IMPROVEMENTS are ongoing at a Winsford nursery and primary school recently inspected by Ofsted.

Willow Wood Community Nursery and Primary School, on Bradbury Road, was rated ‘requires improvement’ by the education watchdog following its latest inspection in October.

The Wharton school was rated ‘good’ in three out five inspection areas – behaviour and attitudes, personal development and early years, provision. But inspectors said improvement was needed in the quality of education and the school’s leadership and management.

In their report inspectors said new head teacher Martin Bell had quickly identified the strengths and weaknesses of the school, adding: “He knows that pupils’ achievement in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Key Stage Two is not good enough. He also knows that there is work to do to make sure that the curriculum is well planned in other subjects.

“Plans are under way to turn this situation around.”

The report stated planned curriculums in reading, writing and mathematics for Key Stage One were ‘well planned’, and as such pupils were able on what they have learned before. However, this is not the same for older children, leading to ‘gaps in children’s learning’ at Key Stage Two.

Early years learning was described at getting the school’s youngest pupils off to a strong start and staff were found to use assessment information ‘very well’.

Inspectors added: “They know what children need to learn. The curriculum is well planned, across all the early learning goals, so that children have a solid foundation for the future. They are well prepared for learning in Year 1.”

Specially resourced provision for the school was praised, in particular the special educational needs coordinator’s systems for identifying children with additional needs and for training staff.

Inspectors described pupils’ personal development as a ‘strength of the school’, adding: “Teachers plan activities that prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain. They have a well-developed understanding of democracy through elections for school council members.

“The pupils’ books show their developing understanding of a variety of other religions. Disadvantaged pupils learn well because the staff adapt the curriculum to their needs. Leaders use a programme to target difficult to reach disadvantaged families.

“Pupils are a delight to talk to. They are polite and speak clearly and confidently. They behave well in class. Little time is lost due to disruption. They move around the school in an orderly manner, showing respect for other classes who are in lessons.”