A RUNCORN school with poor attendance, where pupils ‘do not achieve as well as they should’ has been slammed as requiring improvement by education watchdogs.

An official report delivered by Ofsted inspectors observed Bridgewater Park Primary as a school ‘on a journey’, with the curriculum being a focus of concern.

A new leadership team introduced to the school is said to have helped issues surrounding the curriculum which ‘lacked ambition’.

“The new leadership team has worked closely with the trust and governors to devise a more appropriate and aspirational curriculum for pupils in key stages 1 and 2.

“Leaders have constructed the curriculum taking into consideration the mixed-age classes in the school. However, much of this work is in its infancy.”

The report states that while improvements are being made, these are still in their ‘early years’.

“The curriculum is at an early stage of development and lacks clarity. As a result, the activities that staff design for children sometimes lack purpose.

“Leaders have not given staff enough guidance on how to develop and extend children’s knowledge and vocabulary across the curriculum.”

Another concern highlighted was the low attendance of some of the pupils at the setting.

“Leaders have introduced a range of strategies to encourage pupils to attend school regularly. However, too many pupils do not attend school often enough. This impacts on how well they learn.”

Despite this, pupils are happy at the setting and ‘enjoy coming to the school’.

Staff are described as caring and willing to help anyone and teachers are praised for dealing with issues of bullying ‘effectively’.

“Pupils learn that everyone should be treated with respect, regardless of their differences. If bullying does happen, staff deal with it effectively. This helps pupils to feel safe.”

The report added that leaders have high expectations of pupil’s behaviour across the school and new policies introduced by leaders are said to have had a noticeable impact on pupils conduct during school time.

“Pupils look forward to the weekly celebration assemblies. They are keen to earn star certificates and be part of the ‘Always Club’ by upholding the school’s core values. The school is a calm and purposeful place to learn and play as a result.”

Inspectors also praised the school’s approach to reading, with it being held of high importance throughout the curriculum.

Pupils who attend the setting are said to speak openly and ‘enthusiastically’ of their favourite literature and authors.

“Children in Nursery enjoy listening to stories and joining in with songs and rhymes. This prepares them well to learn the sounds that letters represent.

“Pupils read books which match the sounds that they have learned. Most pupils build up their phonics knowledge securely.”