‘Distraction’ hits school’s ratings

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Ardley Hill primary academy has now been described as ‘requires improvement’ in all five key strategies after an inspection last month.

The education watchdogs say the school, on Lowther Road, did not keep accurate enough information about pupils’ progress which meant it did not have a robust view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses.

The behaviour of a minority of pupils who misbehaved went unchecked and the progress of most-able children was not good enough as they were not given challenging work.

Ofsted inpectors said leaders and governors had been distracted by the school changing to a primary school and the takeover of the pre-school which meant the school had increased size considerably.

“Consequently, leaders and governors have not been sharply focused on raising standards across the school and the quality of teaching the pupils receive requires improvement,” said inspectors.

There were also concerns there was not enough for older children to do during break times.

“Due to a lack of activities, older pupils become too boisterous in their play, resulting in more falls and bruises,” said the report.

The governors also came in for some criticism for not stringently holding school leaders to account.

“They too readily accept information given to them,” said inspectors.

But inspectors also found the teaching of sport and swimming is highly effective and that there is an extensivce range of extra-curricular activities provided each day for pupils, who were well cared for and receive high-quality care, guidance and support.

Inspectors said by the end of year 6 pupils should be making good progress in reading, writing and maths and teaching and learning needed to improve to ensure the most-able pupils worked hard and extended their skills.

The environment in early years also needed improvement, to celebrate children’s work and create vibrancy and order in the classrooms.