Date: 08/05/2008 Category: Learning and Achievement
Media invite: Tuesday, 13 May, from 9.30am to 10am An orderly and harmonious school at the heart of a Chatham community is providing children with a ‘satisfactory’ education, Ofsted inspectors have found. Inspectors noted that the school in Luton Road, Chatham, has a dedicated and strong senior leadership team and subject leaders are keen and enthusiastic. The large majority of pupils have made good progress, are enthusiastic and positive about their school – a fact recognised and endorsed by responses from parents – and enjoy school life. When lessons spark their interest and enjoyment, pupils are busy and productive. The school’s greatest strength is its strong pastoral support for pupils and their families. Pupils’ good personal development is a real achievement for staff and pupils. Children are well behaved and friendly and extensive provision for pupils with challenging behaviour enables them to benefit more fully from their education and ensures that they do not disrupt the learning of others. The academic aspect of the school is developing alongside the school’s good pastoral care. New arrivals are well supported with a wide variety of learning, social and emotional needs. The close individual attention they receive helps the school’s most vulnerable pupils to make satisfactory progress. Both French and German are taught, and the school explores and celebrates other cultures, including the traditions of pupils recently new to the school so the children can understand and respect each other’s backgrounds. A new computerised system allows the school to track pupils’ progress and increasingly accurate in their assessments. There are well-established arrangements for performance management and good support for newly qualified staff. Inspectors noted the school could improve further by promoting the educational importance of attending school; ensure progress is consistently good or better in order to raise standards in English, maths and science; and make systematic checks on the quality of teaching to identify and extend effective practice into all lessons. Teachers are keen to develop a curriculum that meets the particular needs of its pupils. A wide range of extra-curricular activities – including sport – is already doing this, while the school’s allotment gives children without a garden at home the chance to grow something. The hard work and example of the senior leadership team has been invaluable in creating a calm and orderly school where academic progress has begun to flourish. These factors show secure capacity for further development. Headteacher Jillian Oliver said: “I am very pleased with the Ofsted report and proud of all the staff and pupils who make Luton Junior School the great place it is. “The inspectors recognised the hard work and efforts made by staff in continuing to raise standards of achievement despite the school’s challenging circumstances. I am especially pleased that the inspectors found that the school continues to be orderly and harmonious. “Having identified ‘attendance’ as an area to be further improved the inspectors did also acknowledge that the school was already doing everything that was possible. “Myself and all who are part of the school believe the positive inspection is something to be celebrated and shared.” Medway Council’s Director of Children and Adults Rose Collinson said: “I am pleased the inspectors recognise just what an inclusive and improving school Luton Juniors is. “The headteacher and her team work incredibly hard to make sure children at Luton are encouraged and supported to be the very best they can be.” Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder of Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks added: “It is very good to see that Luton Junior School is really looking after its pupils. “I congratulate the staff on the hard work they are putting in to giving their pupils the very best chances in life." You are invited to send a media crew to the school on Tuesday, 13 May, from 9.30am to 10am. Luton Junior School is in Luton Road, Chatham, and 371 children aged from seven to 11 are taught at the school. The headteacher is Jillian Oliver.