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Grove Academy 'requires improvement' according to Ofsted
A Watford primary school has been told it needs to improve after an Ofsted inspection.
The Grove Academy, on Fourth Avenue, was rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by inspectors, particularly in pupil achievement and quality of teaching.
However Ofsted noted the school’s leadership and management, as well as pupil behaviour and safety were ‘Good’.
David Wynford-Jones, lead inspector, said Grove had too few children reach the age related expectations by the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
He also said standards in reading, writing and mathematics in Key Stage 1 are not good enough and the "teaching is not consistently good".
In addition he criticised the school’s use of the outdoor area and that learning opportunities for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are not maximised.
Mr Wynford-Jones said: "Work does not consistently capture children’s interest. Some find the work too easy and do not progress at a quick enough rate.
"Not all pupils are making sufficiently rapid progress in developing their writing skills.
"Teaching is not consistently good. Pupils’ progress in the different year groups is variable.
"Some teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low."
Four Ofsted inspectors attended the two-day inspection from May 1.
They observed 25 lessons, made shorter visits to lessons and assembly and heard Year 2 and Year 6 pupils read.
Meetings were also held with members of the governing body, staff, groups of pupils and the principals of sponsoring academies Bovingdon and Hammond Academies.
As with all schools found to require improvements, Grove will need to undergo another full inspection within the next 24 months for Ofsted to check that standards are getting better.
The inspectors returned a number of areas the school should focus on to improve, including improving the quality of teaching so that it is consistently good or better in all year groups.
They also said it needed to make certain a greater proportion of children reach the age-related expectations by the end in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
And also to accelerate pupils’ progress and raise the standards in reading, writing and mathematics in Key Stage 1 and in writing in Key Stage 2.
Anne Heywood, Grove Academy principal, said: "I am delighted that the Ofsted inspectors recognised the many strengths of our Academy, and were clear that we are rapidly improving.
"We have come a long way in the last year and a half. It is apparent that pupil achievement is progressing very well. This is due to very good standards of teaching from staff who really care about the progress of our children, and strong leadership at all levels within the Academy.
"Our focus on Maths over the last year is definitely paying off, as attainment is very much higher now than in the past.
"The good behaviour of our children is recognised in the report; this will be no surprise to our many visitors who always comment on how calm and purposeful the school is.
"We have recently been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark, and are also designated as a Centre of Excellence, meaning we can use our expertise to support other schools."
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