Head puts plan in place to improve on Ofsted

Langstone Junior School headteacher Lisa Dunning with, from left, Matthew Hall, Millie Howie, Tia Holt, Owen Sydall, Jorja Selway, Ella Reilly and Cameron Croucher

Langstone Junior School headteacher Lisa Dunning with, from left, Matthew Hall, Millie Howie, Tia Holt, Owen Sydall, Jorja Selway, Ella Reilly and Cameron Croucher

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THE head of a school that has just been given a ‘satisfactory’ Ofsted has launched a three-year-plan to improve it.

Lisa Dunning joined Langstone Juniors in September 2009 when it had been categorised by Portsmouth City Council as ‘causing concern’ because of its poor standards.

She has already overseen improvements at the school.

But after an 18-month blitz on literacy and numeracy teaching, which the council acknowledged in January by concluding it was out of danger, Ms Dunning says the school is ready to embark on a radical new journey.

She said: ‘I’m really pleased with the Ofsted report, which is a good reflection of where we are at the moment – a solid satisfactory with pupils coming to us with very low levels but leaving with results that are broadly in line with the national average.

‘We’ve spent the past two years focusing on literacy and numeracy teaching and as a result we’ve built very strong foundations.

‘In September, we launched the three-year-plan which I believe will carry us further along this upwards trajectory, and I’m confident by the end of it we will be a good school with outstanding features. That’s the vision.’

The plan consists of four separate strands which cover everything from pupil attainment to strengthening the governing body and monitoring and improving the teaching standards.

Most interesting is the brand new ‘skills based’ curriculum which, from September, will be based around themes, rather than separate subject lessons.

The first of these themes will be puppets and pantomime, which will run through art, when youngsters are creating the figures, history when they learn about the origins of puppetry, maths when they calculate the dimensions of the stages and literacy when they write scripts.

Ms Dunning said: ‘We’ve all set our sights on the big goal at the end of the three-year-plan. I’m excited because I have such a terrific team around me and I know we can do it. All my staff work amazingly well together and they are very driven to do the best for the children.’

Inspectors who visited the school in June praised recent improvement in the attainment and progress of pupils, as well as the increasing proportion of good teaching – the result of lesson observations and peer coaching between teachers.

Despite low attainment on entry, the report noted school leavers scored broadly average attainment in English and maths from 2010.

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