School is heading “in the right direction”

Holy Cross school, Uckfield. SUS-150715-085347008
Holy Cross school, Uckfield. SUS-150715-085347008

A school has taken a huge step in the right direction after being told by Ofsted it needed to improve significantly.

Holy Cross CofE Primary School, in Belmont Road, received a monitoring visit on June 5 having been rated ‘requires improvement’ in January.

Inspector Robin Hammerton wrote to advisory headteacher Karen Bye to relay his findings.

He said: “The school has improved well since the inspection. Under your clear leadership it is moving in the right direction across a wide range of areas.

“You have accurately identified what is going well and what needs to improve. This leads to robust and efficient actions to bring about necessary change.”

Mrs Bye, who is a senior advisory headteacher with East Sussex County Council, was brought in after January’s inspection to “provide support for the school as it moves forward”.

She said the report was a “very fair” reflection of the progress being made at Holy Cross and said of Mr Hammerton: “He was a very fair inspector who looked thoroughly at the evidence and at the school and recognised all the significant improvements we have made; improvements to the school environment, teaching and curriculum.”

Mr Hammerton called Holy Cross’s improvement plan “well organised” and recognised how some of the changes made to staffing and teaching groups had ensured the pupils received teaching “more closely targeted to their needs”.

He made particular mention of how much better the children’s handwriting was as well as the presentation of their work and the pride they showed in all tasks.

He said: “When we visited lessons, I could see that teachers’ expectations of pupils have risen. We saw pupils consistently well engaged in worthwhile learning tasks.”

While Holy Cross improved impressively under Mrs Bye’s unwavering leadership, the journey towards a ‘good’ rating has a few more miles to go.

Mr Hammerton said: “There is more to do, however, to raise expectations further.

“For example, in Year 2, pupils’ writing is improving but is not yet as good as it should be.” He also pointed out more could be done to make efficient use of the school site.

Mrs Bye said: “We have plans in place for September and will continue to move forward.”

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