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Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School Closed - for academy Aug. 31, 2014

see new Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Field Lane

phone: 01502 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Simon Lea


school holidays: via Suffolk council

261 pupils aged 3—10y mixed gender
300 pupils capacity: 87% full

120 boys 46%


140 girls 54%


Last updated: Aug. 31, 2014

Primary — Voluntary Controlled School

Education phase
Religious character
Church of England
Establishment type
Voluntary Controlled School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2014
Reason closed
For Academy
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 652997, Northing: 286727
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.42, Longitude: 1.7193
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
May 22, 2013
Ofsted special measures
In special measures
Diocese of Norwich
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Waveney › Kessingland
Town and Fringe - less sparse
Free school meals %

rooms to rent in Lowestoft

Schools nearby

  1. Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School NR337QA
  2. 1.9 mile Carlton Colville Primary School NR338DG (458 pupils)
  3. 1.9 mile Gisleham Middle School NR338DG
  4. 1.9 mile Beccles Free School NR338DG (197 pupils)
  5. 2.1 miles Pakefield Primary School NR337AQ (469 pupils)
  6. 2.1 miles Pakefield Middle School NR337DS
  7. 2.1 miles Pakefield School NR337DS (720 pupils)
  8. 2.2 miles The Old School NR347LG (94 pupils)
  9. 2.7 miles Grove Primary School NR338RQ (326 pupils)
  10. 2.7 miles Grove Primary School NR338RQ
  11. 2.8 miles Whitton Green Primary School NR339RR
  12. 2.8 miles Westwood Primary School NR339RR (196 pupils)
  13. 2.9 miles Elm Tree Middle School NR339HQ
  14. 3 miles Elm Tree Community Primary School NR339HN (319 pupils)
  15. 3 miles St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School NR330DG (211 pupils)
  16. 3.2 miles Meadow Community Primary School NR330NE (293 pupils)
  17. 3.2 miles Warren School NR338HT (115 pupils)
  18. 3.3 miles The Attic NR330RQ (32 pupils)
  19. 3.4 miles Fen Park Community Primary School NR330RZ (308 pupils)
  20. 3.4 miles Dell Primary School NR339NU (435 pupils)
  21. 3.4 miles Kirkley Community High School NR330UQ
  22. 3.4 miles Kirkley Middle School NR330RZ
  23. 3.4 miles East Point Academy NR330UQ (767 pupils)
  24. 3.4 miles Red Oak Primary School NR330RZ

List of schools in Lowestoft

18 July 2014
Simon Lea
Kessingland Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School
Field Lane
NR33 7QA
Dear Mr Lea

Special measures monitoring inspection of Kessingland Church of England
Voluntary Controlled Primary School

Following my visit with Paul Lawrence, Associate Inspector, to your school on 16–17
July 2014, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s
Services and Skills to confirm the inspection findings. I would like to thank the
deputy headteacher for the help she gave during the inspection and for the time she

made available to discuss the actions which have been taken since the school’s

previous monitoring inspection.
The inspection was the fourth monitoring inspection since the school became subject
to special measures following the inspection which took place in May 2013. The full
list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that inspection is set
out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is attached.
Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time:
The school is not making enough progress towards the removal of special measures.
The school may not appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring
This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.

I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of

State, the Chair of the Interim Executive Board (IEB), and the Director of Children’s

Services for Suffolk local authority.

Yours sincerely
Robert Lovett

Her Majesty’s Inspector

Serco Inspections
Colmore Plaza
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6AT
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T 01216 799154
Direct email: reveal email: aida…


The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in May 2013.

 Improve teaching by ensuring all teachers:

- insist on the very best work and behaviour from all pupils
- provide activities at the right level of difficulty to interest all pupils and to help

them to maintain their concentration

- use questioning more effectively to engage pupils, check their understanding

and challenge them in their learning

- deploy teaching assistants more effectively to support pupils’ learning within

the classroom and when working with small groups of pupils.

 Accelerate pupils’ progress and raise their attainment in English and

mathematics by:

- improving systems for tracking pupils’ progress and providing effective

support for all pupils at risk of underachieving

- increasing pupils’ confidence in reading and writing, for example, through

providing more opportunities to read in school

- improving pupils’ understanding of number and their ability to apply their

skills in mathematical calculations

- targeting effective support for those girls who are falling behind in


- ensuring that pupils’ targets are challenging enough to help them to make

good progress.

