Ofsted progress delights school

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A HEADTEACHER has praised the hard work of staff, parents and children after a positive Ofsted report.

Andrea Smith, headteacher at Hardwick Middle School Sports College, in Bury St Edmunds, said a focus on the quality of teaching had helped the school to ‘good’ rating by government inspectors after their visit on March 13 and 14.

Stricter Ofsted guidelines made the result much more satisfying, according to Mrs Smith.

“It was an awful lot tougher as there was a lot less leeway – if it wasn’t clear that children were making progress in a lesson, it would not be rated as good,” she said.

Mrs Smith said the school’s new sporting identity had helped it impress.

“It means that we use motivational skills and teamwork to make sure youngsters are engaged with their learning.

“They all take more responsibility for their own learning and we even have them leading lessons,” she said.

The school scored a rating of two – or good – in each of the report’s major categories – achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

Some teaching was highlighted as ‘outstanding’ by the report, although it was not consistent enough to gain the rating overall.

The results match the last inspection report delivered in 2009 under the previous guidelines.

Despite the outcome, Mrs Smith said the school must keep working to improve.

“We have said that in a year’s time we want to be outstanding. And we always have development to do in terms of pupils’ numeracy and literacy,” she said.