Ofsted praises Portsmouth school for ‘rapid improvement’

JOY Jaimie Worley, left, head Victoria Page and Mackenzie Walker enjoy a book.  (120782-521)
JOY Jaimie Worley, left, head Victoria Page and Mackenzie Walker enjoy a book. (120782-521)
The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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STRONG leadership and better teaching have lifted a Portsmouth school out of the lowest Ofsted grade.

Langstone Infants in Copnor, which was given a notice to improve last January, is now a ‘satisfactory’ school that is ‘rapidly improving’.

New head Victoria Page – praised by inspectors for her ‘outstanding leadership’ – said she was thrilled with the report.

She said: ‘There was a big cheer when I read it out. Everyone is feeling so enthusiastic about the future and we are all eager to carry on the good work. I’m confident our next Ofsted will be even better.

‘We’ve already got a good rating for behaviour, and everything else is falling into place.’

The Ofsted highlighted significant improvements to the school since Miss Page took on the job as head last September.

Tracking of individual pupil progress, strong teamwork, better teaching and an improved curriculum were all credited for above-average attendance and rapidly rising attainment for boys and girls.

Miss Page, who transferred from Moorings Way Infants which was rated good with outstanding features, said: ‘There were so many good things happening at this school but it needed someone to pull everything together, to give it the extra boost.

‘The key was a more strategic approach so we were making the biggest possible impact in the shortest amount of time.

‘Crucially, everything we do is based around the individual pupils – knowing where they are, where they need to be, and how to help them achieve their full potential.

‘We are creating an environment that makes our pupils excited and enthusiastic learners, so that they make above average progress.’

At Langstone, pupils are now aware of their learning targets and are regularly asked for feedback on lessons to ensure they are being engaged in the classroom.

Parents are also consulted on the topics that fire up their children’s interest, and this is fed into an ‘aspirational’ curriculum that covers topics from dinosaurs and water to space and castles.

There are also half-termly meetings to track every pupil’s progress – with immediate intervention if any youngster is not making expected progress.

Miss Page said: ‘We have very high expectations here and we know we can achieve them.’