Give us time and we can improve, says Waterlooville school head

FUN LEARNING Executive head Diane Lawry with (l-r) Dylan Chase, Chloe Hill, Robert Painting, and Bonnie May, who have worked on a time machine to study history.   Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113331-1)
FUN LEARNING Executive head Diane Lawry with (l-r) Dylan Chase, Chloe Hill, Robert Painting, and Bonnie May, who have worked on a time machine to study history. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (113331-1)

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IT MAY take a little time – but a primary school placed in the worst Ofsted category is determined to make a future success of itself.

Youngsters at Woodcroft Primary, in Waterlooville, are enjoying this term’s time machine theme that will be used in every subject across the curriculum to bring lessons to life.

But the school has just been placed in special measures, with the threat of closure if it does not improve soon.

Executive head Diane Lawry, who has been drafted in by the Hampshire County Council, remains optimistic.

She insists it is a school with ‘so much potential, so many bright kids and a beautiful new building’ and is well on its way to being a source of pride for the community.

She said: ‘The report is a picture of where the school was last year.

‘We’ve got a job to do but we have already put the right things in place.

‘It shouldn’t be too long before things start looking up.

‘We have a team of high-calibre teachers who are determined to make this school great. We’re not going to let it close – the community needs it.’

Ofsted inspectors, who visited the school before the holidays, criticised inadequate teaching, pupil attainment, behaviour and attendance.

The assessment was underlined by the fact that only 38 per cent of 11-year-olds achieved target levels in both English and maths Key Stage Two exams, compared with 74 per cent nationally.

But since Mrs Lawry’s appointment along with an interim board of governors earlier this year, the school has felt a positive impact.

It has seven new teachers out of nine, a new head in Mike Elson, formerly deputy head at Sharps Copse Primary in Havant, and a new code of behaviour with serious consequences for disruptive pupils.

Mrs Lawry said: ‘Even the children say they have noticed things are getting sorted.

‘We are making them understand they are here to learn – we’ve raised our expectations and they are rising to the challenge.’