Sheffield primary school is on track but still has much work to do, say inspectors

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Higher standards are needed at a Sheffield school – but inspectors say it is moving in the right direction.

Manor Lodge Primary School, Manor Lane, has been found to require improvement in all areas.

But inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted said that following the previous critical inspection, governors had responded by commissioning a review of their effectiveness – and acted quickly on the recommendations.

As a result, there were many examples of good practice to share within the school and it was improving.

Manor Lodge has a higher proportion than average of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds – and one in four come from outside the immediate area, some travelling across the city to attend.

Inspectors found achievement levels were not good, because the pupils’ rates of progress in reading, writing and maths were uneven across the school.

As a result, most children were making expected progress during their time at school, but few were doing better.

In their report, inspectors said not all children in early years classes were prepared well enough to start studies in Year 1.

And too few youngsters were reading at the expected standards at the end of Year 1, while standards in the main subjects at the end of both Key Stages 1 and 2 were below average.

Teaching was variable in quality, and was not ensuring all pupils were making good progress in lessons.

Children did not always know how to improve their work and some had not yet developed good attitudes to learning.

Senior staff, many new to their respective roles, had not yet developed the skills they needed to ensure the quality of teaching was consistent.

However, inspectors found the newly appointed executive headteacher, Joanne Bradshaw, had brought a great deal of experience to the school and had quickly brought in a clear vision of excellence.

They said staff morale was now high and a ‘we can do this’ attitude was now filtering through the school.

Pupils enjoyed coming to school and attendance levels were broadly average, while the number of exclusions had fallen significantly.

The school was also reaching the Government’s minimum floor standards.