Hesleden Primary School works with local authorities to make improvements after being told it ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted

A primary school has started working with education bosses after receiving a “requires improvement” rating by Ofsted inspectors.
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Hesleden Primary School, in Hesleden, was told it “requires improvement” in all areas – the second lowest of four grades – with its early years provision rated “inadequate”.

The overall “requires improvement” verdict is also one grade lower than the “good” mark it received when it was last inspected in 2011.

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The report begins by commending the school’s curriculum and the work leaders have done to develop this, stating: “They have given thought to what pupils learn, and the order in which it is taught, to best help pupils know and remember it.”

Hesleden Primary School, in Church Street, Hesleden.Hesleden Primary School, in Church Street, Hesleden.
Hesleden Primary School, in Church Street, Hesleden.

Subject leaders also deliver regular training to staff to help develop their knowledge across the curriculum while also considering “how pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities can be supported to fully access the same curriculum as their peers”.

Staff also invest a lot of their time into developing phonics and reading, helping those who are struggling.

The report states: “Leaders use assessment information to quickly identify the pupils who need extra help with reading. These pupils receive targeted and precise support to catch up with their peers.”

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Relationships between staff and pupils at the 100-pupil school were also reported as being “strong,” with staff and leaders knowing their pupils well.

Dawn Dunn, headteacher at Hesleden Primary School, said: “We are pleased with the positives the inspector found. They acknowledged the work we have done over the past few years and we have got good staff who are knowledgeable and who really care about the children.”

While “some of the actions leaders have taken since the last inspection have had a positive impact on pupils’ experiences”, the school’s early years education was graded “inadequate,” which is the lowest of the four grades.

The report states: “The curriculum taught to children in the early years does not give them the start to their education that they deserve. Leaders are unclear on how the curriculum should be structured and so activities and learning for children are disjointed."

Mrs Dunn said: “In terms of what we need to do better, we have already started working with the local authority to improve provisions with early years.”

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