Leading primary is ordered to improve

Hallam Primary School, Sheffield.
Hallam Primary School, Sheffield.
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A LEADING Sheffield primary school has been urged by inspectors to improve.

Hallam Primary was the first school in Sheffield to be examined under new criteria when Ofsted inspectors visited just five days into the new school year last month.

Hallam Primary School, Sheffield.

Hallam Primary School, Sheffield.

Now, in their report, inspectors say the Lodge Moor school ‘requires improvement’.

The new-style inspections look closely at pupils’ progress and inspectors said the Hallam Grange Crescent school ‘is not good’ overall because - while pupils’ attainment is above average in writing and maths - their progress in the subjects is only average.

They said: “The proportion of pupils making more than expected progress in writing and maths does not compare favourably with the national average.”

Pupils’ behaviour and school leadership was rated as good, but pupils’ achievement and teaching quality needed to be better.

The inspection team said: “Teaching quality varies too much to be good overall.”

However, they praised school leaders for improving teaching and pupils’ progress.

The report said: “Pupils make good progress in reading and their attainment in this area is high.

“Teachers’ expectations of pupils are being raised and there are instances of good and outstanding teaching.”

Sam Fearnehough, headteacher, said it could not be compared to previous visits, as the criteria it was based upon was ‘very different’.

She said: “Because Hallam children start at a level above average, we have to ensure our children also make more than average progress from the point at which they start school to when they leave.

“We are making progress, more than expected in reading, but need to be able do the same in maths and writing.

“To be the first school inspected under this new, very different framework makes things pretty difficult.

“We have some of the highest standards in the city, but they are still telling me the school needs improvement.

“It’s a tough challenge, but one I am prepared to take on.”

* For the report, visit www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/107099.