Whittlesey Park Lane School and Nursery requires improvement in all areas apart from the early years say Ofsted inspectors who added it is already ‘an improving school’

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 is improving thanks to its new headteacher and leadership team.

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

But government inspectors still rated Park Lane Primary and Nursery School as requiring improvement across all areas although its early years provision is rated good.

Ofsted inspectors who visited the school over two days in October found that pupils’ achievements at the end of key stage 2 fluctuates year on year and “some pupils have not made enough progress in every year group, and have had too much catching up to do in Year 6”.

The five person team lead by Kim Hall, lead inspector, also found “most able pupils are not consistently challenged as well as they could be. This results in these pupils not working hard or achieving the high standards of which they are capable”.

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

And that “teachers do not consistently implement the school’s expectations of presentation of work. Consequently, some pupils do not take a pride in the work they produce. Some adults accept a poor quality of handwriting without correction.”


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The report, which was sent out to parents at the end of last week, also said “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”.

It also recognised that while the school’s leaders have a “clear understanding of the priorities for improving the school, it is too early to assess the impact of their improvement work” because a number of them are new to post.

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey

Park Lane Primary and Nursery School Whittlesey - Credit: Archant

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Having said that the report pointed out the school is “improving” the new headteacher, Rob Litten, and senior leadership team “have brought energy and clear direction. They have an accurate view of the school’s performance”.

It also praised pupils who are “polite, courteous and respectful” and they are “happy and proud of their school”.

Attendance is also good and pupils are safe and well cared for.

While the effectiveness of leadership and management requires improvement the inspectors found that the leaders have introduced a “robust system for checking the progress and attainment of pupils in each year group” and they “regularly check the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, giving appropriate challenge and support where the standard of teaching falls below their high expectations”.

The chairman of governors is committed to “raising standards” for all pupils and ensures that governors visit the school to check that pupils are happy and safe.

The governance of the school has been strengthened since July 2016 and roles and responsibilities are clearly defined with the governors, focusing on raising achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.

The report says the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is improving. But inconsistencies in teaching remain, particularly in Years 2 and 3, and the inspectors found this is because teachers are not using assessment information well enough to plan learning that meets the needs of different groups of pupils in their class.

“For some,” says the report “particularly the most able pupils, the work is too easy and lacks opportunity for them to explore and grapple with activities.”

While in classes where teachers use information effectively “the most able pupils relish the challenge to demonstrate their skills and abilities and make good progress over time.”

The report also highlights the fact that pupils read well and enjoy reading, but work is needed to improve their writing. They also need to develop and use their phonics skills to impact their spelling.

Jonathan Digby, CEO and executive principal of Aspire Learning Trust which is responsible for running the school, said: “I am confident that Mr Litten and all the staff at Park Lane Primary and Nursery School can continue the improvements seen over the last few months, to provide the very best education for their pupils.

“The Aspire Learning Trust would like to recognise the high quality leadership shown by Mr Litten and the senior team, which has already had a very positive impact on the school. We recognise that there are still areas to improve and the challenge to the school will be to quickly move the quality of teaching, learning and assessment to good and I am confident that effective action is already taking place to implement this.”

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