Report gives school’s progress a thumbs up

The progress of a primary school has been recognised after its Ofsted rating was upgraded following a recent inspection.

Cavendish Primary School has been graded as “good” by the education authority after a visit last month.

The school in The Green was previously rated as “satisfactory” when inspectors last judged teaching standards three years ago.

Lead inspector Michael Sutherland-Harper said the school, which has 72 children, had shown a marked improvement.

“Teaching is good and some is outstanding,” he said.

“Pupils’ behaviour is always at least good in lessons and around school. Often it is exemplary.”

The inspection, which coincided with the school celebrating World Book Day and saw many pupils dressing up as their favourite characters, rated the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching and leadership and management as “good”.

The report stated that pupils felt safe in school and bullying was very rare.

Mr Sutherland-Harper also praised the work of headteacher Cheryl Wass, who took up the position in September 2010.

“The headteacher accurately identified achievement and quality of teaching as areas for improvement in her school development plan and has worked effectively to raise the quality of both, including during a period of high staff turnover,” he said.

“Systems for managing staff performance are rigorous and presented clearly so all staff can understand. Teachers know they are accountable for the performance of their classes.”

Miss Wass said she was pleased with the progress of the school, which has a silver eco award for its work in educating pupils about recycling and reducing emissions.

“We are delighted that the strengths and creativity within the school have been formally identified,” she said.

“The Ofsted report reflects the talents and commitments of the whole community and the children’s love of learning.”

In order to achieve the top Ofsted rating of “outstanding”, Mr Sutherland-Harper said teaching standards needed to be improved further still and pupils needed to be stretched more in their learning.

“There are a few lessons where teachers do not challenge pupils enough, and presentation of work is variable,” he said.

“In these lessons, pupils do not have regular opportunities to work on their own.”

l A pupil referral unit in Great Cornard has been commended for its work.

Hampden House Hostel has been rated as “good” by Ofsted following a visit in March.

The unit provides short-stay, full-time education and residential care for pupils between 11 and 14. Those who attend may have been excluded from school.

“Pupils’ attainment on entry to the unit is low, given their previous histories of disruption to learning, disaffection and poor attendance,” said lead inspector Declan McCarthy.

“Within two terms of their stay at the unit, they make good progress in closing the gap in their performance with other pupils nationally.”