Must do better: Ofsted inspectors tell Bridgewater School it must improve


A primary school that was rated outstanding by inspectors has been downgraded to requires improvement by Ofsted.

The school’s watchdog said Berkhamsted’s Bridgewater School needs to improve the quality of teaching and that the school does not promote consistently good learning in reading, writing and maths.

Inspectors said that pupils are not making consistently good progress at Key Stage 2 from significantly above average attainment at Key Stage 1.

“This is in part because of teacher changes while the school moved from being a middle school to a primary school,” the report said. “Progress is also not consistently good in either the early years or Year 1 because some of the work the pupils undertake does not push their learning on fast enough.”

In September last year the education system in Berkhamsted was changed from three tiers with first, middle and upper schools to two tiers - made up of primary and secondary schools.

Three Ofsted inspectors visited the school in Bridle Way in November this year where they observed 20 lessons.

They also looked at work in pupils’ books and meetings were held with groups of children, school staff and governors.

The last inspection before this was in July 2012, when the school was ranked outstanding.

Headteacher Caren Doodson said: “Bridgewater has been in transition from a middle school to a primary school and as such has undergone enormous change.

“Whilst we are disappointed with our Ofsted rating, we are pleased that Ofsted highlighted the many positive aspects of the school.

“We are fully committed to delivering the improvements suggested in the report, making the successful transition to a ‘good’ primary school in the near future.”

Hemel Hempstead’s Roman Fields - a referral unit for children who struggle in mainstream school and are at risk of exclusion - has also recently been inspected by Ofsted.

The watchdog, which rated the unit as good, visited in October this year.

Inspectors said the school is not yet outstanding because students do not acquire new knowledge, skills and understanding quickly enough and leaders are still developing new arrangements for the curriculum and assessment.

The unit was last inspected in February 2012.