 Improve the leadership of teaching so that no teaching is inadequate and there

is a significant reduction in the amount that requires improvement by ensuring

- systems for checking the quality of teaching lead to accurate judgements that

take full account of pupils’ achievement

- teachers’ performance targets are based on pupils making good progress and

include specific areas for development in teaching

- there are more opportunities for improving teaching through coaching and

sharing good practice both within and beyond the school.

 Improve the effectiveness of leaders and governors by:

- middle leaders undertake training to enable them to be more effective in their

supporting and monitoring roles

- the pupil premium funding is used effectively to support eligible pupils who

are at risk of underachieving

- the school works more closely with parents and carers to improve attendance
- governors and senior leaders rigorously check the effectiveness of key

decisions and actions to ensure they are leading to rapid improvements in

teaching and the achievement of pupils.
An external review of governors should be undertaken in order to assess how this
aspect of leadership and governance may be improved.

Report on the fourth monitoring inspection on 16–17 July 2014

Inspectors observed the school’s work, scrutinised documents and met with the

deputy headteacher, two groups of pupils, the Chair of the IEB and another board
member, the special educational needs coordinator, subject leaders for English and
mathematics, and representatives of the local authority and the Diocese of Norwich
Education Academies Trust. They observed teaching in all 11 classes. Some of these
were joint observations with the deputy headteacher. Inspectors looked at a range

of pupils’ writing books and the school’s data on pupils’ progress and attainment.


You were absent from school on both days of the inspection. The school will convert
to an academy sponsored by the Diocese of Norwich Education Academies Trust on
1 September 2014. There have been a number of changes in staffing. Three of the
11 classes were taught by temporary teachers.

Achievement of pupils at the school

It has been over a year since the school was placed in special measures and the rate
of improvement is too slow. Pupils are still not achieving well enough. The 2014
unvalidated results of the national tests, show that pupils in Year 6 have done less
well than previously in reading, writing and mathematics. They have performed
particularly poorly in writing. This is reflected in the low quality of writing seen in

many pupils’ books. Expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low. This is

because teachers have had insufficient opportunities to share good assessment
practice with colleagues across the school, and more importantly, with colleagues in
other primary schools. Many are unable to assess accurately the quality of pupils’
writing. More-able pupils have done much better this year and three reached the
higher Level 6 in mathematics. The obverse of this success is that other pupils,
including those groups of pupils who often underachieve nationally, have done less
well. For example, across the school, the gap in attainment between pupils
supported through additional funding (the pupil premium) and that of their
classmates is either not narrowing at all or not narrowing quickly enough.
Pupils in Year 2 have also achieved less well than in 2013. Their attainment in
reading, writing and mathematics is likely to be below average, although there are
some good gains in the proportion of pupils reaching the higher Level 3 in writing
and mathematics. Teachers’ assessments of pupils’ work have been externally
validated and agreed as accurate.
Pupils in Year 1 have done less well than in 2013 in the national phonics (linking
sounds and letters) screening check and, when results are confirmed, are likely to
have done significantly less well than pupils nationally.

Teachers’ assessments of pupils’ progress and attainment are too high. Systems for

tracking how well pupils are doing are inadequate. Even such unreliable data as the
school holds is difficult to access and is presented in a number of, sometimes,
contradictory forms. The school does not have a reliable baseline from which to

judge pupils’ progress or attainment, other than in Year 2.

There have been some recent improvements in the presentation of pupils’ work with
more consistent expectations of how titles and dates should be set out. The quality

of pupils’ handwriting across the school remains poor. Even some of the oldest

pupils do not form letters well, nor do they join letters in a cursive style. This is
because there is no school handwriting policy, no regular handwriting practice and
no expectation that pupils in all classes will produce high-quality work. Leadership in

this area of the school’s work has been weak. There are a few examples of good

practice, particularly in the joint Year 5 and 6 class, where the quality of work is
mostly good, although even here some individuals are struggling to tidy up their
handwriting and presentation.

