A Wrexham primary school has been judged as ‘Good’ following a recent inspection of its facilities and teaching standards.
Minera Voluntary-Aided Primary School in the village of Minera, has been deemed as ‘Good’ following an inspection by Estyn in May 2014. A judgement of ‘Good’ means the school has ‘Many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement’.
The school has 123 pupils aged three to 11 years on roll, including 14 children who attend the nursery class. In total the school has four classes (including the nursery) and provides education for three-year-old children on four afternoons for ten hours a week.
There are four ‘judgements’ that can be given to a school’s performance; excellent, good, adequate and unsatisfactory. An ‘good’ judgement means that the school has many strengths and no important areas requiring significant improvement.
Estyn notes that the school’s current performance is ‘Good’ because: Nearly all pupils high standards of speaking and listening skills, the standard of most pupils’ mathematical skills is appropriate for their age, relationships between staff and pupils are positive and have a beneficial effect on pupils’ wellbeing and engagement in learning and most pupils behave well and have positive attitudes to school.
Along with an inspection result for current performance, schools are also provided with a prospects for improvement judgement; of which Minera Voluntary-Aided Primary School was judged as ‘Adequate’.
The school’s prospects for improvement were marked as ‘Adequate’ because: Recent initiatives focusing on raising standards in literacy and numeracy are starting to have a positive impact on pupils’ standards, governors are very supportive of the school and are beginning to act as ‘critical friends and links with a range of partnerships are having an positive impact on the achievement and well-being of vulnerable pupils.
However the report goes onto note that: The school does not always make effective use of first-hand evidence to monitor and challenge the quality of teaching and learning enough; the school does not always use evidence from self-evaluation to provide a clear direction for school improvement; and the school does not use data and tracking systems effectively to evaluate and to plan for the progress of all pupils.
Within Estyn’s report, a detailed breakdown of the inspection is provided, with Estyn going onto comment on factors such as school outcomes, teaching, learning provision and learning environment.
The report goes on to note that the school’s teaching, leadership and improving quality are deemed as ‘Adequate’.
Speaking about the teaching at the school, Estyn writes: “Most teachers have established effective classroom routines and these create a calm and orderly learning environment and promote pupils’ learning well. In most classes, teaching is good or better.”
The report adds: “Teachers are beginning to use the new school system for tracking pupils’ progress to record what pupils can do. However, staff do not always make effective use of this information to inform future planning or to set accurate targets for improvement.”
The report notes that standards, well-being, learning experiences, care, support and guidance; learning environment, partnership working and resource management have been judged as good.
Writing about the school’s learning environment, Estyn notes: “The school has a caring and inclusive ethos, which reflects well the Christian values expressed in its mission statement. The school has appropriate policies and procedures in place to ensure that all pupils have equal access to the curriculum. It places a strong emphasis on celebrating diversity and respecting each other.”
The report concludes by commenting on the resource management of the school, stating: “The school deploys and uses its teachers and learning support staff appropriately. It generally makes sound use of in-house and external training to develop their skills. However, staff have too few opportunities to observe other teachers and to share good practice in teaching and learning. The provision for teachers’ planning, preparation, and assessment time is appropriate.
“As pupils generally make good progress and achieve well, the school provides good value for money.”
A full copy of the Estyn report can be found on their website here.