Goldthorpe school’s glowing Ofsted report

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A once failing school is now making great strides towards becoming outstanding, an education watchdog has said.

Ofsted placed Dearne Goldthorpe Primary School into ‘Special Measures’ in 2008 and also gave it a ‘3 Satisfactory’ rating – the second lowest possible – at a follow up visit in November 2010. Inspectors described pupil standards as ‘below average’ and said the school ‘does not provide value for money’.

But inspectors observed the school had made a number of improvements after a recent visit in July this year and handed it a rating of ‘2 Good’.

Insp Alan Parkinson said: “Standards are rising across all year groups as pupils make better progress in reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils leave school at the end of Year 6 well prepared for the next stage of their education.”

The school was previously criticised for poor standards in English and maths, due in part because teachers failed to raise expectations and did not introduce enough practical exercises to bring learning to life.

But teachers were praised this time for providing children with a ‘wide range of resources and equipment’ which ensures students make ‘rapid progress.’

Leadership was rated as ‘1 Outstanding’ – the highest possible – as the headteacher, senior leaders and governing body ‘have accurately identified the school’s strengths and areas for improvement’.

The report also praised the school’s system for checking pupil achievement as ‘robust’ and said senior managers regularly monitor lessons which has helped to raise standards.

Pupil achievement, teaching and behaviour was given an overall rating of ‘2 Good’.

It concludes the school could be rated as ‘1 Outstanding’ if staff give more clear guidance on how pupils can improve when marking work and set harder tasks to ensure they are always challenged. Headteacher Sarah Fields was not available for comment at the time of going to press.