Academy conversion boosts pupil progress at Sheffield primary school

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Pupil progress at a Sheffield school has improved since it became an academy, inspectors have discovered.

St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary, at Handsworth, has moved up a grade and is now rated as ‘good’ in all areas.

Inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted found the academy’s leaders and managers, including the governing body, had moved the school on since it had changed status in March 2013.

The quality of teaching had improved and, as a result, pupils were learning more quickly and were making more progress.

Inspectors praised the strong governors who knew how well the school was doing and were providing clear direction for its future.

Pupils behaved consistently well and were keen to learn, enjoying the opportunities they were given.

Their attendance levels were above average and they said they felt very safe in school.

The inspection found teaching at St Joseph’s was consistently good, with staff questioning the youngsters well to keep them on their toes.

In their report, inspectors said teachers also checked progress effectively during lessons and did good work to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The school’s youngest pupils were being given a good start to their learning and were making good progress, and were made fully ready for their move up to Year 1.

The inspectors said children were achieving well from their different starting points and evidence showed previous good standards and improving standards at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 were on track to be maintained.

However, inspectors said there was still scope for some pupils of middle ability to make more progress and reach higher standards in their reading and writing.

They also needed appropriate levels of support so they could make faster progress.

And they found youngsters were not always expected to correct their work, so missing opportunities to learn from their mistakes.