Calderdale schools are getting better

THREE Calderdale schools still have someway to go before they can be taken out of special measures, according to Ofsted inspectors.

St Catherine’s Catholic High, at Holmfield, Halifax, is making satisfactory progress but is forbidden to appoint newly qualified teachers.

There was a sharp increase in top grade GCSE maths and English results in the summer and students benefit from being taught in smaller groups.

“Overall, lessons are increasingly challenging and the new system of rewards for attendance and achievement is proving very popular with students, who say teachers are stricter,” according to inspector Joan Bonenfant.

The school is due to close in July and all students have a place in a new school of their choice.

Riverside Junior School, in Hebden Bridge, is also improving with the appointment of several new members of staff.

Tests in the summer show standards of achievement remain above average in English and maths, and writing standards are beginning to catch up with those for reading.

“The school is placing a stronger emphasis on the importance of grammar, punctuation and spelling, although the quality of their handwriting and presentation is still too variable,” says inspector Marguerite Murphy.

The improvements at Sowerby Village Primary mean it can appoint newly qualified teachers. There have been many staffing changes and the speed at which pupils learn has improved exceptionally well.

“In the vast majority of lessons, teachers set work which is as hard as pupils can cope with,” said inspector Declan McCauley.