Stoke Ferry school is good

Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Education news from the Lynn News,, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

Education leaders in a West Norfolk village have spoken of their delight after their school was rated as good by inspectors.

The verdict on the James Bradfield Primary in Stoke Ferry was delivered in a new Ofsted report published last week.

The document marks a triumphant end to a turbulent few years for the school, which had been rated as inadequate as recently as December 2010 and was found to ‘require improvement’ when inspectors returned in March of last year.

Carol Nicholas-Letch, chairman of the school’s governing body, said: “Everyone involved with the school is very proud of our achievement.

“Good teaching, excellent teamwork and good relationships and a caring ethos continue to be at the heart of our success as a school, and I’m sure we will continue to go from strength to strength.”

The new report, which was published last Friday, followed a two-day visit to the school last month.

During that period, inspector Stephen Palmer observed several lessons, held talks with senior managers and pupils and examined the views of parents who had taken part in a survey.

He reported that, from starting positions which were normally below the national average, pupils made good progress in reading, writing and maths, with less able pupils making particularly significant progress.

The report said there had been a “trend of improvement” in standards over recent years, with the latest Key Stage 2 test results from 2013 showing above average standards in reading and maths, with slightly lower levels recorded for writing.

Pupils were said to work hard in their classes, though Mr Palmer said he observed occasions when they were slow to stop talking on a teacher’s instruction.

However, he added: “This is a result of their enthusiasm to discuss their work, rather than to deliberately disrupt the lesson.”

The quality of teaching was also praised and the inspector said the work in pupils’ books showed that they quickly gained new skills and knowledge.

The report added: “ Leaders regularly check on the quality of teaching and learning to ensure that pupils make good progress.

“Through these checks, and as a result of training, teaching and achievement have improved since the previous inspection.”

And the school’s governing body, which was said to have gone through a period of high turnover of membership, was also commended for both supporting and challenging staff.

To become an outstanding school, the report said pupils’ writing achievement, which was not as strong as in reading and maths, would need to be improved.

And Mr Palmer added: “Although many pupils make more progress than similar pupils nationally, the more-able pupils are not challenged enough to help them make better progress than similar pupils.”