Ruskin headteacher promises school will work harder after Ofsted criticisms

This Is Wiltshire: Head teacher Simon Burrell Head teacher Simon Burrell

THE headteacher of Ruskin Junior School has vowed to make the school better after inspectors said it required improvement.

Ofsted inspectors, who visited the school in Upper Stratton last month, said the school needs to raise pupils’ achievements in writing, improve the quality of teaching and strengthen leadership, management and governance in order to become a good school.

Headteacher Simon Burrell said they would be working hard to gain a better grade in their next inspection in 18 to 24 months’ time.

“We are looking forward to working towards becoming a good and eventually outstanding school,” he said.

“We have taken on board what they have said. We knew what they said in terms of writing was going to come up.

“What we felt disappointed in was the report didn’t reflect the true ethos of our school. It didn’t talk about forest schools, which our Year 4s are doing really well with.

“They didn’t talk about our Saturday workshops and after school clubs, which inspire the children to learn, or the close relationship we have with our parents.”

Mr Burrell said they have been taking steps to improve pupils’ writing since September, but Ofsted inspectors look at data from the last three years.

“The reading is outstanding and maths is good, but the writing is where we need to improve,” he said.

The school will be open to Year 5 and 6 pupils for four days over the Easter holidays.

“We have got lots planned and we can already show added value,” he said.

The inspectors observed teaching and learning in 23 lessons or part-lessons.

They said pupil behaviour and safety was good, but that achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management requires improvement.

The school achieved a grade of satisfactory in its last inspection in 2011, which was under the old Ofsted framework.

Inspectors said in this year’s report: “This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because although pupils’ achievement is improving, it is not consistently good, particularly in writing.

“Attainment in writing has been low by the end of Year 6.

“Teaching is improving but has not been consistently good enough over time to ensure good progress.

“Not all lessons have a sharp learning focus.

“In some lessons, the work that pupils are set is too easy or too difficult for them.

“Learning does not always move on at a quick enough pace.

“Not all governors have a clear overview of how the school’s performance compares with that of schools nationally.”

Inspectors did however praise pupil behaviour, pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, said pupils feel safe and well cared for, said attendance is above average, and praised the good partnerships established with parents, They also said staff provide good support and guidance for pupils who have behavioural and emotional difficulties, and that leaders and managers are taking positive action to raise achievement and improve teaching.

Comments (1)

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7:29pm Wed 6 Feb 13

PJC says...

Simon Burrell is an excellent inspiring person, and I'm sure he will succeed in getting this school on track. I would complain a bit about Ofsted, as they miss things as their view is quite limited and can only ever be a snapshot.
Simon Burrell is an excellent inspiring person, and I'm sure he will succeed in getting this school on track. I would complain a bit about Ofsted, as they miss things as their view is quite limited and can only ever be a snapshot. PJC
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