Good news for Dowson Primary

A HYDE primary school has been told it is improving after an inspection by Ofsted.

Dowson Primary School retained its ‘good’ status after the latest Government visit in April and was informed it is making progress on areas where it could have improved.

Headteacher Kathryn Thornburn was praised for the work she had done and the measures implemented after previous inspections.

A letter from inspector Paul Tomkow states: “You have worked effectively with your leadership team to address the weaknesses that were identified at the previous inspection.

“School leaders were asked to improve teaching and to further develop the role of subject leaders.
“The work I saw in pupils’ books showed you have made excellent progress in improving standards.

“Although there was a dip in attainment at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2018, current pupils are making strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics.

“You have also made good progress in developing the role of subject leaders. They are now playing a more effective role in monitoring and improving their areas of responsibility.

“However, further work is required in science, geography and history to ensure pupils develop their knowledge and skills more effectively.”

Work that Mrs Thornburn, has put in to develop nursery provision was also praised.

Mr Tomkow added: “At the previous inspection, you were also asked to strengthen provision in the early years.

“You have overseen improvements to the quality of teaching in the nursery and reception classes.

“Children now make an excellent start to their school life. You have developed good systems for ensuring that children make a smooth transition into school.

“The learning environment, both indoors and outside, is attractive and well resourced.

“Children develop good attitudes to learning and make strong progress. The proportion of children achieving a good level of development was above the national average in 2018.”

“Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in specific areas.

“This may indicate that the schooI has improved significantly overall.”

Mrs Thornburn’s impact since becoming headteacher also did not go unnoticed and it has been recommended a full inspection be done next time, which may see Dowson’s rating improve.

Mr Tomkow said: “Since you took over as principal in September 2017, you have developed a culture where all staff feel valued and enjoy working at the school.

“Staff and governors share your ambitious vision. You and your leadership team are focus. on securing the best possible outcomes so that pupils achieve their full potential and are well prepared for secondary school. All members of staff who responded to the Ofsted survey said that school leaders are aspirational for all pupils.

“School leaders have placed a strong and effective focus on developing pupils’ reading. Teachers regularly read with pupils and constantly look for opportunities to develop pupils’ vocabulary.

“Teachers provide good levels of challenge for pupils in mathematics lessons. The work that I saw in books showed that the vast majority of pupils are confident and competent when working with number.

“Improvements have been made in many subjects. Pupils are confident users of technology, and physical education is also a strength.”

• Find out more about Dowson Primary School on their website: www.dowson.tameside.sch.uk

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