Improved teaching leads to ‘good’ rating from Ofsted

Parkland Infant School, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160120-153537008

Parkland Infant School, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160120-153537008

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Significant improvements in the quality of teaching have helped an infant school secure a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.

Parkland Infants underwent a two-day inspection in December and the findings were published on January 11.

The rating – the second highest which Ofsted could give – was greeted with delight by staff, as the school had been rated ‘requires improvement’, or its equivalent, since 2007.

In their report, inspectors Julie Sackett and Christopher Crouch stated, “Leaders and governors have secured significant improvements in the quality of teaching since the previous inspection. As a result, pupils make much faster progress in reading, writing and mathematics.”

A school spokesman said since the new leadership team – including head of school Sally Simpson – had joined Parkland in 2014, they had worked “relentlessly” to ensure standards were raised swiftly.

The report showed the leaders had no intention of losing their ‘good’ rating, as one said, “We’re making sure teachers don’t take their foot off the accelerator.”

As for the achievements of the children, they were seen to be making good progress in reading, writing and maths, while the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers had steadily narrowed since the previous inspection.

Their attainment in reading had increased “substantially” in 2015, reaching levels much higher than the national average – and some reading at the highest standard.

When it came to further improvements to help Parklands reach the top ‘outstanding’ rating, the school was given two goals. First to ensure early years outdoor activities were as stimulating as those in the classroom; second, to ensure teachers responded swiftly to pupils’ mistakes to help them make even better progress.

Mrs Simpson said, “We are all so proud of our children and the wider school community. This is a wonderful accolade and is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of a great team – children, parents, governors and of course the school staff. We are incredibly excited about our future plans and are dedicated to continuing to secure even further improvements, including developing our outdoor learning space. We are determined to ensure our children get the very best possible start in life.”

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