Lincoln junior school receives improved Ofsted report

A Lincoln junior school has been praised in a recent Ofsted report, less than two years after being told it required improvement.

Ofsted officials carried out a two-day inspection at Lincoln Birchwood Junior School on February 24 and 25, ranking the overall effectiveness of the school as ‘good’.

The school on Larchwood Crescent, which teaches 267 children between the ages of seven and 11, was commended for the increased attainment of its pupils in all subjects and year groups.

Inspectors found that most-able students were consistently challenged, and their achievements often exceeded the national average for their age group.

Particular recognition was given to the daily spellings, grammar and number practice, for raising pupils’ key skills.

The pupils themselves were described by inspectors as “keen learners”, and the high attendance at the school was noted.

Inspectors said: “School leaders provide good support for teachers and use performance management systems effectively to develop the skills of all staff. This has raised the quality of teaching and, as a result, pupils’ achievement.

“Additional government funding for disadvantaged pupils is used effectively. The gaps between the achievement of disadvantaged pupils and their classmates are closing rapidly in all subjects.

“Governors make frequent, focused visits and check how well pupils are learning. They monitor all aspects of safeguarding carefully and speak with pupils about feeling safe.”

The report added that teachers should give pupils enough time in class to build on what they have learned before allowing them to move on to other work, and plan activities which enable pupils to apply new knowledge and skills securely in other subjects and areas.

Tracey Bowman, Headteacher at Lincoln Birchwood Junior School, said: “We’re really pleased with the inspection and the findings, especially around the personal development and welfare of our pupils.

“The biggest changes we’ve made in the last couple of years have been around extra training for teachers in giving pupils advice when marking their books, and improving children’s handwriting, presentation and spelling.

“These may only sound like small changes, but combined, they demonstrate concrete progress.

“Moving forward, we’re looking at introducing closer relationships between our outstanding teachers and our good teachers, so that we can promote outstanding teaching across the whole school.”