Cobden Primary School in Farnley is still a ‘good’ school – but Ofsted inspectors have expressed concerns that standards may be declining.
Inspectors visited the the school, in Cobden Road, earlier this month and found pupils very positive about the school, which offers a safe and personal environment.
The report says pupils develop an appreciation of human creativity, achievement and spirituality. They enjoy activities such as visits from theatre groups and learning about artists and composers. The report says:
“They are well behaved around school and have positive attitudes to learning, especially in key stage 2. Almost all pupils are motivated to succeed. They try their hardest in their work. “
There’s also praise about safeguarding, attendance and that leaders have improved some parts of the curriculum.
Staff are well-trained in how to teach mathematics and important areas of the mathematics curriculum are planned well and taught in an order that helps pupils understand. But the report adds:
“Over time, pupils’ early reading and mathematical knowledge and skills have been weak. Pupils are still making a slow start in their learning.
“They have not got time to catch up by the end of Year 6. Although pupils’ achievement in mathematics is improving, many older pupils cannot quickly recall times tables and number facts. Younger children are not grasping important mathematical concepts or learning and remembering key facts.”
The report adds;
“Many pupils do not achieve well across the curriculum. Published data for the end of each key stage shows that a large proportion do not meet the government’s expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.
“Leaders must ensure that pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics quickly improve. “
The report says that the school’s approach to the teaching of phonics is slowly becoming stronger, but further work must be done to ensure that younger children’s phonics knowledge and language skills give them the foundations for all learning.
There also needs to be a greater urgency in teaching and higher expectations of what children and pupils know by the end of each term.
The report adds:
“Some pupils are starting to develop a love of reading. Further work is needed to raise the profile of reading in school and allow all pupils time to read. Reading areas and class libraries are not well used. Leaders need to ensure pupils read regularly in school so that they can read fluently and with understanding.
“The curriculum is becoming more coherently planned and sequenced in history and geography. Leaders must ensure that further work is completed so that this is the case for all subjects, especially in the creative arts and technology subjects.”