A delayed Ofsted inspection has rated Vale Primary School as ‘good’ across five categories, while suggesting that teachers’ subject knowledge could be improved in some areas.
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture had been forced to repeatedly delay the first inspections by Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education) due to covid. The independent body was appointed as the inspectorate of schools back in 2019 and has only conducted small pilot inspections to date.
The completed inspection of Vale Primary School has been welcomed by the President of ESC, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen: “Although we deferred the commencement of Ofsted’s formal inspections as a consequence of the COVID pandemic this report shows that it was absolutely the right time and entirely appropriate to begin the inspection cycle.”
Vale Primary School was rated ‘good’ in: the Quality of Education; Behaviour and Attitudes; Personal Development and Welfare; Leadership and Management; and Early Years provision.
Pictured: Headteacher, Gary Hind, with Vale Primary students.
The report revealed that school leaders at Vale Primary place children at the centre of all decisions, and the school’s curriculum “inspires and prepares pupils well for the next stage of their education”.
Additionally, pupils were recognised as being polite and caring.
“To receive good ratings in all five inspection categories is no mean feat and we are delighted to have this recognised by Ofsted,” said the school’s Headteacher, Gary Hind.
“Such positive outcomes across the board speaks to the tremendous dedication of our staff, children and whole school community.”
Guernsey’s Director of Education, Nick Hynes, said: “Meeting the needs of all our young people should be at the heart of everything we do in education, whether this is setting policy, developing curriculum or creating a school culture to help them thrive, and clearly that is the focus at Vale Primary School.”
Pictured: “The Committee is really pleased with the outcome of the first inspection under our new Ofsted framework,” said Deputy Dudley-Owen.
Despite receiving a good rating across the board, Ofsted did raise some concerns with teachers’ subject knowledge.
“There are a few subject curriculums that are not as well developed,” Ofsted said in its report.
“Teachers’ subject knowledge is not as secure in these subjects. This makes it difficult for teachers to check precisely where pupils have gaps in their knowledge.
“Therefore, they cannot plan to fill these gaps quickly. In these subjects, some pupils are less able to make connections or secure new knowledge. For example, some pupils cannot use efficient calculation methods in mathematics as they do not have a secure knowledge of basic number facts.”
Additionally, Ofsted suggested the development of individual targets for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It said that some pupils’ provision maps are too broad: “For example, pupils are asked to learn large parts of the phonics programme rather than individual letters and sounds. This does not help to ensure pupils are making progress in learning what they need to know next.”
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