Disappointment at Meadowbrook Ofsted verdict

Photo of Meadowbrook Primary School, taken from Crystal Way.

Meadowbrook Primary School is disappointed with the result of a recent Ofsted Inspection which has judged that the school “requires improvement”. The school was inspected in October and was judged as “good” in only two of the five areas. The school was also judged as “requires improvement” in the last inspection in March 2014. However, the recent judgement is based on a different inspection framework and the many positive comments in the report would suggest that the school has made significant progress since the last inspection.

Inspectors noted many positive aspects at Meadowbrook, including the good personal development, behaviour and welfare of the pupils and good Early Years provision. The report states:

  • Leaders and teachers place pupils’ welfare at the heart of their work. They form effective partnerships with parents. Pupils enjoy coming to school. They say that they are well looked after. They behave well and are polite and respectful.
  • Lunchtime and playtimes are happy, sociable occasions. Pupils enjoy chatting and playing with their friends. Pupils are well supervised and follow well-established rules.
  • Leaders encourage pupils to take on various positions of responsibility. Pupils are very proud to represent the school.
  • Stronger teaching in the school is characterised by high expectations, well-pitched learning activities and clear explanations. This helps pupils remain focused and enables them to practise and secure skills in different subjects.
  • Children make a good start in Reception, developing their knowledge, understanding and skills well. Consequently, the proportion of children reaching a good level of development by the end of Reception is high. Children are well prepared to move into Year 1.
  • Leadership of early years is good.
  • Phonics teaching is well planned and allows pupils to practise and develop their reading skills. As a result, pupils achieve well.
  • The exciting and interesting indoor and outdoor environments invite children to engage in rich and varied activities. As a result, they develop a range of skills.

The report acknowledged that the leaders and governors have worked hard with the Olympus Academy Trust to create a stable staffing structure. They understand what needs to improve and there is evidence that they are taking the necessary action to bring this about. At the time of the inspection some of the improvement strategies had not yet been embedded fully or consistently applied.

The key areas for improvement include:

  • Further developing the consistency and accuracy of assessment, so that leaders ensure that teachers intervene quickly when pupils’ progress needs to improve.
  • Developing the curriculum so that it enables pupils to improve their reading, writing and mathematics across subjects.
  • Eliminate inconsistencies in teaching and raise standards of teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Helping disadvantaged pupils and pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities to catch up and reach the standards of which they are capable.

In a letter to the parents, headteacher Jon Barr said:

“To be labelled as a school judged to be ‘not yet good’ does feel somewhat harsh given the sheer wealth of positive judgements contained in the report. However, the inspection team’s judgement is accepted in the knowledge that they have concluded that the school is undoubtedly moving in the right direction. The support and impact of The Olympus Academy Trust was judged to be extremely positive.”

Parents were thanked for their overwhelmingly positive responses to the Ofsted questionnaire on ParentView. A meeting for parents to ask questions and to understand in more detail the areas for development has been arranged for Wednesday 6th December.

Meadowbrook School will now receive an Ofsted monitoring visit in six months’ time to check progress towards the key targets identified and a further full inspection within two years.

More information: Ofsted reports for Meadowbrook Primary School

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 29). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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