Ofsted singles out Harold Wood school for English success

From Left : David S, Megan C, James B, Hannah C and James E

From Left : David S, Megan C, James B, Hannah C and James E - Credit: Archant

Encouraging children to read challenging books is increasing their motivation, confidence and skill, according to Ofsted.

From Left : David S, Megan C, James B, Hannah C and James E

From Left : David S, Megan C, James B, Hannah C and James E - Credit: Archant

The education watchdog gave Redden Court School, in Cotswold Road, Harold Wood, an outstanding report following a recent inspection on the back of its excellent exam results in English.

The inspectors observed lessons and spoke to both teachers and pupils to discover the school’s secret to success, which included 91 per cent of students making expected or better progress, beating the national average of 66 pc.

An intensive programme which encourages Year 7 and 8 students to read daily, tackling increasingly challenging books, was highlighted as being instrumental in the results.

Leah McGee, Head of the English at Redden Court, said: “I am very proud of my team. Our policy of delivering thought-provoking lessons to students of all abilities is really paying off.


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“Our all round work, not just in timetabled lessons but at lunchtimes, after school and during the holidays, has created a fantastic atmosphere of great teaching, exemplary learning and a real love of language.”

Children were asked about their progress in reading, writing and spoken English, which has led to 90pc of them gaining A*-C grades in English Language, with results expected to improve again in 2014.

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Ofsted was particularly impressed by the progress made by “vulnerable” students and those eligible for free school meals, with 96pc making expected or better progress last year.

Hannah C, a Year 9 pupil, said: “English at our school is not just about lessons and exams. We have lots of extra-curricular clubs after school. I am a mentor, we’re called English Ambassadors, to younger students. I help them choose interesting books.”

David S, in Year 7, added: “Reading is a big part of my life, my favourite books are adventure novels.”

Paul Ward, headteacher, added: “I am absolutely delighted about this Ofsted report. Redden Court gives opportunities to all regardless of ability or background. I am so proud of all my English teachers and support staff.”

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