Posted: Wed 23rd Aug 2023

A+ for Ysgol Penyffordd! Estyn report applauds school’s supportive environment

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 23rd, 2023


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A Flintshire school has received a glowing report after a visit from inspectors earlier this summer.

The Welsh Government’s education inspectorate Estyn visited Ysgol Penyffordd at Park Crescent in the village in June.

With 334 pupils on roll, the school has been described as a “caring and supportive environment”.

According to the inspectors’ report, most pupils behave well, enjoy learning and feel proud of the school.

The report states: “Pupils feel safe and happy and develop strong working relationships with staff.

Most pupils have positive attitudes and engage well in their learning. Most speak confidently and read for pleasure.

“Pupils approach challenging tasks confidently and use a range of strategies to help them learn. As a result, most pupils make good progress during their time at Ysgol Penyffordd.”

The progress of pupils from when they join the school was highlighted as particularly positive by the inspectors.

Most pupils enter the school with skills at or slightly above the expected level”, the report adds.

“During their time at the school, most pupils, including those with additional learning needs and those eligible for free school meals, make good progress in their learning.

“By Year 6, most pupils are skilled, competent and capable learners. From an early age, most pupils speak clearly and enthusiastically about their work.

“As they progress through the school, they continue to speak confidently and by Year 6 most are articulate speakers with a sophisticated spoken vocabulary.

“Pupils listen well to each other and adults and respond confidently to questions about their work. For example, when discussing refugees, Year 5 and 6 pupils use emotive language successfully to talk about the plight of Syrian refugees.”

Pupils’ maths and digital skills also came in for praise as did their behaviour, the quality of teaching and the school’s leadership.

The report adds: “Senior leaders have developed a positive working ethos across the school and all staff work together well as part of one team.

“All staff feel valued and conduct their roles and responsibilities diligently. Distributed leadership is a strength of the school.

“Senior leaders have identified a relevant set of improvement priorities for the school.

“These priorities link well to local and national priorities.”

One of the areas the report earmarks for improvement is to involve its governing body more in the school’s self-improvement work and to gain a better understanding of the standards of pupils’ work.

Inspectors would also like to see pupils given more opportunity to develop their independent skills.

The report adds: “At times, in many classes across the school, over-directed activities do not allow pupils to develop their independent skills well enough.

“For example, teachers provide too many scaffolds and worksheets that do not always allow pupils the opportunities to write at length or decide how they would like to present their ideas.”

Inspectors have given the school just two recommendations going forward which are;

Provide opportunities for pupils to decide how they respond to learning tasks, including how they organise and present their work.

Enable governors to develop their skills and knowledge to undertake their role as a critical friend.

The school will draw up a plan to address those recommendations.

By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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