, teaching provides good challenge. Good questioning encourages pupils to work independently and the work is well matched to need,” he added.

Pupil behaviour was also praised. The inspector said the youngsters were polite and courteous. “Pupils’ behaviour is good. They are kind to each other and play together happily. In lessons pupils sensibly listen to each other and share their ideas. They show the best attitudes towards learning when work encourages them to think for themselves.

“Teachers manage behaviour well. Positive relationships and high expectations for personal development successfully encourage the pupils to cooperate sensibly and behave well,” added the report.

The inspector also said the school provided well for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. “Leaders successfully foster good relationships and ensure that pupils feel safe at school,” he added.

The school was encouraged to improve teaching and learning in Years 1 to 4, improve the curriculum and improve the impact of leadership and management.

Interim headteacher Margaret Leverett said: “We were very pleased that the report recognised the improvements that the school has made and its strengths, which include the strong team work, care and guidance that our small family school can provide. The report also confirmed that our school knew very clearly what it needed to do to improve even further so that it is consistently good.”