School to make 'wide-ranging changes' following Ofsted inspection

Bassingbourn Community Primary School. Picture: Google Street View

Bassingbourn Community Primary School received a 'requires improvement' rating at its latest Ofsted inspection - Credit: Archant

A primary school in Bassingbourn has had its Ofsted rating downgraded to requires improvement following inspections earlier this year.

Bassingbourn Primary School had previously been rated good by the regulation body.

In a report, inspectors recognised that improvements have been made at the school, but said these had not yet been “embedded”, adding that more needs to be done to ensure “education of a good quality”.

Inspectors said the curriculum across subjects was at different stages of development, adding that some planning lacked “precision and detail”.

Highlighting reading in particular, the report explains that while some pupils can read fluently, it said the weakest readers are not always given the help that they need.

It said: “The books they read are not matched well to the sounds they are learning. As a result, they struggle to decode the words in the books.

“Leaders do not ensure that pupils, especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, learn to read fluently and well. Their needs are not precisely enough catered for.”

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However, the report said that where school leaders had prioritised areas for improvement, it said the “impact of this is evident”.

In particular the report highlighted maths, and how staff have been trained in a new approach, which it said resulted in pupils “exploring maths in more depth”, and teachers ensuring that students have learned what they need to before moving on.

Inspectors also said that pupils themselves feel that the school is improving and that it is “calmer” now.

In a letter published on the school’s website, the chair of governors, Dr Hilary Hodge, said the governing body welcomed the report as a “major contribution towards the future development of the school”.

She said: “Governors were pleased that inspectors confirmed that our children are safe, happy and confident at school.

“They commended the children on their positive behaviour and their good attitudes to their work, to those around them and to wider social issues. They noted that children felt that the school is improving.

“However, the inspectors also confirmed the governors’ own analysis of the current position of the school.

“The governing body had been aware of the need for wide ranging change well before the inspection.

“To that end, external reviews of both leadership and governance had been commissioned.”

Dr Hodge explained that as a result of the review a number of steps to improve provision at the school had been taken.

These included the appointment of a new external co-headteacher, Chloe Coles, who they said had “immediately” started to address some of the weaknesses.

A new external deputy headteacher has also been appointed and she said a new senior and middle leadership team will also be in place by September.

Dr Hodge said: “The governing body recognises that there is still a considerable amount to achieve to put the school where it needs to be.

“However, the inspection team recognised that the changes already made by Mrs Coles have had a significant impact on the school.

“With the support of staff and parents, the governing body is confident that Bassingbourn Community Primary School has a bright and exciting future ahead for the children it serves.”