Mansfield primary school vows to improve after Ofsted inspection

A Mansfield primary school which has not seen enough progress in its reading levels has vowed to continue improving its pupils’ literacy levels. 

King Edward Primary School, on Littleworth, was told by education watchdog Ofsted that pupils’ reading quality had improved, but “not enough”, following a recent inspection at the site.

Year 1 and 2 pupils from King Edward Primary School took part in a Harvest Festival celebration at St Peter and St Paul's Church Mansfield

Year 1 and 2 pupils from King Edward Primary School took part in a Harvest Festival celebration at St Peter and St Paul's Church Mansfield

The inspector found that some pupils “do not have the correct books to read”, and so do not have the opportunity to practise the sounds they know – which is having an impact on their progression.

Clive Worrall, lead inspector for Ofsted, also said in his report that some pupils with special educational needs are finding their work “too difficult” and are not helped as well as they could be by staff.

But he did accept that a period of staffing turbulence over recent years has “hampered leaders’ ability” to focus on improving education, and praised the school for its extra-curricular activities – including visits to the Holocaust Centre and the Yorkshire coast as well as the recent Harvest Festival.

In a letter to parents, the school’s headteacher and governor assured parents that it is already taking measures to address Ofsted’s concerns and outlined how it is “continuing to strive” for improved literacy levels.

Sue Bridges, school headteacher, said: “New staff are receiving training to lead in the different subject areas so that they can ensure teaching is strong in all subject areas.

“We continue to strive to improve reading and have already rebanded the book stock in school so that books are matched more closely to their phonics acquisition.

“The whole class-guided reading model now used since the summer is showing benefits for the less confident readers.

“These children are showing greater enthusiasm for reading, as texts used are more interesting for them. Reading continues to improve and progress is now judged as average, showing we are well on our journey.

“We are looking at how to adjust the curriculum so that some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities do not find the work too difficult in class.

“Special educational needs pupils receive good levels of pastoral support, which is a strength at King Edwards.”

In his recommendations for improvement, Mr Worrall said: “Some staff lack the knowledge they need to teach all subjects well.

“Leaders should provide training and support for them so that they are all confident about teaching across the curriculum.

“They need to ensure that, in all subjects, sequences of lessons build up pupils’ knowledge and skills over time so that pupils achieve well.

“Some pupils, including weaker readers, do not have the correct books to read and so do not have the opportunity to practise the sounds they know.

“Leaders should ensure that reading books are precisely matched to each pupil’s reading ability so that pupils develop confidence and fluency in reading.”