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School in special measures making fast progress - say Ofsted

Clare Fletcher, Headteacher of North Walsham Junior School explains "When I started in September I knew we needed to turn things around very quickly and, based upon strong evidence and research about what works, it was easy to convince the Governing Body to invest in the Read Write Inc. and Maths Makes Sense programmes. That decision was clearly the right one and the pupils are already reaping the benefits."

The three things that have made a real difference are:

  • Methodical, interactive learning systems
  • Consistent, whole-school practice
  • High quality training for all staff

Following a two-day monitoring visit last week Ofsted reported that:

In the short time since September, the new headteacher has made significant changes to the curriculum and many other aspects of the school. Notably, commercially available and structured learning packages for reading, writing and mathematics have been introduced throughout the school. This means that teaching and learning, inadequate at the last inspection, have stabilised because they are better structured and paced than previously. Associated with this, the extent and frequency of catch-up sessions has been substantially increased. This is having a marked effect on those pupils who need it. Inspectors paid close attention to their work and noted an acceleration of the progress made by these and other pupils since September. This approach is beginning to accelerate pupils’ progress in all year groups, and especially those who have fallen behind.