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Junior school showing significant improvements after latest monitoring inspection

PUBLISHED: 18:06 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:07 18 December 2018

Joanna Pedlow, executive head of Toftwood Infant School, near Dereham. Picture: Denise Bradley

Joanna Pedlow, executive head of Toftwood Infant School, near Dereham. Picture: Denise Bradley

©Archant Photographic 2010

A mid-Norfolk junior school is moving away from its former failings and making significant strides forward, an Ofsted monitoring inspection has found.

Toftwood Community Junior School, near Dereham, was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating in September 2017, as well as in July 2015 and July 2013, meaning monitoring inspections needed to be carried out.

Work to improve the school means Ofsted has now said that teaching is “improving strongly” and that pupils are “working hard and with enthusiasm”.

Executive headteacher Joanna Pedlow, who has been at the school since May 2017, was proud of the school’s developments and said: “I’m very pleased that the hard work of everyone has been recognised.

“In a short space of time we had to work hard. A number of new teachers have brought in different skill sets.

“We are pleased for our children that they are getting the education they deserve.”

The visit to the school on November 23 this year by inspector Jason Howard found that “senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement” and that “the whole staff team is responding swiftly and with determination to make the necessary changes”.

The main findings show that “teaching is improving strongly and very weak teaching has been eradicated” and “pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are making better progress than was the case at the time of the previous inspection”.

However, it was highlighted that the school should take further action to “ensure that the most able pupils in Year 3 and Year 4 complete suitably challenging work” and “enable pupils to develop their knowledge and subject-specific skills fully across the taught curriculum”.

The school was praised on introducing “the formal teaching of reading and spelling” and on the way “pupils spoke enthusiastically about reading”, with the inspector happy with the level of writing pupils produce, which is “often compelling”.

Mrs Pedlow is hoping the school will continue with its improvements and added: “There is always things we want to improve. That is what we are planning to keep doing.

“We hope that when they come back the outcome will be good.”

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