December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Louisa Lay
Friday, September 13, 2013
A school hit by tragedy and a damning Ofsted report has been taken out of special measures.
Ditchingham Primary School was rated inadequate by inspectors in February last year, shortly before the death of its headteacher Gwyn James wh o had been suffering from a long illness.
Acting headteacher Sue Sweet has been working, with the support of the teaching staff and governing body, to improve the school.
And its latest report has revealed the fruits of their labour with inspectors finding it is no longer inadequate, although it still requires improvement.
Mrs Sweet, who is a county headteacher, said a new reception teacher, intake of new children and a strong band of governors had been a huge benefit.
The school is now in the process of becoming an academy, sponsored by the Diocese of Norwich Education Academy Trust.
The latest Ofsted report said: “Progress in writing has improved considerably. Year six pupils have achieved and exceeded the level expected by the end of year six in both their national tests in spelling, grammar and punctuation and in their writing, which has improved at a good pace over the last year. These, and the results of this year’s reading test, show a considerable improvement on last year’s.
“Children in the reception year are now making the progress expected of them.....Their progress has increased recently because the teaching and the organisation of the curriculum have improved.
“Pupils throughout the school behave well. In years three to six, most pupils approach the tasks the teachers set them with enthusiasm. Most concentrate well and persevere to complete their work. In discussion, parents say that they greatly welcome the marked improvements in behaviour and attitudes evident, both in school and on the playground.
“The acting headteacher has given the school clear direction, resulting in improvements in key areas.”
Mrs Sweet, who is due to remain at the school until Christmas, said she was delighted with the comments made by inspectors after an incredibly turbulent time.
She said: “We have had a much larger intake of reception children this year, which I hope means the community feels more confident about the school.
“I feel really excited, year six have got good results, the future is looking good for the children. Watch this space.”
The school has been asked to improve the quality of the teaching of mathematics and the sounds that letters make so that pupils make faster progress and reach higher standards.
It has also been asked to improve the leadership and management of the school by extending the roles of the teachers responsible for subjects and areas of the school’s work and sharpen action plans so that they are focused on the areas most in need of improvement.