Ofsted success for school that had hit bottom

DOING WELL Teacher Amanda Wray gives maths tuition to, (from left, Keion Rook, Chloe Sayers, and Rory Stock.     Picture: Paul Jacobs (111254-1)
DOING WELL Teacher Amanda Wray gives maths tuition to, (from left, Keion Rook, Chloe Sayers, and Rory Stock. Picture: Paul Jacobs (111254-1)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

Children in Need: Junior School has a pretty perfect Pudsey plan

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A SCHOOL has come out of special measures for the first time in almost two years.

Siskin Juniors in Rowner, Gosport, was placed in the lowest possible Ofsted category in October 2009.

PLEASED Rebecca Kingsland

PLEASED Rebecca Kingsland

It was ranked 75th from bottom of 16,971 schools for its Sats exams in England.

But following an inspection in March, it is now rated as ‘satisfactory’, and inspectors said its capacity to improve was ‘good’.

Executive headteacher Rebecca Kingsland said: ‘Siskin’s future is rosy.’

Mrs Kingsland, who was appointed in January 2010 following the departure of headteacher Sean Connor, said: ‘What the school lacked was strong leadership. The talent was there, but it was left untapped. So we gave teachers the opportunity for professional development and over the years we’ve seen them grow. There was no huge turnover of staff, but some staff did leave us for promotion elsewhere and we exercised a zero tolerance in relation to inadequate teaching.

‘The Ofsted was an accurate reflection of the school and I’m very proud our team has achieved so much.’

Inspector Sheila Nolan noted Mrs Kingsland’s ‘purposeful leadership’. She also praised the increased rate of pupil progress and children’s enthusiasm for learning.

Mrs Kingsland, who is also headteacher at Park Gate Primary, which is rated good, said Siskin had benefited from a close relationship with her school on trips and teachers sharing expertise.

She is enthusiastic about the recent federation with Siskin Infants and nursery, which she believes will help drive up standards further.

Reflecting on last year’s Sats results, when 32 per cent of Siskin pupils passed both English and maths at the expected level, compared with the national average of 73 per cent, Mrs Kingsland said: ‘We have to recognise children come in at such a low level. Even though they make better than expected progress in four years they are still below the national average.

‘The federation will support that and help reach the goal for all our children to achieve national average pass rates when they leave us.’