School faring better in core subjects – inspector

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maths and English teaching at Don Valley School and Performing Arts College is gradually getting better, according to Ofsted inspectors.

Problems in those subjects at the Scawthorpe school were highlighted at an inspection in March 2010.

In a monitoring visit carried out last month inspector Nada Trikic reported ‘at this time the school has made satisfactory progress in making improvements and satisfactory progress in demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement’.

In 2010, concern was expressed at the low standards in English and mathematics. Although the proportion of students who gained five or more A* to C grades, including English and maths, rose to 39 per cent, it was still a figure of 15 per cent below the national average. The performance of boys was closer to average. A significant attainment gap was evident for girls in English and maths.

Since the inspection crucial steps have been taken to tackle the legacy of underperformance and improved staffing stability and the successful recruitment of specialist teachers have supported greater continuity in students’ learning. Systems of assessment, tracking and monitoring have been strengthened.

Outcomes in English are expected to close the gap with national standards, and maths remains a school priority despite an encouraging improvement this year, said Ms Trikic.