Jersey school report praises experience of pupils but finds ‘significant weaknesses’ in part of curriculum

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A PRIMARY-SCHOOL review has found that despite ‘significant’ turnover of staff, Bel Royal’s pupils were ‘valued’ and ‘well supported’.

The Jersey Schools Review Framework highlighted that standards of reading, writing, maths and French had risen in recent years at the school, which has 210 pupils aged between three and 11.

But it also found there were ‘significant weaknesses’ in the overall design of the curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2, which limited pupils’ achievement.

Speaking after the review, which was conducted in January, Bel Royal head teacher Claire Hammond said: ‘I am pleased that the review has highlighted that our pupils feel safe and included at Bel Royal.

‘There is a recognition that the school has undergone significant changes in staffing and leadership over the last three years and as a new leadership team we have a strong commitment and a clear plan to address all the recommendations highlighted in this review, including key areas that we are already working hard to improve upon.’

Seven reviewers visited Bel Royal and observed 14 lessons. Reviewers checked pupils’ workbooks and spoke to groups of students and teachers.

Despite a number of changes in staff in recent years, the report stated: ‘The school’s leadership has built and maintained a happy and inclusive ethos, where pupils are valued and often very well supported.’

The report added that behaviour in the school was ‘mainly good’ and that there were examples of ‘very effective’ teaching across the school.

However, the reviewers criticised the use of work-sheets, stating that they were ‘over used’, which limited pupils’ opportunities to write independently.

The report said: ‘The most effective teaching has high expectations which lead to good achievement.

‘This teaching makes good use of question-and-answer work, so helping staff to assess understanding and correct misconceptions.

‘Planning for improvement would be more effective with clearer statements about what is to be achieved and the precise steps required to do so. Staff show enthusiasm to continue and succeed with school improvement processes.’

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