Seal of approval for Plover Primary

Pupils of Plover Primary School are celebrating after the school received an improved Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe
Pupils of Plover Primary School are celebrating after the school received an improved Ofsted report. Picture: Andrew Roe

The “relentless focus” of the headteacher at a Doncaster primary school on improving the quality of teaching has been singled out by Ofsted inspectors.

Plover Primary, previously said to “require improvement” following an inspection in 2013 received a “good” rating across the board following the latest visit.

A report published this week by Ofsted praised headteacher Steve Bowler as being the driving force behind many of the improvements.

The report said: “Since the last inspection, the relentless focus of the headteacher on improving the quality of teaching has been key to the school’s rapid improvement.

“Pupils achieve well and, from their low starting points, they now reach average standards in writing and mathematics.

“Current pupils’ progress

in reading also shows considerable improvement and standards are broadly average across the school.”

The school was given good for leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching, achievement of pupils and early years provision were all praised.

The report added: “Governors told inspectors that they were impressed by the speed at which the headteacher has been able to improve the school.

“He works very closely with governors to update school policies, put in place staff structures and provide training for all who need it. As a result, the school has rapidly improved the quality of teaching and achievement and is well placed to continue to improve.”

The behaviour of pupils was also highlighted by inspectors who spent two days at the Coniston Road school in June.

The report said: “The ‘can do’ mood inspired by school leaders has a strong impact on pupils’ behaviour.

“Pupils are friendly and polite. They get on well with one another. 
“The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development strongly.”

Inspectors found that leaders had improved ways of checking how well pupils are learning and making sure that teachers understand the progress pupils make and how to help them make faster progress.

Inspectors said the school was not yet outstanding as teachers generally use questions to check pupils’ basic understanding rather than to help them to build deeper understanding and learn more quickly.

Inspectors also noted that not enough pupils, including those who are most able, make better than expected progress in writing in Key Stage 1.

To improve further inspectors highlighted ares including the strengthening of good teaching so that pupils make even more progress, more activities aimed at promoting high-quality language skills and strengthening the role of middle leaders.