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Praise for forces-linked school

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:53 07 July 2010

Richard Parr

A school whose pupils have parents serving with the Forces in Afghanistan has been given a “good” grading, improving from its previous status of “satisfactory”.

A school whose pupils have parents serving with the Forces in Afghanistan has been given a “good” grading, improving from its previous status of “satisfactory”.

The verdict from Ofsted inspectors, who visited Swanton Morley Primary School in March, is seen as particularly impressive given that some pupils have to cope with their lessons when their army personnel parents are posted overseas.

The main findings of the inspection is that it is a “good” school and improving well. The last inspection was in 2006 when it was considered “satisfactory”.

The 172 pupils, aged between four and 11, work hard in lessons and make good progress. Learning is seen as motivational and good fun and pupils reach broadly average standards.

The report finds that the pupils are well prepared for their next stage of education.

Behaviour is considered good, with the children being polite and well-manned. Attendance is above average and the pupils have a good awareness of how to keep themselves safe, fit and healthy.

The report says that the quality of teaching is good overall.

“Key features of teaching are the excellent relationships within classes and the planning of lessons where good links are made between subjects, for example, history and English,” adds the report.

The report also points out that the Manns Lane school provides good care, guidance and support for all pupils, and links with parents and carers are good.

“The good links with the Robertson Barracks support pupils and their families very effectively,” says the report.

There is also praise for the school's head Richard Lord, who the report says “provides a clear direction for the school and sets high expectations for staff and pupils”.

Inspectors point to two areas where improvement is needed. They say the school has to gain a much clearer picture of children's level of skill and knowledge when they start in the reception class, and that more opportunities are needed for pupils

to practise and consolidate their learning of mathematical knowledge.


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