A Hornchurch school “requires improvement”, says education watchdog

Tower Junior School, in Hornchurch

Tower Junior School, in Hornchurch - Credit: Archant

A Hornchurch school has been told it must improve by an education watchdog.

Towers Junior School, in Windsor Road, was rated “requires improvement” overall, as well as satisfactory for its achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, and leadership and management.

But it was rated good for it behaviour and safety of pupils.

Inspectors said too few pupils were making “more than expected progress” in reading and maths; teaching required improvement because “not enough is consistently good”, and at times the most able pupils were not challenged enough.

They said weaker readers do not read enough to adults; there are not enough challenging texts for the more able pupils; and in maths, pupils spend too long practising skills they have already mastered.

The report said teachers need to improve their feedback as they were not giving pupils enough advice in their marked books about how to improve in maths. And added that while subject leaders in English and maths use data well to influence pupils’ progress, other subject leaders did not.

The school has been asked to improve by making sure that learning is at the right level for all pupils; teachers have a complete overview of how individuals are progressing in each lesson; to raise achievement in reading and maths; to give weaker readers more practice reading at school; and giving more advice to pupils on how to improve in maths.

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But the school was praised for standards above average in reading, writing and maths; and inspectors said writing has improved because pupils are given clear guidance about how to improve their work.

Inspectors said the school makes “innovative use” of information and communication technology and leaders, managers and governors have “eliminated all inadequate teaching”.

Pupils were also praised for behaving well and having positive attitudes to learning and felt safe in school.

Headteacher Marilyn Whiskerd said: “We are pleased that the report reflects the improvements made since the last inspection in March 2012. We feel the inspection was both positive and informative and we can use the experience to build upon as we make the necessary improvements throughout the rest of the year.

“I know our new staff team, governors and pupils are up to the challenge of working together to secure the minimum of a ‘good’ grading across all aspects of the work of the school. We are optimistic that this will be achieved in the near future.”