Park Lane School in Whittlesey told it needs to improve despite a list of positives

Rob Litten headteacher at Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey

Rob Litten headteacher at Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

A Whittlesey school has been told it needs improving despite a list of positives across the board including praise for a new special needs leader and pupils who are polite and respectful.

Ofsted lead inspector Kim Hall visited Park Lane Primary and Nursery school, along with four other inspectors who said the school needs to improve leadership, teaching, personal development and pupils outcomes.

The nursery, however, is good, according to her report, which said children get off to a “flying start” and are well cared for in a stimulating environment.

Ms Hall said that achievement of its 480 pupils fluctuated and some had too much catching up to do in year 6.

“The most able pupils are not consistently challenged as well as they could be,” she said.

“Teachers do not consistently implement the school’s expectation of presentation of work.

“Some pupils do not take a pride in the work they produce. Some adults accept a poor quality of handwriting without correction,” she added.

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“Pupils can at times lose focus easily and chat too much. This happens when activities are dull, poorly resourced and do not encourage a love of learning in different subjects.

However, she listed many positives following her visit, which included:

• The new headteacher Rob Litten and senior leadership team bring energy, values and clear direction.

• Children settle quickly into nursery and develop good attitudes to learning.

• Pupils are safe and well cared for.

• Pupils are courteous and respectful and are proud of their school.

• Attendance is good.

• Outcomes from phonics have risen and are above average in Year 1.

• The new special needs leader is reaping rewards.

Ms Hall said: “Some pupils’ attitudes to learning are not yet good. This is because of the varying quality of teaching in some year groups.

“There has been considerable change in the leadership of the school since it became an academy in January 2014.

“Since September 2015, following a period of turbulence, the new headteacher has brought a renewed sense of vision,” she said.

• In the last year the school has changed academy sponsor from Whittlesey Learning Trust to become part of the Aspire Learning Trust.

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