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Caring school continues to improve

Date: 03/12/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

St Helen’s Church of England Primary School, Cliffe is a caring school where pupils enjoy attending school and are well behaved, according to Ofsted inspectors. Members of the media are invited to send a photographer to the school in Church Street, Cliffe on Monday, 8 December at 1.30pm to meet the pupils. Ofsted rated the primary school as satisfactory overall, with many elements rated as good. The curriculum was rated as good and the introduction of regular drama, music and dance lessons have increased pupils’ enjoyment. One pupil said: “I love every single subject, especially drama, music and maths quizzes”. These activities have increased self-confidence and produced more imaginative writing and better use of language There is a strong Christian ethos in the school where pupils support each other and have a clear sense of right and wrong. As a result of improved teaching and extra support, the proportion of pupils reaching the higher level five in mathematics has improved. This recent rise in achievement and the improved use of data to target underachievement signal the school’s satisfactory capacity to improve further. By the end of Year 6, the test results for 2008 show that pupils reached average standards in English, science and mathematics, which represented satisfactory achievement for these pupils. Pupils in key stage one are making good progress because of the consistently good and often outstanding assessment and teaching. While the quality of teaching and learning was judged as satisfactory overall, inspectors also witnessed some outstanding teaching in key stages 1 and 2. Headteacher Viv Barr said: “We have a great teaching team at St Helen’s who have worked hard to raise standards and offer the best possible care and guidance for their pupils. I am pleased that Ofsted has recognised the work of staff in not only teaching the curriculum but also in supporting personal development and well being.” To further improve, Ofsted suggested the school needed to set pupils more challenging targets to increase their rate of progress and for all teaching staff to share the responsibility for monitoring the quality of learning. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “I am confident pupils and staff at St Helen’s have the capacity to improve upon the good work they are already doing. It is clear this school has ambitions to better itself.” Medway Council’s Director of Children and Adult Services Rose Collinson said: “This report captures the strength of the leadership in this school and the foundations now in place to ensure that children learn and achieve consistently well and continue to enjoy being at school. I am very confident the headteacher and the governors can steer the school towards a bright future.”