Inspectors call for improvement at Stoke Ferry school

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A West Norfolk village school has been told it needs to do more to reach consistently high standards following a visit by inspectors.

The All Saints Academy in Stoke Ferry has been deemed to require improvement in an Ofsted report this week.

But the assessment also praised the “flying start” given to youngsters in its early years programme.

The findings follows a two day visit to the school last month, which was the first to be made by inspectors since the school became an academy, under the sponsorship of the Diocese of Ely, in 2014.

It said the quality of teaching, learning and assessment varied across the school and particularly in reading and writing.

Although the teaching of maths was described as “strong”, with the proportion of junior age children exceeding expected standards being above national averages, the report said the proportion of pupils reaching expected standards in key stage one or higher standards for reading and writing in key stage two were both below nationally expected levels.

It added: “A very small minority of parents do not share the confidence of others in raising concerns, or in the good work of the school.”

Questions were also raised about the school’s governance systems, which the inspectors said were “unproven.”

They called for the school’s sponsors to train a local governing body and for improved communication to raise parental confidence.

But the inspectors also said school leaders were aware of its strengths and weaknesses and that their “positive effect was highly evident.”

They added that youngsters were safe, well cared for and polite, with “very well developed” spiritual, moral and social education.

And they reserved particular praise for the school’s early years provision.

They said: “Children get off to a flying start in the early years class. Adults know them well and plan exciting activities that meet children’s interest and needs well.”

To improve, the report called for higher quality teaching of writing and more consistent standards of work presentation.

It also recommended the teaching of reading across the curriculum programme, plus renewed efforts to aim for higher attainment levels.