School tackling weaknesses, says report

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A DONCASTER primary school has tackled weaknesses in its teaching, according to Government inspectors.

An Ofsted official who spent two days at St John the Baptist Church of England Primary School, in Mexborough, said there had been some “turbulance” in staffing which had been resolved.

But the inspectors say there are still improvements to be made and the 204-pupil school had identified mathematics as an area to improve.

Rating the school as satisfactory, lead inspector Bernard Jones’s report stated: “Recent turbulence in staffing has been resolved and some previous weaknesses in teaching have been successfully tackled.”

“Pupils do not make as much progress in mathematics as they do in English.

“There is too much unevenness in the quality of teaching. While there is some that is outstanding, so too there is some that is inadequate. The majority of teaching is satisfactory.

“This is mainly because teachers do not use the information they have about pupils’ attainment well enough to match the needs of different groups and challenge pupils to produce their best.

“In contrast, the outstanding and good teaching uses assessment data very effectively and pupils’ progress benefits significantly.”

Inspectors picked up on the good care, guidance and support that pupils received.

The report, published this week, said it ensured that they felt safe and understood well how to live safely and healthily.

Parents and carers were largely supportive, it added.

It described the relationship between pupils and their teachers as harmonious, and pupils responded well to being given responsibility.

Inspectors have asked the school to work on improving maths standards in all years and to ensure more good quality teaching and learning throughout the school by spreading the “excellent” practice that already exists.

Headteacher John Hunter and his senior team were praised for developing good systems to monitor improvements in the pupils’ achievements.

The report said: “The impact is starting to be seen as weaknesses are tackled, for example, standards in mathematics are starting to improve.”