Please find below our most recent Ofsted reports, and relevant information from the Department for Education Performance Tables.

Latest Ofsted Inspection 15th/16th October 2019

Letter to Parents                                                                              

Friday 15th November 2019

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you are aware, a few weeks ago school was inspected by a team of OFSTED inspectors. This is the first inspection that the school has had under the new, more rigorous 2019 Education Inspection Framework. 

Whilst the overall judgement was that the school Requires Improvement overall, school leaders and staff are greatly encouraged by the significant changes that have happened in the school since September 2016 and the strengths identified in the report.  

We are particularly proud inspectors identified that our ‘children feel safe here’, ‘are well cared for’ and that our ‘school is a happy and friendly place to be’ where ‘bullying is not tolerated’. 

School leaders including governors, have worked hard since I was appointed in 2016 to bring greater strength to school leadership and to the staff team at Lovers’ Lane. The school now has many good teachers. The impact of quality teaching is seen with the improvements in pupils’ results at the end of KS2. Progress and attainment in Maths has shown great improvement in 2019, with a 26% increase in the number of pupils achieving the expected level at the end of key stage 2 and an 11% increase in pupils achieving the higher standard in Maths compared to 2018. Outcomes in Maths and Writing were above the National average in 2019 at the end of Year 6. These outcomes are definitely worth celebrating! 

Strengths of our school:

· Parents (around 30 were interviewed, plus ‘Parentview’ online feedback) voiced positives around good quality support and care of pupils in our school. Pupils also consistently reported feeling safe and cared for;

· The school was seen to have a cohesive approach to safeguarding and our ‘School and Family Support (SAFS)’ approach;

· Leaders’ approach to managing incidents through a graduated response is a strength of the school, especially for vulnerable pupils as it helps them to access the curriculum;

· No child interviewed had a concern about bullying or feeling unsafe;

· The quality of education in Maths, History and PE were identified on the day as strengths of the school – the maths approach and PE scheme have been introduced since 2016-17 and have led to effective improvement;

· Outcomes at the end of Year 6 in Maths, Reading and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) have improved in-line with National or above this year at the expected standard and have also risen at the higher standard;

· Outcomes in Foundation have improved by 14% compared to last year (2018), but we are determined to raise this yet further to give our pupils the strong start they deserve in their education;

· Our Pupil Premium Strategy was deemed as effective, although we know work still needs to be done to close the gap for this vulnerable group and are fully committed to this work;

· Record-keeping for behaviour and safeguarding concerns/actions was noted to be comprehensive, showing clear actions and outcomes for children. We were praised for being relentless in wanting our pupils to be safe and well;

· Good work by the school in attendance tracking and support was noted, but this continues to be an area where we need to improve and is a capacity issue rather than quality of practice;

· The headteacher’s view of the school was deemed to be accurate in discussions with inspectors during the inspection;

· Governors are effective in their roles. 

As you will no doubt notice, the report is very different to previous ones as OFSTED have changed the way they inspect schools from September 2019. There is now much more of a focus on curriculum and how this is adapted to the needs of Lovers’ Lane pupils in our local setting of Newark. You will notice the emphasis on curriculum in what the school needs to improve. We agreed with inspectors on these points and they were already targets in our school improvement plan for this year set in July 2019.

School leaders know that our pupils at Lovers’ Lane deserve the very best education and we will continue to work tirelessly to improve all areas for development as rapidly as possible. Below is a summary of the key things that have already happened since the inspection on 15th/16thOctober 2019 and also the key things we will be doing over the next 2 terms. 

OFSTED will return in approximately 30 months to re-inspect the school and we are all confident that we will have made and embedded the relevant improvements in this time so that the school will be judged to be ‘good’. 

Area for improvement

What has happened already / what we will be doing

Ensure the curriculum is designed sequentially so that pupils develop and revisit subject knowledge

Long term plans for the full year of new curriculum for every year have already been completed since the inspection (deadline for staff was 5-11-2019 and all met this). Subject curriculum maps are currently being written to map out skills and knowledge per half term and year group to year group. Medium term plans have also been written for this term in a new format. English Curriculum overview has been reviewed. Next, learning to be revisited within the long term planning will be highlighted to ensure learning is committed to long term memory. We are implementing a new phonics and early reading programme.

