Southsea school praised by Ofsted for its ‘good progress’

SMILES From left Leonie Rees, 11, headteacher James Humphries, and Mollie Meacham, 11. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123395-3853)
SMILES From left Leonie Rees, 11, headteacher James Humphries, and Mollie Meacham, 11. Picture: Malcolm Wells (123395-3853)
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A PORTSMOUTH secondary school which received record GCSE results this summer is making good progress, Ofsted inspectors have said.

Priory School in Southsea was given a notice to improve in January this year.

But earlier this month, inspectors made a return visit to the school and reported that Priory is making good progress in improving its teaching, results, attendance and behaviour.

The proportion of students who achieved the ‘gold standard’ of five or more GCSE passes at grades A* to C, including English and maths, increased to 51 per cent – the highest results in the school’s history.

Teaching is improving, with students reporting that lessons are more interesting, and they are getting more help and support from teachers.

Attendance and behaviour are improving, with a new, more formal uniform well received by students.

The number of exclusions dropped sharply last year and was low.

Headteacher James Humphries, who took over last year, said: ‘I was very pleased. This is a vindication of the often difficult and tough decisions I have had to make since becoming headteacher. The staff at Priory have worked extremely hard and risen to the challenge with real enthusiasm.

‘We are all pleased to know that our hard work is bearing fruit and we are well on the way to becoming the outstanding school we aim for in the near future. It was just a question of putting the belief back into people.

‘The really hard work has gone into improving the quality of teaching. That’s what I’m most proud of and the children recognised that.

‘They said the lessons were more interesting and more challenging.’

‘It’s just a recognition of the hard work that has been done so far and it shows that we are going in the right direction.’

The report added that lessons are calm and purposeful with good relationships between teachers and students.

City education boss Cllr Rob Wood, said: ‘I am very pleased with the good progress being made at Priory to improve attainments levels for the pupils at the school. Priory contributed to a record GCSE performance by pupils in Portsmouth this summer and the improvements at this school are helping us raise standards of learning throughout the city.’