Ofsted hails improvements in teaching and behaviour as Jason Wing creates ‘can-do culture’ at Neale-Wade

TEACHERS are determined to improve, students are calm and well-behaved and principal Jason Wing has created a “can-do” culture at Neale-Wade Community College.

That is the view of Government inspectors, who returned to Fenland’s largest secondary school for a monitoring inspection five months after placing it in special measures. Ofsted has now deemed that Neale-Wade is “making reasonable progress” towards the removal of that tag.

Their report from last month’s visit says that pupils’ achievement has risen, according to unvalidated results from GCSE and A-level exams taken this year.

Standards are closer to the national average - except in maths - with the proportion of students gaining a C grade or above in English 8 per cent higher than in 2011. At A-level, 10 subjects had 100 per cent pass rates.

The report says: “Across all year groups the pace of learning is more consistent, as a result of careful tracking and monitoring of the progress individuals and groups of students are making.”

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However, literacy and numeracy skills were deemed to be weak and “low reading levels are a significant barrier preventing some students from gaining full access to the curriculum”.

The quality of teaching, planning and marking is improving - but “pockets of inadequate teaching remain”.

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The report says: “In a small number of lessons, students do not make enough progress because the teaching fails to enthuse and engage them fully.

“Many teachers use their good subject knowledge to make learning fun and interesting, but too often activities are dull, involving low-level tasks or work from textbooks that is insufficiently matched to their individual needs.”

Inspectors noted one of the most drastic improvements in behaviour, with attendance above average and exclusions falling dramatically due to a more consistently-applied policy.

“Around the school a positive and calm atmosphere is evident,” says the report. “Relationships in lessons are good and no disruption was observed during the inspection.”

Parents are kept informed of both successes and issues, detailed records are kept on academic progress, punctuality and behaviour and students “respond well to the challenges posed by the current building work”.

Mr Wing’s leadership was praised by inspectors, who found that the school had an improvement plan in place with regular monitoring of lessons.

The report says: “The headteacher, supported by his senior team, has created a ‘can-do’ culture in the school and staff morale is good.

“Attendance at training sessions is high and staff are eager to receive feedback on their performance in the classroom. Inadequate teaching is being tackled with determination.”

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