Ofsted finds Luton primary school has turned itself around since previous critical report

Pupils were eager to learn, inspectors found

By Lynn Hughes
Friday, 28th January 2022, 12:37 am
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 12:38 am

A Luton school has turned itself around after a critical Ofsted report said it "required improvement" three years ago.

Maidenhall Primary School has now been judged to be "good" after its latest inspection.

Isabel Davis, Ofsted's lead inspector, said she found the pupils at the Newark Road school eager to learn with and about their fellow pupils from a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Maidenhall Primary school - Google maps

She said: "Pupils are friendly and interested in meeting visitors to the school. Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. Pupils said that they feel safe and can always talk to an adult if they need to.

"Pupils said that unkind words are rarely used, and if bullying does happen it is sorted out by an adult straight away. Pupils access a full and diverse curriculum that is designed to encourage them to give their opinions and listen to others. Religious education (RE) and personal, social and health education (PSHE) play a large part in pupils’ development into respectful, thoughtful citizens. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils rise to the challenge of teachers’ high expectations. They do this with pride and gratitude. From the moment pupils start school, they are excited to learn new things."

Miss Davis said the majority of parents were positive about the school and commented on the good relationships between the children and the staff.

"Leaders have designed an ambitious and well-considered curriculum to ensure that all pupils get a high quality of education," she said. "There is a strong focus on pupils being able to understand and use new vocabulary. Pupils embed their new learning by recapping and applying it in different ways.

"In a few subjects, such as history, some teachers do not choose the most appropriate strategy to deliver leaders’ intended curriculum effectively. Consequently, in these areas, some pupils are less secure about what they learn.

Inspectors found that the reading and mathematics curriculums had been revised and improved, and that pupils love to read.

"Leaders have planned a curriculum in the early years that gives children a good start to their education," said Miss Davis. "Teachers ensure that children understand the vocabulary being used. Where necessary, adults support children by translating the vocabulary into the child’s home language. This contributes to children feeling settled and positive about what they are learning.

"This is an inclusive school. Leaders ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) access the same ambitious curriculum as their peers. Staff skilfully support pupils with SEND within the class. Pupils with more complex needs have personalised support. The majority of this is well planned and delivered.

"Pupils understand voting, leadership, community and looking after others. They enjoy raising money for charities, camping on the school field and the range of sports clubs on offer. Governors are clear about their roles and statutory duties."

To improve Miss Davis said, leaders need to work on some inconsistencies in how teachers deliver the intended curriculum in foundation subjects. "This has resulted in pupils not remembering enough, or not making the right connections with what they have already learned. Leaders must ensure that staff understand and can effectively deliver the intended curriculum in all foundation subjects, to an equally high standard as other curriculum areas. Leaders should carry out regular checks to ensure that pupils are learning even more as a result in all areas of the curriculum," she said.