Standards poor at Sheffield primary school

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Serious weaknesses have been found at a Sheffield school – which has been put into special measures by inspectors.

Standards achieved by pupils at Hackenthorpe’s Rainbow Forge Primary were judged to be inadequate, while the quality of teaching was found to need improvement.

Too few children were making expected rates of progress in English and maths in the seven to 11 age group, while attainment in reading, writing and maths by the final year pupils was consistently below average.

Progress made by youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds was also inadequate, and while teaching quality had improved it had not yet overcome the school’s problems.

Inspectors found weaknesses in the pupils’ spelling, grammar, punctuation and presentation, and they did not read widely enough.

Some children had gaps in their basic maths skills, while marking did not always give them good enough feedback on how to improve their work.

The pupils’ attitudes to learning were variable and some youngsters became inattentive when the pace of lessons was slow. Attendance was below average.

Headteacher Jane Loader said: “While we are disappointed with the overall grade, there are many positive comments and it was noted we are already moving in the right direction to drive up standards.

“The inspectors clearly identified leadership as a strength here. We have a plan in place to build on our existing successes at Key Stage One, and we’re on the right track with Key Stage Two already,” she added.