School must do better

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A SCHOOL which is failing to provide an acceptable standard of education has been given notice to improve.

Ofsted inspectors said St Patrick’s RC Primary School in Ryhope needs to make significant improvements, especially in the quality of teaching and learning for Key Stage 1 pupils.

During a recent visit, Ofsted inspectors said the Smith Street school is not performing to the standard expected, but has the capacity to improve.

Inspectors said: “St Patrick’s has a real strength in the good start children get to their education in the reception class, where they settle in quickly and make good progress.

“However, the progress of pupils of all abilities slows markedly in Key Stage 1 and is inadequate. This is because, in Years 1 and 2, teaching and learning are inadequate. The pace of lessons is too slow, behaviour is not well managed and tasks are not well matched to pupils’ needs.”

They said in Key Stage 2, pupils’ progress accelerates and some of the lost ground is made up and when pupils leave Year 6 their attainment is broadly average.

Inspectors said most pupils enjoy school, attend regularly, have a good understanding of how to stay safe and healthy and treat each other, staff and visitors with kindness and respect.

Headteacher at St Patrick’s, Gerry Kelly, said: “We are already working hard with the support of Children’s Services to address the concerns raised by the inspectors following their visit to the school in December.

“Parents are being kept informed of our plans and the progress being made, with invitations for them to join us for the first meeting this week.”

Mr Kelly said he hopes to build on the school’s strengths to achieve the aims with the help of pupils, staff and the whole school community.

He said: “We are confident that working together we can meet the challenges the inspectors have given us, and look forward to their next visit later this year when we will be able to show them the progress that we have made.”

Ofsted inspectors said to improve the school needs to eliminate inadequate teaching and learning at Key Stage 1 and improve the quality of teaching across Years 1 to 6 by matching work more closely to pupils’ learning needs, using a wider variety of resources and activities, ensuring the pace of learning is quick enough and teachers’ expectations of work and behaviour are equally high.