Primary school praised for raising standards

A city primary school has been praised for taking determined action to raise standards.

Fernwood Primary in Wollaton was re-inspected by education watchdog Ofsted after it was judged to be ‘requiring improvement’ last year.

Inspectors said the school’s Executive Head and Head Teacher have worked effectively with other leaders, governors and staff to ensure that the school has significantly improved and addressed the areas for improvement identified at the previous inspection.

The quality of teaching now ensures children are making good progress.

Fernwood Primary, in Arleston Drive, is the biggest primary school in Nottingham after recently expanding – and now caters for 1,054 children aged three to 11.

The latest inspected on 19-20 June found: “The Executive Head Teacher and Head of School provide clear and ambitious leadership and management. They have effectively developed the leadership and management skills of other leaders including middle leaders.

“The school has been united in its work to improve since the previous inspection. This work has had a positive effect on many areas of provision and on pupils’ outcomes.”

The inspectors added: “The school has worked closely with the Nottingham Schools Trust to bring about improvements. Extensive work has been undertaken to ensure that assessments of pupils’ learning are accurate. The accuracy of teachers’ assessments is well supported and validated by external moderation.”

The report found:

-Parents and carers hold the school in very high regard

-Determined action by leaders has resulted in rising standards

-Attainment at the end of Reception, by the end of Year 2 and Year 6 is considerably above standards expected in reading, writing and mathematics

-Monitoring and evaluation are accurate and leaders have a clear understanding of where they need to focus to make the school even better

-Teaching and the use of assessment are now securely good

-Leaders provide effective guidance and training to staff. Staff learn from one another

-Teachers show strong subject knowledge and use this to ensure that teaching meets the full range of abilities in classes

-Leaders not only think carefully about how they teach but also what they teach. The school’s curriculum is broad and interesting. For example, apart from English and mathematics, there are strengths in subjects such as history, music, physical education and religious education

-Pupils progressively develop very positive attitudes to learning so that by Year 6 pupils show excellent attitudes to learning and to school.

Commenting on the inspection, Executive Head Teacher Mandy Austin said: “The governors and I are delighted to have returned to a strong good in just under a year. We have remained very proud of our children and staff throughout the year and wish to thank our parents for maintaining their belief in us. We will always aspire to offer our children the very best education that we can.”

Cllr Neghat Khan, Portfolio Holder for Early Years, Education and Employment, said: “I am pleased that Fernwood Primary is now rated as ‘Good’ again by Ofsted after such a short time since the previous inspection. We know that this school is well supported by its parents, who are proud of the education their children receive.

“Everyone at the school should be proud of their hard work and dedication.”

The Ofsted report can be found at https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/21/142223

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