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Portsmouth school’s giant leap out of special measures is cause for celebration

TURNAROUND Cliffdales executive head Alison Beane, left, and head of school Ashley Oliver-Catt with pupils, from left, Boo Riley-Dalton (10), Bradley Mitchell (10), Rudi Matthews (6), Jayden Claridge (5), Harmony Towner (7) and Dillon Hewett (11). Picture: Sarah Standing (1450-4854)

TURNAROUND Cliffdales executive head Alison Beane, left, and head of school Ashley Oliver-Catt with pupils, from left, Boo Riley-Dalton (10), Bradley Mitchell (10), Rudi Matthews (6), Jayden Claridge (5), Harmony Towner (7) and Dillon Hewett (11). Picture: Sarah Standing (1450-4854)

 

OUTSTANDING behaviour by pupils has helped a special school in Portsmouth to climb two steps up the Ofsted ladder.

Cliffdale Primary Academy in Portsmouth, which converted to academy status last month, has been deemed to be good with outstanding features.

On its previous full inspection, the school in North End – which teaches pupils with a wide range of learning needs – plunged into special measures.

But on a return visit inspectors praised pupils’ behaviour, saying relationships and interactions between pupils and adults are excellent.

Outstanding leadership and management has driven forward fast improvement in the quality of education provided.

And teaching is typically good with a small minority deemed to be outstanding.

Executive headteacher Alison Beane said: ‘I can’t tell you how delighted we are.

‘What was nice for us was we had judged ourselves as good in our self evaluation.

‘But the inspector then notched up two areas to outstanding. That was a really significant achievement.

‘The pupils are achieving well. They are making good progress in their learning.

‘The pupils’ behaviour was judged as outstanding – that was one of the key issues when we were inspected 18 months ago.

‘Now the children are engaged and enjoying their learning even more.

‘And the teaching result is superb. You can’t give the teachers enough credit for the amount of effort that has gone into that.’

Mrs Beane is also the headteacher at Mary Rose School, a secondary special school in the city.

She added: ‘We have got two schools working very closely together to achieve that result.

‘By us joining practice and sharing resources, there was a lot of team work across both schools to bring this result about.’

To improve, teachers need to monitor pupils’ learning when they are working in groups. And work needs to be done to improve the writing policy at the school.

Mrs Beane added: ‘To be honest, the hard work is starting now because it’s about embedding that sort of progress.

‘One of the biggest new things for us is to distribute the leadership across the school.’

Mrs Beane said she is confident that the school will become outstanding eventually. ‘We are on a roll. Only the best is good enough for all of us,’ she said.

‘We have put the groundwork in with the commitment that we have got here.

‘There’s no question that will happen at some point. I would hope within two or three years that’s where we will be.’

 

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