Celebrations as better teaching brings praise from inspection team for Portsmouth school

SUCCESS Isambard Brunel Junior School pupils, from front left, Charlie McGriskin, Mia Gomez-Seaton, Lynden Ravensdale, Kyle McKenna. Back, from left,  Callum Fantham, Jade Luther, Denika Frost, Khadijah Ahmed. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122390-1)
SUCCESS Isambard Brunel Junior School pupils, from front left, Charlie McGriskin, Mia Gomez-Seaton, Lynden Ravensdale, Kyle McKenna. Back, from left, Callum Fantham, Jade Luther, Denika Frost, Khadijah Ahmed. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122390-1)

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STRONG leadership and the elimination of inadequate teaching has seen a Portsmouth school receive an improved Ofsted report.

Inspectors visited Isambard Brunel Junior School in North End in June.

The school had previously been rated ‘inadequate’ in its last inspection in September 2010.

But inspectors praised improvements at the school recognising that recent expansion of the leadership team has brought about considerable and rapid improvements. They improved the rating to ‘satisfactory’.

Iain Gilmour, headteacher at the school, said: ‘We are very pleased that the improvements we have made have been recognised and that the work of the last 18 months has had an impact on the children’s outcomes.

‘We also know this isn’t the end of the journey.

‘This is the next stage on our way to becoming a “good” school.

‘The acknowledgement that there was good and outstanding teaching is one we were very pleased with.

‘That’s what we need to build on to make sure that all the teaching is at that level. The reading is beginning to make fast progress.’

The report noted that pupils enjoy school, as reflected in above average attendance, and that they have good attitudes to learning.

Attainment in maths is higher than that in English, as a result of strong subject leadership and a focus on maths. Progress in reading and writing is beginning to accelerate, but not yet at a fast enough rate to enable pupils to catch up.

The gap between achievement in maths and in English, however, is narrowing.

Much good and outstanding teaching was observed.

However, the school still has improvements to make with inspectors focusing on raising pupils’ achievement in English and enabling children to progress by ensuring that teaching is consistently good and that expectations are high.

‘The good thing was that the things they said we needed to improve, we had already identified,’ added Mr Gilmour.

‘It’s the children’s progress to get the progress from satisfactory to good that is going to be the key for us.

‘We are confident now that we have got everything in place to make those further improvements.

‘We will get there by making sure all the teaching is the best it can be and by being ambitious for our children’s progress. I am really proud of all the children and the staff.’