Posted: Tue 29th Nov 2022

Estyn Inspection finds Saltney Ferry Primary School in need of ‘significant improvement’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 29th, 2022

A Flintshire primary school has been marked as in need of ‘significant improvement’ after a recent inspection.

In September, Estyn, the education and training inspectorate, visited Saltney Ferry Primary School and has produced a raft of recommendations for the future.

Areas the inspectors have highlighted as in need of improvement within their report include pupils’ reading and writing skills, and the development of pupils’ digital skills.

The report notes that the school has recently appointed a new headteacher who is already putting the foundations in place for improvement and addressing some of the shortcomings highlighted by the inspectors.

It states: “The headteacher has been at the school for only a few weeks, and in a very short time has got to know pupils and staff well.

“He has shared a vision with staff centred around creating a positive environment where developmental feedback is welcomed by all partners. Leaders are setting strategic plans in place that focus well on helping the school grow as a positive and self-improving learning environment.

“The headteacher sets a good example and is a positive role model. For example, he teaches one afternoon a week, uses the school’s new planning format effectively and provides engaging and challenging lessons for pupils.”

An overview contained within the report also praises other aspects of the school, describing it as “a caring and supportive environment” and noting that all adults “care for pupils considerately and thoughtfully”.

It states: “Saltney Ferry Primary School is a caring and supportive learning environment where pupils develop positive attitudes and an effective understanding of important characteristics for lifelong learning, such as independence and perseverance.

“However, at present the school does not evaluate itself nor plan for improvement robustly enough. As a result, it does not always address shortcomings in teaching and in learning effectively.”

“All adults at the school care for pupils considerately and thoughtfully. They place a high value of developing pupils’ well-being and treat all with respect. Nearly all pupils make a highly positive start at the school and begin to develop knowledge and skills quickly.”

The report adds: “However, their progress through the school is inconsistent.

“While teachers provide pupils with engaging learning experiences, they do not always build well enough on their knowledge and understanding. As a result, pupils do not develop well in some important areas of learning, such as their reading, writing and digital skills.”

The recommendations for the school outlined by Estyn are to:

Improve pupils’ reading and writing skills.
Improve pupils’ Welsh language and their digital skills.
Ensure that teachers maintain high expectations and challenge all pupils to achieve consistently.
Implement effective procedures to evaluate the work of the school and address identified areas for improvement robustly.
Ensure that planned learning experiences build on pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding systematically.

The school will draw up an action plan to show how it is going to address the recommendations and Estyn will monitor the school’s progress in around 12 months.

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

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