Schools report - part 1

Monday 21 October 2013

There are 19 recognised schools in the Forest Gate area, providing a wide range of options and experience for the area's young people. These are:

• 2 local authority infants-only schools (Odessa, Woodgrange)
• 1 local authority junior-only school (Godwin)
• 4 local authority all-through primary schools (Earlham, Elmhurst, Sandringham, William Davies)
• 2 Grant maintained primary schools (St James' - junior, Church of England; St Antony's - primary, Catholic)
• 1 independent Christian junior school (Grangewood)
• 3 independent Islamic primary schools (Alif Academy, Iman Zakaria Academy, Jamiah Madaniyah))
• 1 local authority community secondary school (Forest Gate)
• 1 locally-controlled academy secondary school (Stratford)
• 1 voluntary maintained girls secondary school (St Angela's)
• 1 voluntary maintained boys' secondary school (St Bonaventure's)
• 1 Independent Islamic primary and secondary school (Quwwatul Islam Girls)
• 1 independent Islamic secondary school (Azhar Academy)

In the first of two parts, this week we look at the primary sector - both local authority maintained and independent schools for  primary-aged children.

What follows is a brief summary of some of the key features of the schools, drawn from a combination of their own websites and of their most recent Ofsted reports.  These can be accessed here   

The points raised below are not meant to be a definitive account of life at the school, for which people will look in more detail on the websites indicated, and elsewhere; but simply to be a lay person's answer to the "Wonder what that place is like?" question crossing the minds of passers'-by.

As with all articles on this website, please feel free to comment in the section at the end of the article. Only unlawful, inflammatory or totally irrelevant spam comments will be excluded!

The local primary-aged schools

Local Authority maintained

Earlham Primary School, Earlham Grove
The school was built in the early 1950s and is about to embark on a major rebuilding and expansion project. It is an inclusive school, admitting children of a wide range of abilities, including those with learning difficulties. 
Earlham Primary School
The school received a "Good" judgement from Ofsted in its last full inspection, in November 2008, when there were 336 pupils on the roll.  This assessment was confirmed in March last year, meaning that the school will not be facing another full inspection for some time.

In 2008 the inspectors found the personal development and well-being of pupils to be excellent and the following characteristics to be good: overall effectiveness, early years teaching, achievement and standards, quality of teaching and curriculum, care guidance and support and leadership and management.
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

Elmhurst Primary School, Upton Park Road
There were 880 pupils on the roll (almost four times larger than the average size for a similar school) at the time of the last Ofsted Inspection, 2006, when the school received an "outstanding" judgement from the inspectors. An interim inspection in 2010 confirmed that judgement.
Elmhurst Primary school
The number of pupils who have free school meals is above the national average, as is the proportion of pupils with special educational needs. The school provides a variety of after school classes and clubs and offers free one to one tutoring after school or on Saturday mornings for any child that needs it.
Overall inspection judgment: Outstanding Website

Godwin Junior School, Cranmer Road
The junior school caters for children aged 7 - 11 and had 353 pupils on its roll at the time of its last full Ofsted inspection.  The inspectors, then, judged the school to be "Good", with the inspectors commending its inclusive ethos.  The "Good" judgement was confirmed in an interim assessment by Ofsted in March 2002.
Godwin Junior school
The Department for Education's Key Stage 2 performance tables showed that 86% of Godwin pupils achieved level 4 or above in both English and Mathematics, compared with the Newham-wide average of 80% and a national average of 79%.
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

Odessa Infant School, Wellington Road
The infants school, catering for pupils aged 3 - 7, had a roll of 303 at the time of its last full Ofsted assessment (2005), when the school was judged to be "Good".
Odessa Infants
Inspectors pointed out that the "Pupils achieve well because the school's leadership has developed positive, professional practice that ensures teaching is good." This judgement was confirmed in an interim assessment in March 2012.
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

Sandringham Primary School, Sandringham Road
There are 956 pupils on the roll of this large 3 - 11 local primary school.
Sandringham was last inspected by Ofsted in July 2013, when the inspectors' judgement was that the school was at least "Good" on all the measures assessed and "Outstanding" when it came to the behaviour and safety of its pupils, which the inspectors concluded "makes a very strong contribution to the climate of calm and purposeful learning ... pupils are well-mannered, friendly and courteous at all times"
Sandringham Primary
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

William Davies Primary School, Stafford Road
William Davies had a school roll of 257, 3-11 year olds at the time of its last Ofsted inspection, in 2012, when the school was judged to be "Good". 

Ofsted concluded that "William Davies is a good school, which has excellent links with parents and carers and promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.  By the end of year 6, pupils' overall attainment is above the national average."

