Litcham School earns ‘good’ rating from Ofsted

Head Rob Martlew and Kate Atkins, head of primary phase, with pupils. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Head Rob Martlew and Kate Atkins, head of primary phase, with pupils. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A school which was told it required improvement two years ago has been given a 'good' rating by education watchdogs.

Ofsted inspectors say the new headteacher Rob Martlew has had 'a significant impact on raising the expectations of both teachers and pupils' at Litcham High School and 'restored the drive to ensure that every pupil must achieve their best'.

It adds that 'the quality of teaching, learning and assessment is good', while 'most pupils achieve well' at the school. Other highlights in the report include praise for the 'outstanding' care and support for pupils, with high priority given to their personal development and welfare.

It adds: 'The gaps in achievement between disadvantaged pupils and their peers at Key Stage 3 are rapidly closing.'

The report also states that 'older pupils act as good role models for younger pupils in the school'.

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Mr Martlew, who took up his position at the school near Fakenham in September, said: 'I seriously think we're on the pathway now to becoming an outstanding school. I am determined that we will achieve this rapidly.

'It's all about pupils and staff, it's a family. It is genuinely a family school.

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'I am immensely proud of this school and its pupils and staff and delighted that Ofsted have judged the school to be 'good' and well on its way towards being outstanding.

'My feelings are summarised perfectly by the phrase in the report that we are creating a 'culture where pupils can succeed and are well cared for'.

Pupils said there had been a considerable improvement at the school.

Head boy Josh Sutton said: 'There's been a lot of change, a lot more gets done in lessons and you get a lot more feedback on how to improve.' Head girl Kate Boardman added: 'It's definitely improved, people who misbehave get spoken to a quicker.'

Others praised the quality of teaching and the school library.

Pupils Georgina Denny, Philippa Dewin, Amelia Platt and Madeleine Ridout came second in the national final of the Kids Lit Quiz in Oxford last week, missing first place by only three points.

Last year, the school came first winning pupils a trip to America.

With 630 pupils on its roll Litcham is one of Norfolk's few all-through schools, meaning pupils can complete their education from the ages of four to 16 on the same site.

The Ofsted report highlights a handful of factors that need further work if the school is to be rated overall as 'outstanding'.

These include raising expectations for the most-able pupils, who 'are not asked to work or think hard enough'.

Improvement is required in the early-years part of the school, with the outdoor area described as 'lacklustre'. Meanwhile, Key Stage 2 results fall short of national expectations.

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