INSPECTORS PRAISE RIVERSIDE SCHOOL
"Pupils have forged strong links with their local community"
Monday, 9 February 2009
The latest Ofsted Report on Riverside Junior School in Hebden Bridge reveals it to be a good school with some outstanding features in relation to pupils' personal development and well-being, and the rich and varied curriculum.
The report goes on to state, "Outstanding use is made of extended services and outside agencies to improve outcomes for learners. Therefore, the quality of pastoral care is also outstanding. Pupils are justly proud of their excellent school council that gives them a strong voice. Pupils are listened to and fully involved in all aspects of school life. They enjoy school and are well motivated to learn."
There are 4 inspection grades available: Grade 1 Outstanding; Grade 2 Good; Grade 3 Satisfactory and Grade 4 Inadequate.
The school was awarded grade 1 (Outstanding) for curriculum and other activities, and for personal development and well-being. "Pupils thoroughly enjoy school, they behave well and their attendance is good. They are useful members of the school and local communities. The excellent school council involves all pupils and has initiated many positive changes with skill and confidence. Pupils work very effectively in groups and teams. Recently, pupils received an award for their sportsmanship and teamwork. Pupils have forged strong links with their local community."
The following areas were awarded grade 2 (Good): overall effectiveness of the school, achievement and standards, care, guidance and support and leadership and management.
Ofsted inspectors pointed out 2-3 areas where the school could do better. These were science, maintaining a consistent quality of teaching across the school and consolidating the use of personal target setting throughout the school so that all pupils know how to improve their work.
Here is the text of the letter the inspectors sent to the pupils:
"On behalf of the inspection team I would like to thank you for making us so welcome in your school. You were all very helpful and polite. I admired the beautiful displays of your work, particularly those about Boudicca and other aspects of history and those about the surreal world. Some of your poetry on display was really outstanding too. I also enjoyed talking to you and finding out about your school council; it is excellent as it is so well managed, represents all your views and it makes a real difference to the school.
I think that your headteacher and the staff all work hard to make your school so successful. It is a good school with some things, such as the curriculum and your personal development, being outstanding. The staff look after you all very well and you feel safe and happy in school. Your teachers know how much progress you are each making so they can plan lessons to make sure that you all have work that suits you. Although you make good progress in lessons and your standards are above average in English and mathematics, you could do better in science. Teachers make sure that they involve you in a lot of interesting lessons, activities and visits. Your residential visits look a lot of fun too.
Your behaviour is good so you listen and learn well. I noticed that you take very good care of each other so that you can all enjoy school. Many of you said that you love school because, 'there are so many interesting and exciting things to do and teachers make learning fun'. Most of you attend school regularly and arrive on time. You also know how to stay healthy and safe and make the most of all the exciting activities and clubs the school provides.
One of the reasons for my visit was to see how your school can improve. You could do better in science so I have asked your teachers to help you to do this. While most of you are well taught, in some lessons teachers could involve you more and check more often how well you are getting on with individual tasks. Finally, I have asked your teachers to improve the way in which they give you personal targets to improve your work so that you all know what you need to do to improve."
Previously on the Hebweb
1997: Riverside School failed the Ofsted Inspection
In 1997, Riverside School failed its Ofsted Inspection and was put into "special measures". Reasons for the failure included the failure to connect with the local community and unsatisfactory teaching occurring in 46 per cent of classes - progress in lessons was generally felt to be unsatisfactory in all lessons except history, music and religious education
From Hebweb News 15th September, 1997:
Council Officials Shocked by Parents' Anger
At a crowded meeting at Riverside School this evening, parents angrily demanded answers from Ian Jennings, Director of Education, Michael Higgins, Chairman of the Education Committee and other Council representatives. Why had the Council not acted earlier to do something about the problems at the school? What help was the Council going to provide? In spite of many excellent, impassioned comments and speeches from parents, the response was generally bureaucratic and legalistic offering nothing tangible.
When asked directly if he personally felt any responsibility for the school failing the inspection so badly, the Director said "I have to shoulder my share of the responsibility."
Many parents hadn't realised until the meeting that the Special Needs help at the school, which was one of the few areas praised by the Inspectors, had since been cut.