New head at Osgodby aims for ‘creativity with purpose’

Osgodby headteacher Ashley Taylor EMN-170505-152937001
Osgodby headteacher Ashley Taylor EMN-170505-152937001

Osgodby Primary School’s new head says he is ‘excited’ by his new role, even though his first task is to address the recent Ofsted report.

In his first headship, Ashley Taylor was planning to settle in to the school before making any changes.

He joined the school following the retirement of head Jill Fincham at the end of March.

However, he has hit the ground running after Ofsted downgraded the school from ‘good’ to ‘requires improvement’ following an inspection on March 28 and 29.

“I don’t find it daunting, it is quite exciting really and the staff feel the same,” said Mr Taylor.

“We will be keeping what is good and moving forward with what needs it.

“A lot of the issues raised in the report are highly fixable; a lot of it is common sense; we just need to put it together.”

Key findings in the Ofsted report focused on pupil progress, monitoring and expectation.

The report also said: “Too few pupils in key stages 1 and 2 achieve at the highest levels, particularly in writing and mathematics.

“Teachers do not use their assessments of what pupils can do well enough to inform the next steps in learning.”

One area of the school to maintain its ‘good’ rating was the early years provision, with the inspector praising the work of teacher Helena Sharman and her team.

There was praise too for the commitment shown by leaders, staff and governors to the care and welfare of pupils and the high attendance rate of pupils.

“I have inherited a very capable staff from Jill, so teaching, learning and progress will be our priorities to ensure academic rigour,” said Mr Taylor.

“We already have new tracking systems in place and have set up same-day catch up sessions for children, so nobody gets left behind.

“We want quality first teaching and engaging lessons in place.”

Mr Taylor also wants to continue to use the school’s setting to enhance learning.

He said: “I want the children to find and develop their individual talents, whatever they are and that is something I know Jill would agree with.

“We are very lucky with our setting, both grounds and locality - it reminds me of my own primary school at Harby - and these can be used as a hook to learning through real-life experience.

“We want creativity with a purpose - a creative curriculum but with purposeful learning.”