Fellgate Primary School praised by Ofsted for progress made - but further improvements still required

A primary school has been judged as requiring improvement after a recent inspection by Ofsted – but inspectors have praised the school for the progress made.

While Fellgate Primary School in Jarrow was assessed to be good in terms of pupils’ behaviour, attitudes and personal development, inspectors judged early years provision, leadership and management and quality of education as needing to improve.

Headteacher Julia Tones said: “Governors and staff at Fellgate are pleased that inspectors acknowledged the improvements the school has made since the last inspection in 2017.

“We have worked tirelessly to secure many improvements, including strengthening the quality of teaching and improving attendance rates.”

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Despite the overall judgement, inspectors praised the Oxford Way school for the caring atmosphere created by staff and students, something which Mrs Tones was pleased was recognised.

She added: “The report stated that ‘pupils are polite and courteous in this happy and inviting school’. They observed that pupils have good attitudes to learning and that children say they enjoy school and they feel safe.

Ofsted recognised and praised our calm, friendly, supportive, caring and nurturing ethos. They noted that the teaching of reading is effective in our school from Early Years to Year 6.”

Fellgate Primary School has been praised for the progress made since its last inspection but inspectors have said further improvements are still required.

A key area of concern in the report was in curriculum provision which, although inspectors said had improved, they felt lacked sequential planning to develop a depth of knowledge which builds on previous learning, including from the Early Years curriculum.

The report stated: “Leaders have recently revised plans to teach subjects in the wider curriculum. These plans are at different stages of development. In some subjects, they do not identify the key knowledge and skills that should be taught and when.

"The curriculum plans for subjects in the wider curriculum, such as computing and art, do not support teachers to build pupils’ knowledge sequentially. Learning is not ordered in enough detail to ensure that pupils learn the crucial content in a logical way.”

Mrs Jones said: “We have made improvements to the curriculum and recognise that moving forward we need to revise and further develop some of our curriculum plans to ensure learning is ordered sequentially with key knowledge and skills identified that children will learn and remember.

“Our subject leads will further develop their understanding of how Early Years informs what pupils will learn in later years. We will also look at how we increase access to mainstream learning for our base pupils.”

While the report highlighted that children with with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) were generally “supported well” inspectors did express concerns with the integration of pupils with SEND to access mainstream learning.

The report stated: “The current provision for pupils with SEND who have access to the specialist provision does not afford opportunities for pupils to access mainstream learning alongside their peers when it is deemed suitable or appropriate.”

The headteacher was commended by inspectors for her “unswerving resolve to improve the school” and Mrs Tones is confident the school will make the necessary improvements to be judged good at its next inspection.

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