CROSSWAYS Junior School in Thornbury has been judged as ‘good’ by Ofsted.

The inspectors visited the school, which teaches 206 pupils aged seven to 11, on February 27 and 28. They judged the school as ‘good’ overall, with all elements viewed as ‘good’.

This means that Crossways Junior is judged to be effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all its pupils’ needs and that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

Ofsted commented on the pupils’ strengths in mathematics and reading, and the school’s focus on spiritual, moral, social and cultural development leading to good behaviour and attitudes to work. Pupils say that they feel safe in school and the inspectors said that they are caring and respectful to one another. The quality of marking was a previous area for improvement at Crossways Junior School and, according to Ofsted, is now a strength.

The inspectors were impressed with the ‘extremely high’ staff morale and commitment to ensuring that pupils achieve well. As a result, they deem that the capacity for the school to make further improvements is strong. They stated that the Headteacher has been instrumental in shaping this team and that he is highly ambitious for the school, with good management of the quality of teaching and performance.

Ofsted said that sports funding is being used effectively, with high levels of participation and specialist sports coaches employed to improve pupils’ expertise in different activities.

The ‘Parent View’ element of the Ofsted report asks parents for their opinion on 12 aspects of their child’s school, from the quality of teaching, to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour. At Crossways Junior School, 96 per cent of parents ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that the school is well led and managed and 98 per cent of parents ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that their child is happy at the school. 94 per cent of parents said that they would recommend the school to another parent.

The strongest negative feedback comes from 12 per cent of parents, who ‘disagree’ that their child is set appropriate homework for their age.

The inspectors marked areas for improvement in providing more opportunities for pupils to write at length across a range of subjects and suggested that teachers clearly explain tasks, ensuring that pupils know what to do when they finish an activity. Ofsted judged that lack of explanation led to pupils becoming lost and losing concentration and so disturbing the learning of others. If Crossways Junior School improves on these areas, it could be marked as ‘outstanding’ at its next inspection.

Although this is a similar judgement to Crossways Junior School’s previous inspection, Headteacher Mark Toogood, said: “The overall comments and those within each section show significant improvement; indeed the report states that the school has made very good progress in addressing the areas from the previous report.

“We are all very proud of the judgements and comments that the team made; we are particularly pleased with the comments about the children's very good behaviour in class and throughout the school.”