William Davies Primary
The school's website isn't great, so there are few details about it here!
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

Woodgrange Infant School, Sebert Road
Woodgrange an infants school, catering for 330 pupils in the 3 - 7 age range at the time of the last Ofsted Inspection, in 2011. The school was assessed as "Good" by the inspectors. It has a lower than average proportion of children with special educational needs and a percentage of pupils eligible for free school meals in line with the national average.
Woodgrange Infants
Inspectors commented favourably on a comment by a parent/carer that "The school has a big part in the local community; its friendly, caring and welcoming and I'm very happy my child attends this school."
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

Grant Maintained

St Antony's (Roman Catholic), Upton Avenue

This larger than average, mixed gender, Catholic primary school caters for 420 3-11 year olds.  It was awarded a "Good" judgement in its latest, 2013, Ofsted inspection; an improvement on the "Satisfactory" it received, when previously inspected in 2009.


St Antony's Catholic Primary
 The children start the school with lower than average skills and knowledge, but leave with average skills and knowledge for their ages, which represents good progress within the school. Children with disabilities and English as a second language make good progress because their specific needs are well catered for.

The highest quality of teaching in the school is with the older age groups.  The school is good in terms of: achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, safety of pupils and leadership and management.
Overall inspection judgment: Good Website

St James' (Church of England) junior, Tower Hamlets Road
There are 391 pupils in this larger than average mixed junior school, catering for 7-11 year olds.  The school was awarded a "Good" judgement by its latest (2013) Oftsed inspection, an improvement on the "Satisfactory" judgement it received previously - in 2010.
St James' Junior
98% of the pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds, with the largest groups coming from Bangladeshi, African "other white" and "other black" communities.  English is a second language for 80% of the school's pupils.

The school has a much higher eligibility for free school meals than the national average; so free meals are provided to all the school's pupils.
The schools was assessed as having good: achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, leadership and management.  Achievement is improving at a faster rate than average in the school.  The head teacher provides excellent leadership.
Overall inspection judgment: Good  Website


Grangewood Independent School, Chester Road
This is an independent Christian primary school (ages 3 - 11), established in 1979, catering for 73 pupils at the time of its last inspection, by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2010.

The majority of its students are of Black African heritage, and its fees range from c£2,000 p.a. to c£5,100.Its 2010 inspection report concluded that "Pupils achieve satisfactorily, overall .. (the school's) key strength is knowledge of Christian beliefs and philosophy ... some lessons lack opportunities for independent thinking and learning, as at the time of the previous inspection."
Grangewood Independent school
"Results in National Curriculum tests at the age of eleven over the last three years have been moderate overall in comparison with the national average for all maintained primary schools."

As far as governors are concerned, the inspectors concluded;" There are shortcomings that render governance unsatisfactory."
Overall inspection judgment: Satisfactory Website

Alif Academy, 313 - 319 Katherine Road
This independent day school opened in September 2011 and caters for pupils aged 3 - 11 years.  At the time of its only Ofsted inspection (2012) there were 29 boys and 32 girls on the school roll, as full time pupils and a further 13 part time pupils.

School fees are £3,030 p.a.

Alif Academy

The Ofsted inspectors concluded that "Alif Academy provides a satisfactory quality of education and is an improving school, which meets its aims.  The school meets all of the regulatory requirements for independent schools ... Teaching and assessment are satisfactory. Provision is not better because teaching is inconsistent and pupils do not make consistently good progress."
Overall inspection judgment: Satisfactory Website

Iman Zakaria Academy,  447 - 451Romford Road
This independent primary school (5-11) was opened in September 2003 and at the time of its latest Ofsted inspection, 2009,  catered for 79 boys and 37 girls.
The annual school fees are £2,000.

Ofsted inspectors assessed the school to be providing "a sound education for its pupils and is achieving its Islamic aims.  The curriculum adopted is broad and fairly balanced."
Iman Zakaria Academy
A "light touch" inspection of the academy in 2009 accepted the fact that the school addressed its Islamic aims, but was critical of the school's provision of creative and aesthetic experiences and felt it could improve its ICT provision and school improvement plans.
Overall inspection judgment: Satisfactory Website

Jamiah Madaniyah Muslim Primary, 80 - 84 Stafford Road
This school was opened in 2004 in a former builder's yard.  It currently has 48 pupils - 24 girls and 24 boys, though is able to recruit up to 80. All staff and teachers are practising Muslims.

According to its latest inspection report (2012), the quality of education, teaching and assessment and the pupils' spiritual moral, social and cultural development are all satisfactory.  Pupils' behaviour is good, and the school makes good provision for the pupils' welfare, health and safety.  The quality of education in the school had not improved significantly from its previous inspection, in 2010.
Jamiah Madaniyah Muslim Primary
The school days starts with lengthy Islamic studies, which focus on the reading of the Qur'an and the teaching of Arabic. ICT provision at the school is dated.

Teachers pay very good attention to ensuring equality in lessons, treating all pupils equally, regardless of gender or background.

Annual fees for the school are £1,201.
Overall inspection judgment: Satisfactory  Website

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