Higham Ferrers school’s pride at positive Ofsted report

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Higham Ferrers Junior School has received glowing praise from Ofsted following an inspection in early January.

The inspectors found that the school “continues to be good” and that high expectations, strong leadership and a caring ethos are ensuring the school is going from strength to strength.

Headteacher Chris Hill said: “When you read the report, there is a great deal for everyone associated with Higham Ferrers Junior School to be proud of.

“Pupils were recognised for good behaviour and how they strive to be part of the leadership team.

“Governors are noted as being effective, supportive and ambitious and throughout the report there are comments stating that the efforts of staff are driving up how well our students do.

“In fact, at every level of the school, our progress and positive approach was commended by the inspection team.”

Inspectors found that:

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

Teachers develop pupils’ skills systematically, and pupils are encouraged to include evidence of these skills in their writing. In 2017, the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard was above the national average.

Pupils enjoying coming to school. They appreciate the many opportunities that are available to them. They feel that their teachers are ‘nice and talented’, and that there is always someone to talk to if they have a problem.

Parents and carers are positive about the work of the school.

Governors are ambitious for improvement.

The leader with responsibility for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities has ensured these pupils are well supported.

These pupils make good progress.

The inspectors highlighted two areas for improvement – reading and maths.

The report says that, while the teaching of reading across the school has been restructured, some teachers are not fully confident in delivering the new approach and their expectations of what pupils can achieve in the time is too low.

In maths classes, teachers have high expectations of the calculation skills pupils should understand, but some teachers are less confident in developing pupils’ reasoning skills and in some lessons pupils are not provided with pupils with enough opportunities to complete problem-solving activities.

The report marks the end of what the school says has been a very exciting 15 months.

Pupils have been praised for their charitable work, the school has recently received significant support from a local business to improve sports facilities (opening in March), a new classroom opened and results strengthened so that, in many areas, pupils now outperform the national average.

Chairman of governors Kim Ellis said: “This is a hugely impressive report which is testament to the incredible dedication of all the staff and pupils at the school.

“Since Mr Hill joined us in September 2016 he has been at the heart of all that is good about Higham Ferrers Junior School.

“His vision and drive, in partnership with the dedication shown by our talented teachers, will ensure that we can continue to strengthen and improve in the future.

“What is particularly pleasing is that the school is already working to build on the two areas that Ofsted advised that we focus on.

“This shows that our school is based on very strong foundations.

“It is a very exciting time to be part of Higham Ferrers Junior School.”

To read the full report visit the school’s website or visit Ofsted.