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Pupils’ attainment is too low: Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 October 2016 | UPDATED: 13:00 29 October 2016

Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy.  Picture: James Bass

Moorlands Church of England Primary Academy. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

The first primary school in the region’s biggest academy trust to be inspected by Ofsted has been told it requires improvement.

Moorlands Primary, in Belton, was in special measures when it became the first primary to join the Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT) in November 2013.

Following an inspection on September 28-29, Ofsted judged it “requires improvement” in all areas.

The inspection team, led by Nick Butt, wrote: “Pupils’ attainment is too low. There are gaps in the older pupils’ knowledge and understanding owing to weaker teaching in the past.”

It said the most able pupils “are not challenged enough to fulfill their potential”, teachers’ assessments were “inaccurate” last year, and added: “Teaching is too inconsistent to be judged as good overall. Teachers sometimes do not move pupils’ learning on when they are ready for greater depth.”

However, the report praised the headteacher and his deputy for bringing stability, and said they had “put in place the systems to bring about more rapid improvement”.

It also said DNEAT had become “more effective in supporting the school over time”, and its officers and advisors “have become a valuable resource”.

Headteacher Kevin Lee said: “Since the start of term we have been implementing our school improvement plan. Fortunately we had already identified for ourselves the things that Ofsted are asking us to do.

“Part of our plan is to involve more middle leaders to make teaching, learning and assessment consistently good. We want to raise pupils’ attainment in mathematics, grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as improve handwriting. We also want to challenge the most able across the curriculum. We continue to work hard so we can be ‘good’ as soon as possible, and we now have a clear steer on what must be done over the next year.”

Paul Dunning, chief executive of DNEAT, said: “In the circumstances, ‘requires improvement’, with the strengths the inspection team pulled out, was pleasing.”

He said the trust aimed for schools to be rated “good” within two years of joining it, but added the first schools to become members came when the trust did not have as robust a school improvement strategy at it does now.

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