CHINGFORD: School criticised by inspectors

First published in Your Local Areas

A PRIMARY school requires special measures because it is failing to provide an acceptable education, according to a government watchdog.

Ofsted inspectors found pupils were not making sufficient progress at Larkswood Primary School in New Road, Chingford, due to inadequate teaching and poor leadership.

Boys, children from poorer families and those with special educational needs were highlighted as making inadequate progress.

Pupils were found to be falling behind in mathematics and English, with boys particularly not always encouraged to improve their writing.

The report found there is a “significant amount” of inadequate teaching and assessments are not used effectively to meet children’s needs.

It said pupils “lose interest when teachers talk too much and do not encourage them to take an active role in their learning.

Parents interviewed expressed concerns which mirrored the findings of inspectors.

Pupils numbers have increased recently and three headteachers have shared responsibility for the school during the prolonged absence of the former headteacher.

More than a quarter of pupils have special educational needs or disabilities.

Despite recommending that the school should be placed under special measures, the new headteacher was praised for making improvements.

Inspectors found Lynne Harrowell, who joined the school in September, had made “a very positive start”.

The report continued: “She has identified precisely what needs to be done to improve the school and has put structures and actions in place to put it on the road to recovery.

“She recognises that much greater rigour and consistency are needed in many areas but particularly in promoting more effective learning.”

Ms Harrowell, who has previously worked as a headteacher at two schools in Hackney and one in Brighton, said she was determined to build on the progress made since she started.

She said: "I've been overwhelmed by the support from parents and carers, the governing body, the director and the Friends of Larkswood for which I'm very grateful. I'm very confident we can work together as a team to get the school out of special measures.

"We've been appointing some outstanding new teachers including a new assistant head and we're introducing a variety of new methods such as an accumulative approach to teaching children to read and write with our Read Write Inc project.

"I'm also very keen on enriching the curriculum, we've had a theatre group in this term to visit the children which I want to do more of."

She added: "I've been working in education since 1981 and I love my job. I've been excited about coming here to Larkswood and I hope we can make it an outstanding school."

Extra-curricular activities and the school’s Breakfast Club were also praised.

Comments (4)

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10:18pm Tue 13 Dec 11

Redfox says...

There lies the problem! "Many children with special needs or disabilities".
This 'PC' attitude that children must be integrated is holding back the worthy education of the masses. The teachers do not have individual training for such enormous calls upon their skills - they cannot be expected to be the Master of All and to train in the 5 basic courses: english, maths, geography, history and science and THEN cope with children who either have a lack of brain power/attention disorders, or just plain 'slow wit'.
Schools must return to the old well-tried method of selective schools - "S.E.N.'s", or GB will fall even deeper into 3rd World standards. Look at our lack of sportsmen & women coming through since the proficient olympic winners of the 1970's & 80's.
If the children need more training it's the parents who must give it.
Waltham Forest had a perfectly good SEN school in Pretoria Avenue - the 'Margaret Brearley' 1925-1970s. Actually it's stood empty for the last 5 months. Perhaps the Guardian could bother themselves and get a comment from council why?
There lies the problem! "Many children with special needs or disabilities". This 'PC' attitude that children must be integrated is holding back the worthy education of the masses. The teachers do not have individual training for such enormous calls upon their skills - they cannot be expected to be the Master of All and to train in the 5 basic courses: english, maths, geography, history and science and THEN cope with children who either have a lack of brain power/attention disorders, or just plain 'slow wit'. Schools must return to the old well-tried method of selective schools - "S.E.N.'s", or GB will fall even deeper into 3rd World standards. Look at our lack of sportsmen & women coming through since the proficient olympic winners of the 1970's & 80's. If the children need more training it's the parents who must give it. Waltham Forest had a perfectly good SEN school in Pretoria Avenue - the 'Margaret Brearley' 1925-1970s. Actually it's stood empty for the last 5 months. Perhaps the Guardian could bother themselves and get a comment from council why? Redfox
  • Score: 0

9:51am Wed 14 Dec 11

myopinioncounts says...

"boys particularly not always encouraged to improve their writing." Are these the same boys who, we are told, must be allowed to be 'active' in nursery and not made to do pencil skill activities? Please OFSTED make up your mind!
"boys particularly not always encouraged to improve their writing." Are these the same boys who, we are told, must be allowed to be 'active' in nursery and not made to do pencil skill activities? Please OFSTED make up your mind! myopinioncounts
  • Score: 0

10:56am Wed 14 Dec 11

ShinySue says...

This is a great shock - my daughter went to that school and at the time it was a very good school and my daughter achieved all level 5 in her SATS at yr6. This was during the period when the school was being totally rebuilt and all the disruption that caused. This is a very important school within Chingford and it needs to be turned round very quickly indeed. What exactly has been going on since the Headmaster, Stephen Fisher left?
This is a great shock - my daughter went to that school and at the time it was a very good school and my daughter achieved all level 5 in her SATS at yr6. This was during the period when the school was being totally rebuilt and all the disruption that caused. This is a very important school within Chingford and it needs to be turned round very quickly indeed. What exactly has been going on since the Headmaster, Stephen Fisher left? ShinySue
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Thu 15 Dec 11

youknowitstrue says...

My daughter went to this School only a few years ago and at the time it was the best Primary in Chingford.
I have been told by friends who have children currently in Larkswood that one of the reasons for falling teaching standards in the vast increase in non English speakers.
The report itself states "The pupils lose interest when the teacher talks too much" Obviously if you don't understand the language you will not learn.
It is a disgrace that the school is being dragged down due to the staff having to get over the language barrier before teaching can start.
My daughter went to this School only a few years ago and at the time it was the best Primary in Chingford. I have been told by friends who have children currently in Larkswood that one of the reasons for falling teaching standards in the vast increase in non English speakers. The report itself states "The pupils lose interest when the teacher talks too much" Obviously if you don't understand the language you will not learn. It is a disgrace that the school is being dragged down due to the staff having to get over the language barrier before teaching can start. youknowitstrue
  • Score: 0

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