Average is not good enough at Sheffield school

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Average standards are being achieved at a Sheffield school – but inspectors say improvements are needed.

Ofsted inspectors who visited Halfway Junior School declared the school as requiring improvement in their newly-published report, following a visit late last year.

They said that during 2012 and 2013, pupils started at Halfway Junior School with broadly average standards and they went on to achieve average results in English and maths.

Fewer children than expected reached higher levels of achievement in both subjects, while boys were lagging behind the girls.

In last summer’s tests their attainment was below par in English grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Inspectors found the school’s teaching was becoming more effective, but was still not strong enough to enable youngsters to make good progress.

They said levels of challenge in lessons for the most able were not consistently high enough, while the curriculum did not always meet the particular needs of boys as fully as it might.

Sometimes pupils were not independent enough in their learning and didn’t produce as much work as they could have done.

Good and outstanding classroom practice which was identified needed to be shared more effectively throughout the school.

But inspectors believe the school is on the right track.

They praised the school’s strong leadership and management, with a dedicated headteacher and senior staff ensuring the school continued to improve.

As a result, teaching was better and progress made by pupils was accelerating.

Pupils were proud of the school and behaved well, sometimes outstandingly so. They felt safe and had a high regard for the staff.

The inspectors found the children also enjoyed reading and achievement in this area was good.