Turnaround as Great Cornard school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted

Pot Kiln Primary School has been rated as good by Oftsed inspectors. ANL-160512-161444009
Pot Kiln Primary School has been rated as good by Oftsed inspectors. ANL-160512-161444009

A Great Cornard school previously deemed to ‘require improvement’ has been rated good in all areas in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Pot Kiln Primary School in Butt Road had failed to achieve a ‘good’ overall standard since 2005, having been judged by government inspectors as requiring improvement - the third of four possible ratings - in the previous two inspections in 2014 and 2012 and the lowest grade of inadequate in 2011.

Headteacher Toni Davis said she was delighted with the result, but said the school was already focusing on further improvement.

“As with all inspections, next steps have been identified which will help us to improve the school further,” she said. “As a senior team, we have already begun action planning to address these points.

“As ever, we will ensure that Pot Kiln Primary School continues to go from strength to strength. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the entire community for your support, commitment and dedication.

“I work alongside the most amazing team of people. The staff at Pot Kiln have given so much to improve outcomes for our young people and their families. They have remained loyal to the vision and shown such belief.”

She also praised the pupils and their parents for helping the school achieve the required standard.

The school was inspected on November 1 and 2, by Simon Harbrow, Stewart Caplen and Richard Hopkins.

In their report they wrote: “Since the last inspection, the headteacher has continued to improve the school so that it is now good.

“Through a determined commitment to move the school forward, leaders have transformed the school in the last two years, so that pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, achieve their potential.”

They added that governors had a good understanding of the strengths of the school and held leaders to account where performance needed to improve.

The report continued: “Pupils’ progress is improving across a range of subjects. Standards in reading, writing and mathematics have improved since the previous inspection.”

Again parental support was noted and pupils’ behaviour and positive attitude was praised. Children in Early Years were described as getting off to a ‘flying start’.

In contrast the inspectors said: “When the learning is not sufficiently challenging, a minority of pupils become restless and do not work as hard as they could,” adding that sometimes the most able pupils needed to be challenged further.

The school was given three key recommendations for further improvement:

•To provide work that challenges the most able pupils in mathematics to use and apply their skills so that a greater proportion of pupils reach the higher standard by the end of key stage 2.

• To improve the quality of teaching of phonics to raise the proportion of pupils who achieve the expected standard by the end of Year 1.

• To improve the impact of leadership and management further by middle leaders precisely checking the impact of their actions on the progress that groups of pupils make in their work.

Overall the school was graded good in all four areas: Effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for pupils; and ‘Early Years provision’.