School near Oswestry asked to improve but priorities are right

Children at a Shropshire school could be doing better at reading, writing, maths and science, and teaching in some classes is not challenging enough, Ofsted has ruled.

They said the all-through St Martins School “requires improvement” and teaching in Key Stages 3 and 4 science is “not yet good”.

Inspectors visited the school in the village, near Oswestry, on May 8 and 9.

Ofsted inspector Charalambos Loizou did say the school is getting better and that headteacher Sue Lovecy has identified “the right priorities for sustained improvement.”

Mr Loizou said: “Although pupils’ achievement is improving, they could still be doing better in reading, writing, mathematics and science across the key stages.

“Teachers are not always asking questions that deepen pupils’ understanding. This limits opportunities for pupils to master higher levels of understanding.

“Pupils in key stages one and two with the potential to reach or exceed age-related standards in writing and mathematics do not always do so.

“Pupils do not have enough opportunities to improve their writing. Many pupils make unnecessary spelling and punctuation errors.

“Pupils in key stages 3 and 4 do not make enough progress in science because teaching is not yet good.

“The teaching in some classes is not challenging enough. Uneven improvements to pupils’ achievements across the school reflect inconsistencies in teaching.

“As a result, not enough pupils in key stage 4 attain the highest grades in English, mathematics and science.”

  • See the full Ofsted report for St Martins School here.

He added: “Good systems are in place to improve teaching and assessment.

“The strongest practice is being shared, laying secure foundations for sustained improvement.

“The curriculum and enrichment activities, such as sport, music, drama and art, interest and energise pupils.

“Pupils are effectively taught British values of respect and tolerance of all faiths, customs and cultures.

“The school makes a strong contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

“Pupils are well-behaved, respectful and polite. There are very positive relationships between pupils and staff.”

Ms Lovecy said: “Ofsted praised the strong effective leadership, which has led to a sustained improvement in the quality of education at our school.

“As headteacher I am incredibly proud of our students, staff and the community we serve.

“Ofsted’s parent view questionnaire showed overwhelming support from parents with many commenting that ‘their children receive the right support and guidance and are confident that the staff care and value their children’ and that ‘the school has a friendly, family ethos and a strong community approach’.

“We now need to build on the good practice that already exists to ensure that all students have the correct level of challenge in every lesson and sustain the improvements in progress and attainment across the school.”

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