Bure Valley School in Aylsham requires improvement after Ofsted inspection

John Starling, headteacher of Bure Valley School, Aylsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

John Starling, headteacher of Bure Valley School, Aylsham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A headteacher is confident his junior school will have a good Ofsted report within a year despite being told that it requires improvement following an inspection.

John Starling, from Bure Valley School on Hungate Street, Aylsham, said the report from the inspection on October 23-24 recognised the school staff were striving for excellence.

The school was judged as good after the last inspection in September 2010 but fell to requires improvement – which replaced the term satisfactory since the previous Ofsted visit.

It pioneered a new style of school building after a £3m structure with no corridors, a central quiet area, large classrooms for up to 70 children and a big library was opened last year.

Mr Starling said: 'The report is generally very positive.


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'We are disappointed to be judged as requiring improvement, but we have had a huge amount of change over a short period of time.'

Because of the new school building there was three years of disruption and lessons in mobile classrooms before the building was finished, according to Mr Starling.

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Four teachers also left in the summer, who were replaced by the same amount of people. There are now 12 teachers in the 260-pupil school, which teaches seven to 11-year-olds. 'I think the teachers we currently have are the strongest we have had for a long time. We are focused on making sure there is consistency in the school. We confidently expect that within a year we will be a good school. I don't think we are far from good at the moment,' Mr Starling said.

He added: 'The building is a phenomenal resource. The children get a lot from it.' The headteacher said the £3m structure encouraged 'independence, collaboration and dialogue' and allowed for different teaching options.

Some of the reasons why Bure Valley School was not given a good rating included pupils not achieving as much as they could in reading and maths and not always being given enough time to practise skills in lessons. Mr Starling said pupils had a good reading level but standards had stayed the same.

His three main target areas are the reading issues; making maths lessons more pacey; and developing skills of the subject leaders and middle management.

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