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River Mead School makes significant improvements

River Mead School has been praised for making ‘significant improvements’ by Ofsted following an inspection in July.

The school received an overall rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ but the inspector acknowledged the school’s ‘capacity to improve further’ as ‘strong’.

The report said, “The head of school and executive headteacher have been unrelenting in driving forward the significant improvements. Leaders aspire for every pupil to be a successful learner. Staff share this aspiration.

“Leaders have established a culture of aspiration and ambition. They are systematically tackling any underperformance to ensure that pupils receive a good quality of education. This is resulting in significant improvements in the quality of teaching and learning.”

Inspectors found that there has been a culture change in pupils’ attitudes to learning since the previous inspection. Children in the early years get off to a good start and are taught well and supported effectively in their learning.

Provision in the specialist resource base is also good. Pupils thrive in a nurturing environment which allows them to develop positive attitudes and make strong gains in their learning.

The inspector also found relationships between staff and pupils in the school to be strong and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong at the school and is rooted in the school’s core values.

Staff were found to be  positive role models for pupils. Consequently, pupils are extremely well mannered and courteous. They show tolerance and are accepting of each other’s differences.

Inspectors noted that the historical weak teaching over several years has resulted in pupils’ underachievement but confirmed that ‘the determined action of school leaders to reverse this underachievement is having a positive effect on progress.’

The inspector stated, “Leaders and staff demonstrate a steely determination to tackle the historic underperformance of pupils. They have made significant progress from a low base at the time of the previous inspection. Plans in place to tackle weaknesses are showing signs of a positive impact on pupils’ learning.”

Mrs Nicki Henderson, Headteacher, commented, “We are delighted that inspectors have recognised the many significant improvements to the school and that we are well placed to counteract the historical legacy of underachievement and secure a good and outstanding judgement.

“In particular the recognition of children’s improved attitudes to learning, the pride they take in their learning and the school and the way they show respect and tolerance of each other was pleasing to hear.”