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Media invite: Oftsed inspection at Hoo St Werburgh Primary School

Date: 04/01/2008           Category: Learning and Achievement

Media invite: You are invited to send a reporter / photographer to Hoo St Werburgh Primary School on Thursday, 10 January from 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Enthusiasm, energy and the leadership qualities of the headteacher of a Medway primary school are helping pupils to improve their learning, Ofsted has reported. Although Hoo Primary School in Pottery Road, has been given a notice to improve by a team of three Oftsed inspectors who visited the school in November, the report also states that because the new headteacher is “quickly establishing a clear sense of purpose and direction’’ the school is on track to improve. Frequent changes of leadership at the school have been cited as one of the main reasons for the school’s recent failings. There have been three headteachers in three years. The current headteacher, Jo Trickett, was appointed in September and has acted energetically to make improvements to the challenges she faced. She has set more challenging targets and school data indicates that pupils are on course to achieve this. Pupils’ behaviour, attitudes and enjoyment were cited as “significant strengths,” with both parents and pupils commenting on the improvements. As one pupil said: “We can get on and enjoy learning now without constant interruptions.” Pupils who have difficulties in managing their own behaviour are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions and self-refer to Place2Be, an on-site counselling service where they can discuss any personal matters. Miss Trickett was praised by one teacher for her determined action to improve pupils’ low standards and insufficient progress, saying they now have a “clear sense of direction”. The achievements and aspirations of children with learning difficulties are raised at the integrated specialist autistic centre. The Marlborough Centre transferred to the school in 2004 and teaches 54 children. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is well above average, and is high in some year groups. Educational trips to Chatham’s Historic Dockyard and the British Museum and visitors to the school make learning more enjoyable and relevant by helping pupils connect and understand the subjects being taught in the classroom. Medway Council’s Director of Children’s Services Rose Collinson has given her support to the school, which is part of a local authority support programme designed to raise pupils’ standards and achievements. The school has maintained its Gold Active Mark for its sporting success for a number of years and recently been presented with the Healthy Schools Award. Rose Collinson said: “I am confident that under Jo Trickett’s leadership, Hoo St Werburgh Primary School will rapidly improve standards for our children. “The Ofsted inspection reports that the key weakness in the school is the need to improve the standards of work achieved by the pupils. In response to this we have made sure that the school is part of our Intensifying Support Programme. This is specifically designed to bring about a rapid improvement in standards and has a good track record of achieving that. The senior managers, staff and governors are totally “signed up” to the programme and we jointly expect to address the inspectors’ criticisms quickly. “I fully support the judgement that the headteacher, her staff team and the governing body have the capacity, energy and determination to make improvements so your children learn effectively and make good progress. My team will support them in that work.” Headteacher Jo Trickett said: “It is a privilege to be the headteacher of this lively and caring school. Already we have seen huge improvements in behaviour and learning and I’m proud of the children’s achievements so far. “With such a focused and hard working team I am confident that we will continue to raise pupil achievement as well as building on their confidence and enjoyment of learning. I would like to thank parents and governors in particular for their very warm welcome and ongoing support.” Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks, said: “The Ofsted shows that the school has many successful features and I am pleased to see the school is building upon these good foundations. “I shall be keen to follow the improvements which everyone at Hoo has put in place.” The school will receive a monitoring visit by Ofsted inspectors within the next eight months. Notes: Hoo St Werburgh is a mixed primary school that teaches 447 pupils aged four to 11. The school is based in Pottery Road, Hoo St Werburgh. This Ofsted inspection took place on 13 and 14 November, 2007