Ridgemont Lower School near Bedford rated Good by Ofsted - but ‘could do better’

A report following an Ofsted inspection of Ridgmont Lower School in March stated there had been no change to the school’s overall judgement of Good.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 27th May 2022, 9:37 am

However, it suggests the rating might not be as high if a full inspection were carried out, identifying what the school does well and where it could do better.

Overall, inspectors found pupils enjoyed being part of a close school family but that the quality of education could be improved, namely early reading, the development of the curriculum and of leadership.

They sound the school is calm and orderly and that any instances of misbehaviour were not significant.

Ofsted inspected Rigdmont Lower School in March

Pupils also reported that bullying hardly ever happens with effective arrangements for safeguarding in place.

However inspectors found leaders had introduced a new phonics programme, but were not checking how well it was being implemented.

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They found staff were not delivering it appropriately and using a mismatch of different reading programmes.

The report also stated staff were not spotting when some pupils were ready to move on in their reading and that leaders did not know whether staff had sufficient knowledge and training to deliver the programme appropriately and effectively.

The report also stated: “Leaders are in the early stages of redesigning their curriculum, including in English and mathematics. They have decided on the broad topics but that planning did not identify all the specific knowledge and vocabulary that teachers need to ensure is covered within this curriculum.

“Despite these weaknesses in curriculum planning and monitoring, pupils enjoy the activities provided with many teachers adept at designing learning activities and the best ways of getting tricky concepts across, such as allowing younger pupils to experiment with scales to learn about weight.

"This includes high-quality in-class support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).”

The report concluded that governors were aware of where improvements were needed and were working closely with the local authority on school improvement plans. It stated: “While the actions in these plans are appropriate, the detail about how and when leaders will bring about improvements lacks precision.

“In discussion with the headteacher, the inspectors agreed that early reading, the development of the curriculum and the development of leadership may usefully serve as a focus for the next inspection.”