In this article series, we’ll be looking at Ofsted Judgements for Key Stage 2 progress. To do this, we’ll use the 50 judgements which resulted in an overall “Requires Improvement” outcome.

Comparison with National Average

Generally, schools with a “Requires Improvement” outcomes are below the National Average for Key Stage 2 progress. However, there are exceptions:

The 2018 provisional results for key stage 2 are encouraging in some respects. Progress in writing improved to above the national average and progress in mathematics remained in line with the national average.

In some classes, pupils make good progress in reading, writing and particularly mathematics.

Outcomes for pupils across the school are good. Pupils make strong progress across a range of subjects because teaching is good. As a result, pupils are well prepared for their next stage of their education.

But more often they are below the National Average.

The proportion of Year 6 pupils achieving good progress and the expected standards of attainment in reading and mathematics is below national averages. Therefore, not enough pupils are well prepared for moving to secondary school in these subjects.

Pupils do not make good progress across the school.

Ofsted also make comparisons over the last 3 years

Writing has been particularly weak, being in the lowest 5% of schools nationally at points over the last three years.

Pupils in key stage 2 are not making enough progress when compared with pupils nationally. This has been the case for the last three years.

The proportion of pupils who are making good progress is improving over time.

Between 2015 and 2017, pupils’ progress at the end of key stage 2 declined significantly.

However, over a sustained period, pupils’ outcomes at the end of key stage 2 have declined steadily.

Pupils’ progress and attainment declined following the previous inspection. This was especially the case in mathematics. Pupils’ progress in mathematics at key stage 2 was in the bottom 20% nationally for three years.

It is notable that the comparison of schools with the bottom 20% in this final comment is replicated in the IDSR Key Stage 2 Progress.

Ofsted point out whether progress has been inconsistent.

There have been improvements but the most recent cohort shows that these improvements are not secure due to the inconsistencies that still remain in the quality of teaching.

However, the school’s assessments show that the progress of pupils currently in key stage 2 is inconsistent.

Pupils do not make consistently good progress across different year groups.

The progress pupils are currently making in school is variable. Over time, standards have been low and there is still not a consistent picture of standards and progress improving.

Sometimes, Ofsted tries to work out the root cause for the progress made.

Pupils are often given work that is too easy or too hard for them. Over time, this leads to poor rates of progress for individuals and for groups.

The school’s assessment information and work in books show that where teaching is effective pupils make better progress.

Teachers’ expectations of the quality and quantity of pupils’ work are inconsistent. Standards of handwriting and presentation are inconsistent. The quality of pupils’ writing is often let down by poor grammar, punctuation and spelling. This slows the progress pupils make, including those who are disadvantaged. 

The introduction of reading challenges, provision of reading resources attractive to both boys and girls, promotion of the importance of reading at home, mathematics information evenings, events such as the ‘maths circus’, as well as specific support are helping to diminish the differences in the attainment and progress of girls and boys.

Other measures

Occasionally, Ofsted  look at alternative methods of progress – for example, whether Low Prior Attainers reach the Expected Standard:

Standards improved in 2018 so that more pupils made good progress to reach the expected standard in mathematics compared to others nationally.

Very few pupils who are working below the standard expected for their age when they enter Year 3 make sufficient progress to catch up with their peers by the time they leave for secondary school.

From their low starting points, pupils are making progress in all aspects of their learning and development. Staff use a range of assessments to identify pupils’ starting points on entry to school, enabling them to track their progress.

A comparison of the attainment for Low Prior Attainers was in the 2017 IDSR, but is not included in the 2018 IDSR for Key Stage 2. However, it is still included in the ASP.

Ofsted look at pupils’ books and school tracking systems to have a look at year groups other than the end of the Key Stage.

School information and work in books show that pupils make greater progress towards the end of key stage 2. This is largely due to teachers having higher expectations and providing opportunities that require deeper thinking from older pupils. 

However, improvements are uneven across subjects and year groups, for instance in the current Year 5.

However, the school’s assessments show that the progress of pupils currently in key stage 2 is inconsistent.

Pupils do not make consistently good progress across different year groups.

Teachers’ lower expectations of younger pupils limit what they can achieve by the end of key stage 2. This is because teachers of older pupils spend too much time having to fill the gaps in pupils’ learning, rather than enriching and deepening pupils’ learning.

Owing to inconsistencies in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment over time, not enough pupils make the progress they should. Evidence gathered during the inspection, including from classroom visits, scrutiny of pupils’ work, and the school’s own progress and attainment data, showed this to be the case across all year groups in key stages 1 and 2.

For more, please have a look at our article about Other Year Groups.