The quality of teaching

While there have been improvements in the quality of teaching, these are too

sporadic and piecemeal to impact positively on pupils’ progress over time. At the

time of the last monitoring inspection, it was reported that teaching was beginning
to improve. Subsequent improvements have not been rapid enough to have a
positive impact on pupils’ achievement. This is partly because strengths have not
been built on by senior leaders so that best practice is consolidated and shared.
There has been a lack of high expectations, often known as ‘non-negotiables’, for
too long. While these are now in place, they are not being rigorously monitored.
Professional-development opportunities for teachers and others in the school are
now being widened to include joint working with colleagues in good and better
schools and with local authority advisers. It is too late for this to have an impact in
the current academic year. However, some individual teachers have improved their
practice. Where this has happened, it is more the result of recent support from the
local authority and the highly effective deputy headteacher, or individual teachers’
efforts than strategic planning to improve the quality of teaching.
Where teaching is strong, it is characterised by high expectations of what pupils can
achieve, good use of teaching assistants and very good questioning to challenge
pupils and deepen their understanding. In these lessons, teachers use the correct
subject-specific vocabulary and, where necessary, explain it carefully so that all
pupils understand what it means. Strengths in teaching were observed in lessons
taught by both permanent and temporary staff.
Because pupils throughout the school have a limited grasp of phonics they are not
able to use their knowledge of letters and sounds to help them spell unfamiliar
words. There is no whole-school strategy to improve the dire standard of spelling

observed in pupils’ books and reflected in the 2014 Year 6 national test preliminary

result in English grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Recent improvements in the quality of marking have been sustained and there is
some good practice to be seen, including for some of the youngest and oldest
pupils. Pupils know what the coloured marker-pen annotations to their work mean

and generally use these and the teachers’ comments to improve their work.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

Pupils’ behaviour in lessons, in corridors and on the school field is typically good.

Pupils set high standards for themselves and others. They take a very dim view of
the few pupils who do not live up to high expectations in lessons, or play too
boisterously outside. Pupils say they are enjoying the extra focus on mathematics

and particularly enjoy ‘problem-solving Fridays’. Where teaching is of high quality,

pupils are enthusiastic learners, work together well and behave exceptionally well.
Pupils are happy, welcoming and polite. Most recognise recent improvements in the
school and say that lessons are more enjoyable. Pupil play-leaders enjoy the
additional responsibility of their role and feel well prepared. Many pupils enjoy
talking about their work and engaging in discussions with visitors and classmates.
Recent improvements in attendance have been consolidated. However, the
attendance of some groups of pupils – such as those supported through additional
funding (pupil premium) and pupils of Gypsy/Roma heritage, remains below that of
their classmates.

The quality of leadership in and management of the school

The interim executive board (IEB) continues to provide robust challenge and support
to the senior leadership of the school. Members have a sharp focus on how rapidly
the school is improving and have not flinched from asking challenging questions
about the impact of senior leaders on the quality of teaching and pupils’
achievement. They have correctly identified that the rate of improvement is too slow

and pupils’ achievement too low. In order to provide continuity, the IEB will continue

to support school improvement after the school converts to become an academy.

Improvements in the school’s senior leadership have not been sustained. The

promise held out by a fresh set of assessment data and improved tracking of how
well pupils are doing, has proved illusory. The school’s assessment data are
inaccurate. Systems for tracking pupils’ progress lack detail and are not routinely
shared with staff, and promised improvements in teaching have not been followed
through. Clear systems and policies for improving pupils’ achievement are lacking. In
some cases, such as for improving handwriting, there is no policy at all. The deputy
headteacher continues to provide excellent support and challenge and has been
instrumental in recent improvements in the quality of teaching. Because
management systems and collegiate working are underdeveloped, she has to be,
currently, too reactive – working to solve emerging problems, rather than being able
to take a strategic and measured approach to school improvement. The deputy
headteacher has led the preparations for the introduction of a new National
Curriculum in September so that detailed plans are in place for its introduction.
Middle leadership is being strengthened. The management of special educational
needs continues to improve. The coordinator’s monitoring of individual education
plans and pupil-progress meetings is increasingly effective, although the information
provided for her to act on is sometimes so brief and imprecise as to be of little value.
Subject leadership for reading, writing and mathematics is still in the early stages of
development, but is already showing a good capacity to contribute to school
Safeguarding arrangements continue to meet current national requirements, with

new members of staff appropriately recorded on the school’s central register.

External support

Since the last monitoring inspection, the school has received support from a range of
sources. The link school improvement adviser has continued to provide effective
support, particularly for the deputy headteacher and for subject leaders. The special
educational needs coordinator has valued the support of the local authority adviser
for special educational needs. This support is having a demonstrable impact on her
knowledge and capacity to be effective. Subject leaders have also valued the
support and advice of local authority subject-specialist advisers. The Diocese of the
Norwich Education Academy Trust has already provided some support for teachers
of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The school has valued working with an
effective headteacher and recent opportunities to work with two successful local
primary schools.

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