Primary school in Newport Ofsted rating falls from 'Good'

Hunnyhill Primary School. <i>(Image: Google Maps)</i>
Hunnyhill Primary School. (Image: Google Maps)

AN ISLE of Wight primary school has slipped from 'Good' to 'Requires improvement' in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors visited in September and found the quality of education and the leadership and management of Hunnyhill Primary School, in Newport, required improvement.

Hunnyhill headteacher, Lisa Steedman, however, has said inspectors found many positive strengths in the school and rated the behaviour and attitude, personal development and early years provision as good.

One issue inspectors found was that although leaders were keen for pupils to be inspired to achieve, their ambitions for pupils to learn well were not consistently realised across all lessons.

It meant pupils were not always supported to learn as well as they could, including when learning to read as quickly as they could.

At the time of the inspection, a new phonics scheme had recently been introduced but not all staff had been trained to use it yet so the teaching of early reading needed further development.

Consequently, inspectors said the teaching of phonics was inconsistent and the support for weaker readers was not always strong enough.

Responding to the inspector's comments, Ms Steedman said the phonics scheme was now embedded.

The education watchdog noted in its report pupils' positive attitude reflected the school's motto of 'proud to belong' and they were keen to be part of the inclusive school.

They also said pupils have trusted adults in the school they can talk to and this helps them to feel safe.

Pupils enjoy opportunities, they said, to learn beyond the classroom and took different leadership roles, such as anti-bullying ambassadors, seriously.

Inspectors also said pupils were not consistently supported to address gaps in their learning because while teachers check what pupils do know at the start of new units that information is not used to plan future teaching.

Teachers should, Ofsted said, give pupils the opportunity to revisit key skills and knowledge.

Safeguarding at the school was deemed to be effective but leaders and governors had not ensured procedures were consistently followed nor that pupils got the timely support needed to keep them safe. Record-keeping was not always complete.

The weaknesses were recognised during the inspection and the school began to rectify the issues.

Ms Steedman said safeguarding continued to be an absolute priority at the primary school.

Pupils with special education needs and disabilities were identified promptly and staff provided effective support, as well as to those pupils who have challenging behaviour and helped them develop positive attitudes towards learning.

Ms Steedman said: "I am very proud to be headteacher here and would like to thank all the staff and our community for their ongoing hard work and support to ensure Hunnyhill pupils are safe and achieve their very best."