School praised following visit by inspectors

A primary school recently named as one of the best in the country has been praised by education inspectors.

Thursday, 13th April 2017, 2:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:06 pm
Lowton Junior and Infant Schools head girl Lily Henson, headteacher Alison Davies and head boy Luke Preston with the letter from Nick Gibb MP

Lowton Junior And Infant School was last month ranked in the top three per cent in the country and received a letter from minister for school standards Nick Gibb highlighting how much progress pupils were making.

Now that progress has been recognised by Ofsted, which found the school remained “good” after a short inspection.

In a letter to headteacher Alison Davies, inspector Sheila Iwaskow wrote: “The progress that pupils make at key stage two is a real strength of the school. Quite simply, progress is outstanding for reading, writing and mathematics. This significant achievement was formally commended by the Department for Education.

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“A similar congratulatory letter from the same department was sent to the school acknowledging that the education provided is ‘highly effective in educating disadvantaged pupils’.”

The inspector found the school had gone from “strength to strength” and praised Mrs Davies’ “sheer determination, passion and commitment to make the school even better”.

She wrote: “Your own commitment and that of your staff to educating the ‘whole child’ shine through in all that you do. The level of support given to pupils and families who are facing difficulties is second to none.”

Staff were “very proud” to work at the school, while pupils were excited about going to school and were “exceptionally well behaved, polite and keen to learn”.

Pupils felt safe, talked about their “amazing teachers” and liked the range of out-of-school clubs.

While pupils’ progress at key stage two was praised, the inspector found outcomes at the end of key stage one were “not quite as strong” and could be improved with “a greater level of challenge”.

She also found that while pupils read with “fluency and expression”, some reading books did not challenge them and a small number of parents did not read with their children at home.

Recommendations for improvements included ensuring more pupils reach higher standards in reading, writing and maths in key stage one, and having feedback given to teachers after lesson observations be more sharply focused on the progress that different groups of pupils are making.