Following our second Ofsted judgement of ‘requires improvement’ in 2019 there has been substantial change in the leadership of the school. Paul Jenkins, the head of the successful Court Moor School was seconded to the school for a period of two years in order to lead the transformational change which was required to make Aldworth the school that the community deserves. Staff, parents and students acknowledge that the school has made huge strides across many areas since that last full Ofsted report, a fact acknowledged by a monitoring visit in March 2021.
Ofsted’s ParentView allows current parents to rate their school and we have seen significant improvements in the results, parents agreeing with ‘I would recommend this school to another parent’ has moved from just over 60% to 90% between the 2019 inspection and the 2021 inspection. 90% of parents agreed that their child was happy at the school.
The school is working hard to achieve a ‘good’ categorisation for the next full Ofsted inspection which may be expected within the next year or so. The improvements have continued despite the lockdowns and Covid-related issues.
Leaders are resolute in their drive for improvement in all areas of the school. The positive impact of this work has been recognised by pupils, parents and staff. Parents who responded to Ofsted’s Parent View were very positive. One commented that staff deserve ‘a huge thank you for all they have done’, including the ‘care, passion and hard work they have continued to provide over the last year’. The school’s strong sense of community has continued to flourish during the recent period of remote education
Teachers are beginning to have a much clearer understanding of the purpose and content of the subjects they teach. Some of this work has been slowed by the pandemic. Leaders are aware of this and are working with teachers to establish consistency and quality across all areas of the curriculum.
The governing body shares the headteacher’s drive and determination to improve the education of their pupils. There is clear evidence of robust decision-making and actions to strengthen the leadership of the school. Governors are well informed about the school’s priorities and ask searching questions about the education pupils are receiving at the current time.
The key areas for improvement were agreed and identified as: supporting reading for the bottom 20% of readers, improving SEN provision and ensuring the consistency of curriculum changes. All of these aspects were already identified in the school development plan however progress on them had somewhat stalled due to the pandemic. We are confident that we will be able to show significant progress on all these aspects, and other areas of the school we want to improve, by the time Ofsted return.
The previous Ofsted reports were accurate at the time but do not reflect the school as it is in 2021. They provided an accurate picture of the school at the time and were a spur to radical change, and should be read within that context.
We look forward to our next full Ofsted visit and are proud to show how we have improved on all the major action points and re-built the school’s reputation.