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All Saints Academy in March is still 'good' say inspectors but has been warned standards may be declining




A March primary school continues to be rated 'good' by government inspectors but there are concerns standards may be declining following a recent inspection.

All Saints Interchurch Academy which has been rated good by Ofsted since May 2011as a result the latest inspection was the second so-called section 8 inspection. That means inspectors do not give graded judgements on the various aspects of the school, but instead check it remains on track as 'good'.

Last month's inspection found pupils feel part of a family at All Saints with staff putting pupils' well-being at the heart of all they do.

All Saints Interchurch Academy in March is rated 'good' by Ofsted. (22773638)
All Saints Interchurch Academy in March is rated 'good' by Ofsted. (22773638)

Pupils are polite and well-behaved and the headteacher sets high expectations on their conduct, said the report published this week.

It said: "There is a delightful atmosphere at break-times, when older and younger pupils play together happily. Pupils feel at ease in the school and are eager to do well. They like their work, especially in mathematics, although they say it is sometimes too easy.

"Staff willingly go the extra mile to raise pupils’ aspirations and to give them memorable experiences.

Headteacher Mark Millinson. (22773641)
Headteacher Mark Millinson. (22773641)

"Leaders are determined to prepare children well socially for the next stage of their education. This is evident in all aspects of the school’s work.

"Teachers work hard to bring subjects alive, but the curriculum is not well enough planned to help pupils develop their skills rapidly in all subjects.

"The curriculum is strongest in reading. Leaders make sure that their chosen phonics programme is taught effectively. This helps pupils to learn quickly. The proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard in the Year 1 phonics screening check is improving and in 2019 was above the national average. Pupils who are falling behind are given good support to help them catch up.

"However, in key stage 1, there are too few high-quality reading books to help pupils, especially the most able, develop a love of reading.

"In mathematics, pupils make good progress in most aspects of the subject because the school has identified clearly what should be taught in each year. There is, however, too little focus on teaching problem-solving and reasoning. Consequently, not enough of the most able pupils reach the higher standards they are capable of by the end of Year 6.

"Beyond English and mathematics, curriculum leaders have not had enough opportunities to develop their subjects. Planning follows the national curriculum, but leaders have not considered carefully enough the order in which pupils will learn new things so that skills and knowledge are taught at the right time and in the right order. Pupils sometimes learn disconnected facts which they do not remember over time.

"Teamwork across the school is strong. While leaders are committed to school improvement and know what needs to be done, changes have not been made soon enough. Staff do not have enough opportunity to see and share good practice, especially in curriculum development.

"Staff say that leaders support them well in managing their time. However, curriculum leaders do not play a full part in supporting school improvement. They have too few opportunities to support and challenge their colleagues to make sure that teaching improves quickly."


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