Ofsted report delight for improving school

Magdalen Gates Primary School acting head Paul Henman, with some of the children celebrating their g

Magdalen Gates Primary School acting head Paul Henman, with some of the children celebrating their good Ofsted result. From left, Samuel Hollingdale, 10; Joni Baldwin, 7; Abigail Attoe, 9; Luke Robinson, 4; Vidita Srivastava, 5; Colin Wilsher, 6; and Stuti Dutta, 9. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

A primary school with a 'relentless focus' on improving teaching has been judged 'good' across the board in a glowing Ofsted report.

Magdalen Gates Primary School acting head Paul Henman, with some of the children celebrating their g

Magdalen Gates Primary School acting head Paul Henman, with some of the children celebrating their good Ofsted result. Clockwise from front left, Vidita Srivastava, 5; Colin Wilsher, 6; Abigail Attoe, 9; Stuti Dutta, 9; Samuel Hollingdale, 10; Joni Baldwin, 7; and Luke Robinson, 4. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

The verdict, due to be published by Ofsted today, sees Magdalen Gates Primary School in Bull Close Road, Norwich, improve on its 'satisfactory' rating in 2011.

The report praised the 'determined leadership' of headteacher Cara Fahy, who is on maternity leave, and said 'increasingly, teaching is of an outstanding quality with little that is less than good'.

The report said the level of skills and personal development of children, especially boys, was 'well below' average when they start in reception, but by the end of school pupils 'achieve as well as pupils nationally in reading, writing and mathematics'.

Lead inspector Cheryl Thompson wrote: 'All groups of pupils achieve well because teachers plan suitable work for them.


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'More able pupils receive a high level of challenge in lessons.

'Pupils who find learning difficult have carefully organised support.'

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The inspectors highlighted work to tackle the low starting points of boys, including making Magdalen Gates a 'storytelling school', gender-specific guided reading sessions and male role models such as firemen and councillors reading to pupils.

Acting headteacher Paul Henman said: 'It sometimes seems reading for boys is not cool and we want to make it as cool as possible.'

The school joined Norfolk County Council's Norfolk to Good and Great improvement strategy, and Mr Henman said programme head Denise Walker was very helpful.

What do you think? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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