Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. The purpose of Ofsted is to inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.
Re: Ofsted Report - October 2021
Following is the latest Ofsted report for Lakenham Primary School. There are so many strengths that have been recognised within the report. When I joined the school as headteacher in September 2018, we began a five-year plan for improvement. This inspection happened after three years, two which were interrupted by COVID. To ensure children can become the best learners, the foundations of wellbeing, behaviour and personal development needed to be solid; these are. An interesting curriculum has been developed and the next step that was on the journey of improvement is working on the detailed specific knowledge to be taught so that it builds each year.
Behaviour and attitudes– I am thrilled that at the end of the inspection, the inspectors agreed that all of the good criteria and all bar one area of the outstanding criteria were met. However, as all the outstanding criteria now needs to be met, rather than best fit from the past, the judgement is Good. The inspectors praised the pastoral support, CALM provision and approaches that meet the needs of children.
“Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes towards each other is of a high standard ……. This is partly due to the interesting nature of the curriculum. It is also because of the way that leaders and staff have focused on pupils’ wellbeing. As a result, pupils are able to overcome worries and anxieties so that they can better access their lessons.”
Personal Development– The inspectors agreed that all of the good criteria and most of the outstanding criteria were met, the judgement is Good. Inspectors talked about how children talked in a mature way about fairness and respect, including relating this to children with different needs. I was so proud that the inspectors recognised that as leaders we want children to develop positive attitudes towards different people and that an inclusive environment has been developed, where children play together and look after each other.
Leadership and management– The inspectors agreed that all of the good criteria and some of the outstanding criteria were met. The judgement is Good. The inspectors gave us feedback regarding the links we have with the community being a strength, as this is an area that has been a focus. In conversations about safeguarding, the inspectors confirmed that the school’s practise should be shared with other schools as it is of a significant strength.
EYFS – The inspectors were able to see the high-quality provision and agreed that the judgement is good. This is an area in the next inspection that will be Outstanding as it was so nearly this time.
Quality of education - The inspectors agreed that 13 of the 17 areas of the good criteria were met. In feedback sessions, I was proud to hear that the inspectors could see that we are passionate for children to have a holistic education. That children have had access to all subject areas, including during lockdown. They recognised that the curriculum builds on interests and skills to learn. In the end, what the inspectors wanted was more detail about the facts that are taught to the children. This is something that has already started, but as it wasn’t finished for all subjects. The judgement for the quality of education is Requires Improvement, and under the new Ofsted framework, this is a limiting factor, meaning the overall grade cannot be any higher than the judgement for quality of education. This doesn't mean our curriculum is poor, it is not. Schools from around the country ask us about how we are teaching because it has children at the heart, we just need to ensure that the facts the children are learning are documented in more detail.
I can’t wait for the next inspection which will happen in approximately 18 months from the date of this inspection. That gives us time to further improve all areas so that the outstanding practise that is within our school is then recognised. While ensuring that the key knowledge is more clearly mapped across all areas of the curriculum which will make our curriculum sparkle.
For long term improvement, foundations need to be solid, tested and built on. This is what we have been doing since 2018. Children are happy and doing well, they ask big questions and apply their knowledge. The report does not read like we are a requires improvement school, because Lakenham Primary is not. Only having one area for improvement is usually what Outstanding or very strong good schools get, we have only one area of improvement. We will continue to try our best, do our best and be our best to show the wonderful school we are.
Mrs WilliamsOfsted | Lakenham Primary School
The goal of Ofsted and for the staff at Lakenham Primary and Nursery School is to achieve excellence in education and skills for learners of all ages, and in the care of children and young people.