North End school bids to impress Ofsted

Children at Isambard Brunel Junior School with headteacher Iain Gilmour. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141451-2)
Children at Isambard Brunel Junior School with headteacher Iain Gilmour. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (141451-2)
The winning team - from left: Oscar, Benjamin, Rain and Alex

Towering ideas as Southsea school pupils take on challenge

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IT MAY have been a disappointing result but the headteacher of a city school has expressed his delight that pupils’ good behaviour has been recognised.

Isambard Brunel Junior School in North End was graded requires improvement in a recent inspection by Ofsted – the third of four categories.

But inspectors graded the behaviour and safety of pupils as good, saying the school has a caring, supporting learning community with strong relationships.

However, the report said that pupils’ achievement in English and maths needs improvement as teaching has not been good enough.

There are inconsistencies in the quality of feedback provided to pupils about their work, and teachers don’t always have high enough expectations of pupils.

Headteacher Iain Gilmour said: ‘I was disappointed we didn’t get the good, because we aimed for good.

‘But we are still pleased that they recognised we are an improving school.

‘Ofsted said we are doing what we need to do and we are beginning to see the impact. We were pleased with that.

‘We are delighted that they recognised the attitudes and behaviour of the children. We work really hard to get the relationships right.

‘We are feeling disappointed but once you read it carefully, there was a lot in there to endorse what we are doing.

‘We were disappointed that the progress that the current children are making wasn’t recognised and given more prominence.’

Now, staff at the school will be working hard to improve the school. Ofsted said the key is to improve pupils’ achievement by ensuring consistently good or better teaching and by building the capacity of leadership and management.

Mr Gilmour added: ‘We have got key issues – one is getting the teaching absolutely tip-top.

‘That’s about looking at our very best teachers and getting them to work with some of our younger teachers.

‘There’s a little bit of lack of experience there, but no lack of ambition. We want to make sure we are as ambitious as we can be.

‘We feel we could be a good school. We want to be the best we can be.

‘Hopefully with a new academy opening in September that will give us an opportunity to be re-inspected some time in the next academic year.’