THINGS are pointing in the right direction for a York primary school after Ofsted said it requires improvement following a merger.

In their report inspectors made clear that Osbaldwick Primary School had made “strong steps” already to achieve progress following the merger of schools with “very different contexts and past success.”

Osbaldwick Primary School merged with neighbouring Derwent School last summer and the two schools now operate as one from two sites in The Leyes and Osbaldwick Lane. In September the school opened its own pre-school nursery for 56 children and also launched breakfast and after-school clubs.

As a result of the expansion, pupil numbers have increased by half to about 313 pupils since the last Ofsted inspection in 2010, which gave the school a “good” rating.

Head teacher Lesley Barringer said: “We are pleased the inspectors recognise that the school is in good hands with the leadership, teaching and pastoral team in place to nurture and develop our pupils’ learning”.

“I am also delighted they noted in particular that parents were proud and supportive of the school, saying they held Osbaldwick Primary in high regard as a school where their children could feel safe, happy and secure. This shows in the behaviour of our pupils, which is good; they are polite and considerate towards others.

“We are aware of the areas of teaching and learning that need to improve, but this report confirms the progress we are making and supports the robust and innovative steps we are taking. I am proud of the children, staff, parents and governors for their commitment and support which has helped to deliver a successful merger and which will take us forward to greater success.”

In the five areas judged by Ofsted this time: leadership and management, early years teaching and achievement, and behaviour and safety of pupils were all judged “good”; quality of teaching and achievement of pupils “required improvement”.

Inspectors pinpointed inconsistencies in the teaching of maths and writing; the need for teachers to build opportunities for pupils to deepen their learning and skills; and to give more precise guidance and feedback.

However, they recognised the impact of “significant” changes in the school population, in staffing and in roles during the last two years. They endorsed the “robust” action being taken and had confidence in the school’s “capacity to improve standards and progress further.”