Subject leaders and teachers should receive training and guidance to implement the school’s curriculum fully

Subject leaders have all received training on how to lead their subject with support from a consultant (prior to Ofsted). We have adopted agreed templates. Newark Town Schools curriculum leads are working together to drive forward school-to-school support in each subject area in implementing the curriculum fully.  New templates have been created to make subject leadership more consistent. Inter-school work and peer support will take place. Monitoring by senior leaders. Regular evaluation monitored by HT and Governors.

Ensure the curriculum for Early reading is well planned to develop pupils’ phonics knowledge sequentially

Read, Write Inc Approach for phonics teaching is being adopted asap. Staff in EYFS and KS1 are already booked on training on the earliest dates available. Resources for this scheme have been ordered. This will ensure a very systematic approach to teaching phonics and early reading and will make teaching and learning of phonics and early reading very consistent across EYFS/KS1 and in KS2 booster groups. We enrolled with English Hub at Flying High Trust in September 2019 to support phonics improvement (as we had already identified this need), which has secured us some funding toward staff training and resources. ALL staff across the rest of school will be trained in September 2020. New reading books for learning in school and also book-bag books have been ordered and will be used as soon possible when they have arrived and staff training has happened.

Ensure reading books pupils read match the sounds they know

ALL EYFS and KS1 pupils have been moved onto decodable phonics based Oxford Reading Tree reading books already (this happened by Friday 18th October). All pupils in KS2 who did not pass the phonics screening check by the end of Year 2 have also already been assessed and will have decodeable phonics-based reading books and phonics support as intervention too. New reading stock will be used to support pupils at all ages needing to secure phonics as base for reading (Read, Write Inc Scheme) asap. As above, this has already been ordered since budget review 12-11-2019. We had to wait for this to ensure we can fund these new resources.

Ensure staff that teach phonics receive training to teach it effectively. Leaders check phonics policy is followed by all staff.

Read Write Inc in place as soon as possible. Headteacher monitors all planning for all year groups weekly, provides feedback and then is tracking staff response to this to ensure teaching and learning is consistently at least good. Headteacher also monitors leadership activity from Early Reading Lead and EYFS lead to ensure impact for children. Senior/Middle Leaders will monitor teaching and learning, pupils’ reading books and phonics trackers regularly against agreed policy and expectations to ensure pupils are getting the best possible learning.  HT/Govs oversee leaders.

Ensure all pupils behave as well as they could. Ensure all staff follow behaviour policy tightly and have high expectations at all times

Leaders are already addressing behaviour through monitoring how consistent staff responses are (at all levels including lunchtimes). A new assembly structure introduced ensures learning and embedding this to long term memory and also reinforces behaviour expectations daily. New awards have been introduced in Celebration Assembly for behaviour and stickers for SWAN values/Behaviour have also been introduced and are already having positive impact. This will be ongoing.

Continue to improve attendance and reduce persistent absence

Strategies are already recognised to be good practice. We will also be focusing more closely on pupils with attendance between 90-96%. Pupils who are late will be tracked and we will be expecting pupil to be on time. 

Ensure curriculum for personal development is sequenced through the school

A curriculum map across the school has already been set up for this. Staff will be working together to make sure it is progressive and sequential with learning revisited. All long term planning is on a consistent template format.

Ensure EYFS curriculum is sufficiently ambitious so more children achieve a good level of development by end of Foundation.

Early Years team are working closely with an outstanding school in a Long Term Planning review, which will be linked to quality reading books as the driver. EYFS have also already restructured their day to day planning, assessment and have improved resources and outdoor area. They will also gain ideas from this best practice example.

The staff and I appreciate the support you give to your children and the school. I sincerely hope that we can continue to work together as a school community to make Lovers’ Lane a fantastic school for all. If you do have any questions or queries about the report, please do not hesitate to ask. Please find the full report on our school website.


Kind regards, 

Jenny Hodgkinson