Teaching and attendance better, says Ofsted

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A DONCASTER infant school has been praised for improvements put in place since its last inspection.

Ofsted officials said teaching was better at Grange Lane Infant School in Rossington, which they have rated as a good school.

A large majority of children start at the school with skills which are significantly below those expected for their age, said the report,

By the end of Year 2 the two they have reached increasingly higher standards which are close to the national average. But the report, which praised headteacher Vilma Orchard, added the pupils’ writing abilities lagged a little behind those in mathematics.

A particular weakness was lack of an extensive and creative vocabulary.

The report stated: “Teaching has improved and is good. Pupils’ learning thrives on the empathy, trust and respect which are seen in all classrooms. Staff give much praise which motivates pupils. The best lessons are characterised by teachers putting the learners and learning at the centre of activities.

“Effective leadership has been a decisive factor in pupils’ good achievement. The school is well led by the recently appointed headteacher, and her newly strengthened senior leadership team. The headteacher’s clear vision for success, shared with staff, means that morale is high and the sense of teamwork is strong.”

The school was described as making strenuous efforts to secure higher levels of attendance, which were having some effect because attendance was rising and was very close to average.

But inspectors said some parents and carers continue to withdraw children from school during term time, which impacted on pupils’ progress since it reduced the time they were able to learn.

Inspectors now want the school to improve writing standards and further boost attendance.