New headteacher promises to get the top grade for Old Portsmouth school

AMBITION Joy Waelend, headteacher of St Jude's.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (113374-3)
AMBITION Joy Waelend, headteacher of St Jude's. Picture: Paul Jacobs (113374-3)

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THE new head of a primary that has ‘taken its eye off the ball’ has vowed to stay until it is rated outstanding by Ofsted inspectors.

Joy Waelend is in no doubt that St Jude’s CoE Primary in Old Portsmouth has what it takes to be among the best within seven years.

The school suffered a blow in 2010 when it slipped from a previous good rating to satisfactory.

But Miss Waelend, who was a head before spending several years working with Hampshire County Council to raise standards in schools and then doing the same as a self-employed consultant, believes St Jude’s has the tools to rise through the ranks.

She has already identified three areas for the school to focus on – teaching and learning, the rate of pupil progress and leadership and management.

Miss Waelend, 54, who joined the school in February, said: ‘In all these areas the school had just taken its eye off the ball, but there hasn’t been a dramatic slide.

‘We’ve tried to sharpen the focus on these areas, which includes close monitoring of individual students, making the lessons fun and engaging and reorganising staff responsibilities to clarify the lines of accountability.

‘My game plan is the next time Ofsted comes to this school in 18 months we will be rated good, and the time after that outstanding.

‘I’m very clear about this. We have to give our children the best possible deal to set them up to be successful in secondary schools and in their future careers.

‘And I know it’s achievable because we have delightful children here with hugely supportive parents and dedicated staff. I will stay here until St Jude’s is outstanding.’

This year 74 per cent of 11-year-olds at St Jude’s achieved good (level four) pass rates in both English and maths Sats exams.

That figure should have been 84 per cent had all children made their expected rates of progress.