Little London Primary School in Leeds has been given a Requires Improvement rating by Ofsted following a recent inspection.
Inspectors visited the school on November 15 and 16 last year. It had previously been rated Good at its last inspection in 2014.
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Staff were told to improve across four of the five key assessment areas - effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; outcomes for pupils and early years provision. The fifth area - personal development, behaviour and welfare - was rated Good.
The school hit the headlines in 2017, when headteacher Jill Wood put her job on the line after refusing to run SATs exams for year six children in the interests of their mental health. The pupils were taken on educational trips to Whitby and Ingleton Falls instead.
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The school's weaknesses
- The systems that school leaders use to check the standards that pupils reach and the progress that they make are in their infancy. Over the past three years, leaders have not had a handle on the assessment of pupils.
-Over the past few years, pupils have been making less and less progress at school. Leaders have only recently halted this decline. Their ‘eye has been off the ball’.
- Improvement planning is not precise. This includes strategies to improve provision for disadvantaged pupils in receipt of the pupil premium.
- The governing body has not effectively challenged school leaders in the past.
- The quality of teaching at the school is not consistently good. For example, the teaching of reading is not consistently strong. Pupils are not taught to develop skills such as inference and deduction effectively.
- Until very recently, teachers have not had the tools to enable them to spot gaps in pupils’ learning in order to ensure that these are plugged and that pupils make the progress of which they are capable.
- Too few children leave Reception ready for learning in Year One. There are inconsistencies in the teaching of phonics across the school.
- The progress that current pupils make requires improvement in subjects across the curriculum.
The school's strengths
- The school is at the heart of its community. The care and concern that staff show for pupils and their families is palpable. The school is an inclusive place where all pupils are celebrated. - Pupils are confident, polite and courteous, and they show respect for one another. Their wellbeing is at the forefront of leaders’ minds.
- The teaching of mathematics is improving strongly because leaders previously identified this as an issue and have worked hard to improve provision.
- The curriculum is effective in ensuring that pupils who are new to speaking English make strong progress at the beginning of their time at school and settle-in well.
- Leaders and teachers work very well with parents. Parents engage with school with increasing confidence. They trust the school.
- Pupils are proud of their school. Teachers want pupils to be proud of themselves and celebrate their successes in assembly. Pupils’ self-confidence is strong as a result.
Phil Mellen, deputy director of learning at Little London Primary School, said:-
“Little London is a highly inclusive school at the heart of a diverse and growing community, which has expanded rapidly from a one-form to a three-form entry school to support the increasing number of children arriving in Leeds.
“The entire staff team and governing body are disappointed with this judgement from Ofsted, and are working with the local authority on their Ofsted Action Plan, which will address the findings of the report and continue work already started to improve standards and outcomes for all children.
“There are many positives in the report and the school is committed to building on these to make further improvements. These include the good progress that children are making as a result of actions already taken, the new assessment systems that have been put in place to rigorously track pupil progress, and the extensive support programmes in place to ensure that all children are supported to achieve their potential.”