‘Happy and caring’, but Fenland school must deal with attendance issues
A ‘happy and caring’ village school has risen through the Ofsted rankings from ’requires improvement’ to ‘good’.
A report published this week from the Government’s inspectors said Wisbech St Mary School was ‘good’ in all areas from the quality of education to leadership and behaviour as well as for overall effectiveness.
Last time the school was inspected in September 2019 it was rated as ‘requires improvement’.
Pupils were praised for their “excellent” behaviour following the latest inspection, which was carried out in July.
The report said: “Pupils want to learn during lessons. Pupils understand and respect the school rules. They know and follow class routines. At social times, pupils play games together and chat in their friendship groups.
“School captains support younger children to play and socialise happily. Pupils have good manners. They are polite and courteous. The school is a very calm place to be.”
They were also recognised for the work they do volunteering in the community including helping with litter picking.
Inspectors acknowledged the school has adopted an effective curriculum, including in the early years.
But added: “However, sometimes staff do not present information clearly, meaning pupils are not always able to recall prior learning. Some pupils do not remember the important content they have been taught.”
Reading is prioritised and work to prepare children for reading starts in reception with daily phonics sessions.
“Where pupils struggle to read, they are helped through daily reading support. Most pupils learn to read fluently and accurately. The pupil reading ambassadors help to raise the profile of literacy across the school,” said the report.
School attendance is in line with national figures but inspectors pointed out too many pupils do not attend school regularly enough, but added that leaders are taking action to address a fall in attendance.
The report said the school is well led and managed and added that leaders have gained the trust and support of staff and the local community,
However, to raise the school to the next level the report said leaders need to ensure teachers are trained to teach content in a consistently precise and clear fashion which will address the issue of pupils finding it difficult to recall important knowledge.
Leaders also need to address the rising proportion of pupils who are regularly missing school and their actions need to be more rigorous to help with this.