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‘Ambitious’ curriculum change helps Wisbech school become ‘good’

A Fenland junior school is celebrating after achieving a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted four years after being told it needed to improve.

The Government inspectors visited St Peter’s Church of England School in Wisbech over two days last month and rated it ‘good’ across all areas. In 2020 the school was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

They found that pupils enjoy attending the school which has redesigned its curriculum to address the fact historically pupils have not achieved well.

St Peter's Church of England Junior School in Wisbech is now rated 'good' say Ofsted.
St Peter's Church of England Junior School in Wisbech is now rated 'good' say Ofsted.

In a report published this week the inspectors said: “Pupils enjoy coming to school. They embrace the school’s core values and Christian ethos. Pupils learn and grow in an environment where they feel nurtured, encouraged, and safe.”

The inspectors described St Peter’s as a “happy school” where everyone is accepted.

The report continues: “Pupils know that every adult wants them to achieve. They see how the recent changes to the curriculum have raised everyone’s ambitions. Pupils respond to this by working hard. They persevere when things get tough.

“The majority of pupils now learn well. Pupils are polite and engaging. While a small number of pupils struggle to meet the school’s high expectations, most behave well.”

The change in curriculum is described as “ambitious” but says high-quality training for teachers is enabling them to deliver it as intended.

“As a result, a greater number of pupils are learning more,” it says.

While teachers have had suitable training to develop their subject knowledge not all teaching is “precise enough” and adds: “Teachers’ explanations are occasionally too long and complicated, or their instructions are not clear enough. This means that some pupils do not secure learning as well or as deeply as they might.”

The curriculum has reading at its heart and the school has developed a reading scheme that provides pupils access to a wide range of ambitious texts.

But for those pupils who struggle with reading support is there and the report says: “. Careful checks mean that pupils’ specific barriers to reading are tackled head-on. Well-planned intervention by highly trained staff helps those pupils catch up.”

It concludes by saying staff feel valued and share the leaders’ “relentless determination” to enable all pupils to succeed.

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