Balfour Primary Inspection - February 2020
I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an overview of the most recent Ofsted inspection prior to it being published, so that you have a clear understanding of what areas will be highlighted as strengths and areas for further development. It is worth noting that the school was judged under a new Ofsted inspection framework that is very different from the previous one. Ofsted has now published its report and you can find it on our school website.
Thank you for your support during the inspection, the parent survey showed the overwhelming backing for the school and the recognition that your children are happy, safe and growing as individuals both academically and personally at Balfour Primary School.
Strengths (areas judged as ‘Good’):
Ofsted recognised the inroads that have been made since new leadership (Executive INCO and Headteacher) at the school and confirmed that we are now going in the right direction and our strategy focused on the right areas, which is affirmation that everything we are currently working on is rapidly moving the school forward.
The behaviour and attitudes of pupils at Balfour were a real strength, Ofsted acknowledging how courteous and respectful pupils were and that they were happy and had positive attitudes to learning.
The personal development of pupils was also judged to be a strength; pupils show resilience, appreciated each other and are ready for the next stages in their education. Ofsted celebrated the variety of extra-curricular opportunities available to pupils.
Early years provision was very strong, showcasing an engaging, broad and balanced curriculum. The Early years team are enthusiastic, and children enjoyed their daily experiences.
Ofsted recognised that safeguarding was a strength; pupils were safe and well looked after at Balfour. They also highlighted that there had been much improved communication with parents/carers.
Maths and writing teaching and learning also featured as a strength across the school, the curriculums are well planned, and pupils flourish in these subjects.
Ofsted also noted that since the previous inspection there had been significant improvement in the provision and overall progress for disadvantaged pupils.
Areas for development (areas judged as ‘Requires Improvement’):
Ofsted concluded that teachers do not always plan activities to match pupils’ needs in the foundation subjects for SEND and low prior attaining pupils.
Ofsted found our Reading curriculum to be strong however the breadth of challenge was an area needing to improve, including the use of a wider range of texts.
Ofsted noted that we are on the right track with our school improvement plan as we have a greater focus on knowledge progression, assessment and differentiation in the foundation subjects and that they could see progress. Our newly developed school improvement plan has been in place since November and Ofsted rightly commented on how our development hasn’t had time to embed and as a result of this our subject leadership was also an area that required improvement.
The new Ofsted framework stipulates that the Quality of Education judgement is a limiting factor, so we remain a Requires Improvement school. Although this is a disappointing outcome, we have had acknowledgement that there
are numerous ‘Good’ qualities about the school, and we are moving in a direction where rapid improvements will be seen. I continue to be passionate in driving the school forward and continuing our journey to excellence.
Simon Davies & Shelley Baker
Headteacher Chair of Governors