A school where 90% of pupils come from ethnic minorities has been praised for the ‘rapid’ improvement in teaching but warned standards still need to rise.
Elmhurst School in Dunsham Lane. Aylesbury, has been given a’requires improvement’ rating by Ofsted, the same as when they visited in 2011 (back then their score of three was defined differently as ‘adequate’).
Inspectors said that ‘pupils’ progress and the quality of teaching have improved rapidly in the past academic year in most year groups’, but children’s achievement is still too low, especially in reading.
They also praised the ‘strong and improving’ leadership at the school and pupils’ good behaviour.
Headteacher Rachel Kirk, who was appointed in 2012, said in a statement: “The inspection was fairand the report is helpful.
“It gives the school credit for the improvements that have been made, particularly during last year, and sets a clear agenda for us to focus on to secure further and rapid improvement.
“We have an even stronger teaching and leadership team in place for this school year to tackle the areas of weakness identified by the inspectors as well as to ensure that we sustain the improvements made.
“Our Key Stage 2 SAT results in 2013 were the best ever in mathematics and in line with national levels.
“We have done well for the second year running with our writing standards.
“This school year we have a major focus on improving standards in reading across the school, building on the strengths identified in the inspection report about the early years foundation stage and at key stage one with our teaching of phonics.”
The Ofsted report said that ‘about 90% of pupils come from a range of minority ethnic groups’ and ‘about 80% of pupils are believed to speak English as an additional language’.
It adds that ‘the parental engagement officer has made a significant difference to increasing the school’s understanding of its diverse cultural community and how best to support parents’ and carers’ engagement in school life’.
The school was placed into special measures in 2009 but came out of this under former headteacher Diane De Wolf in 2011.