In this series of articles, we’ll have a look at typical Ofsted comments for schools which have been judged “good” overall in 2018.

In this article, we’ll look at Ofsted’s comments regarding the proportion of pupils reaching the expected standard at the end of Key Stage 2.

Attainment at National averages

Generally in good schools, Ofsted inspectors look for results which are broadly in line with the National Average, and they will use provisional (unvalidated) figures when released, especially if the figures were below in previous years:

Progress in writing across key stage 2 has improved steadily since the last inspection and is now broadly average.

Attainment in mathematics was close to the national average.

Provisional information for the end of key stage 2 shows that the proportion of pupils meeting the expected standard in reading has risen substantially since 2016 and is now in line with that found nationally.

Pupils’ attainment is generally in line with national averages.

In 2018, provisional outcomes indicate that most pupils achieved age-related expectations in national assessments in reading, writing and mathematics.

However, there is little evidence in this reports that Ofsted inspectors are relying on the new measures introduced in ASP in 2018.

For more information about ASP measures, please see our ASP and IDSR training videos.

The inspectors try to look for reasons behind the good results, and conclude it is generally the leadership and improved teaching:

Pupils respond well to improved teaching in mathematics.

In mathematics, teachers ensure that pupils develop strong problem-solving skills.

Leaders took decisive action to improve teaching.

Leaders have been successful in addressing the weaknesses in teaching which were responsible for these results.

Strong leadership and improved teaching are raising standards.

This is because pupils have experienced consistently effective teaching since joining the school.

Attainment below National averages

Even in good schools, Ofsted inspectors note that sometimes results can be inconsistent:

Progress and attainment at the end of key stage 2 have been inconsistent. There was a significant drop at the end of the key stage in 2017, owing to some poor teaching and turbulence in staffing and school leadership.

However, there have been inconsistencies in pupils’ rates of progress and attainment within different key subjects over time, particularly by the end of key stage 2.

Pupils’ progress in writing has fluctuated more widely. This reflects weaker learning in the past and significant variation in their complex and emotional needs.

The turbulence in staffing affected the attainment…some pupils made

Where there is fluctuation, this is a reflection of the starting points and needs of the cohort.

Not every subject has to be at or above average for a school’s outcomes to be considered good, as long as there are indications of rapid improvement (as per the Ofsted Inspection Handbook):

Although there are indications of improving progress in reading, … pupils’ attainment in reading remains below average.The headteacher recognises that more should be expected of pupils in reading, and is already putting in place strategies that aim to redress this shortfall.

As a result of the effective actions by leaders, provisional 2018 results at the end of Year 6 indicate a marked improvement in outcomes…

Although standards have risen, the school accepts that there is still more to do to improve pupils’ progress and standards.

Small schools and the future

If a school is small, then Ofsted do not comment separately on outcomes.

Owing to small numbers, this report cannot comment on other groups as they are not statistically significant.

For more details as to what constitutes a small cohort size, please see our article on ASP attainment for Key Stages 1 and 2.

Finally, inspectors look to the future of pupils, generally with confidence in the case of good schools:

With their exemplary attitudes towards learning, excellent personal development and improved academic outcomes, pupils are well prepared for secondary school.

Pupils are confident and positive about their future because they have learned to be successful.

They are well prepared for the next stage of their education.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article.

This series examines the comments of Ofsted Inspectors from 80 full inspections of schools which were deemed to be “good”.

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