Riverside Bridge headteacher ‘very pleased’ with improved Ofsted rating

Riverside Bridge is one of three schools on the Riverside Campus. Picture: Ken Mears

Riverside Bridge is one of three schools on the Riverside Campus. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A Barking special school is celebrating after Ofsted upgraded its rating to Good.

Riverside Bridge, which caters for pupils aged four to 16, was branded Inadequate following an inspection in July 2018.

But it has turned things around and in its latest report, published last week following an inspection in February, it was rated Good, both overall and in all four assessment areas.

Headteacher Kim Cerri said she was “very pleased” with the outcome of the report, adding: “All the staff have worked very hard to turn the school around from an Inadequate school to a Good school in just 18 months and all that hard work has paid off.”

The report stated: “Leaders have addressed the weaknesses found at the time of the last inspection.

“They rightly prioritised safeguarding and behaviour. They are completely focused on improving the quality of what pupils learn so that pupils know and understand more.”

Inspectors described the Renwick Road school, which opened in 2015, as a “friendly, calm and welcoming place”.

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Staff were said to be “kind, gentle and respectful” and “encourage pupils to keep going and stretch themselves”.

The curriculum has changed since the 2018 inspection when it was branded “not fit for purpose.” Teachers are now described as being “enthused” by the new approach.

The report explained how teachers read to pupils every day, using puppets where appropriate and helping them to improve their reading skills.

Inspectors also detail how teachers plan activities that help pupils to understand their daily lives, such as visiting shops and using cash to pay for purchases.

Pupils appreciate the opportunities for work experience which are designed to encourage their interest in future jobs.

Ms Cerri said: “The pupils and parents played a big part in helping the leadership team to move the school forward.

“We will continue to work together with all our stakeholders to ensure that the school continues to grow and develop further.”

To improve, inspectors recommended that teachers evaluate the new curriculum arrangements thoroughly and ensure they use systems for managing pupils’ behaviour consistently.