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Wisbech school 'requires improvement' says Ofsted report which blames 'decline' in teaching quality

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A Wisbech school 'requires improvement' according to government inspectors with a 'decline' in the quality of teaching being blamed.

Nene Infant and Nursery School - 'requires improvement' say Ofsted. (7471349)
Nene Infant and Nursery School - 'requires improvement' say Ofsted. (7471349)

The Nene Infant and Nursery School, part of the Elliott Foundation Multi-Academy Trust, was Ofsted inspected in mid-January, and the inspectors findings have been published today (Wednesday).

The report rates the school as 'requires' improvement' overall but found the early years provision and pupils' personal development, behaviour and welfare to both be 'good'.

Inspectors said: "The quality of teaching and learning and pupils' outcomes have declined since the previous inspection". The school was last inspected in 2015 when it was found to be 'good'.

Among the areas requiring improvement is the school's leadership and management and the report points out: "The school has undergone many changes since the previous inspection. These include expansion to three-form entry, a nursery unit, a new build and key stage 1 pupils moving on to a second site.

"While leaders, the trust's personnel and governors have focused on these changes, the quality of teaching and learning and pupils' outcomes have declined."

It also points out that the "effectiveness of senior and middle leaders varies too much" but adds that "recent intensive support from the trust, combined with additional professional training from the local authority, is improving the school's leadership capacity, the quality of teaching and pupil' achievement in this academic year."

Teaching was also criticised with the report saying: "The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is inconsistent across and within year groups. As a result, pupils do not make as much progress as they are capable of."

But the report said there are "early indications of improvement in teaching and learning" which include teachers showing pupils how to write well and encouraging pupils to use a wider range of vocabulary in their writing.

The children were praised for their behaviour and the report said: "They want to succeed. They listen to their teachers and they work well together."

But the pupil outcomes 'requires improvement' with the report highlighting the fact the proportion of pupils who achieve the expected standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of Year 2 being too low.

It says: "Results for all pupils have been in the bottom 20 per cent nationally for the previous three years."

But adds: "The decline in standards was halted in 2018, with results being slightly better than in 2017. School performance and the work in current Year 2 pupils' books indicate pupils are making stronger progress. Already this academic year, a greater proportion of puils have reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths than in previous years."

It points out the school has several strengths including being a "happy, friendly place" and that "pupils like coming to school because leaders and governors provide an interesting, well-thought-out curriculum".

And "Recent support from the trust, alongside new teaching and learning strategies and professional training for staff, is beginning to show improvements in teaching and learning".

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