ONE of the largest schools in Bradford, which caters for primary and secondary students, has tackled the third national lockdown effectively, according to inspectors.

Bradford Girls’ Grammar School, in Squire Lane, was visited by Ofsted for the second time since the coronavirus pandemic began on February 23.

The education watchdog conducted the inspection remotely and it was additional to the usual monitoring process for schools that are judged to have serious weaknesses.

The school was deemed to be Inadequate at its last full inspection, back in March 2019, and was visited last October, where Ofsted outlined staff were having to fill gaps in pupils’ phonics and maths knowledge thanks to the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 crisis.

But the school has responded well to the latest round of restrictions.

Carl Sugden, Seconded Inspector, who visited Bradford Girls' Grammar with Helen Lane, Her Majesty's Inspector (HMI) concluded in his report that: "Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances."

The visit was at the height of the country's third lockdown, where most pupils were urged to stay at home.

At the time of the inspection, around 90 per cent of pupils were being educated at home.

Just over half of pupils who are vulnerable and 35 per cent of pupils with an education, health and care plan were educated on site.

Pupils working remotely were provided with the necessary devices and support to succeed - teachers used a variety of methods to check pupils were remembering what they learned.

The report states: "As a result of these actions, pupils are engaging effectively with remote learning."

Those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) received extra support from teaching assistants, including help with reading.

The report states: "Teachers adapt lesson activities to help pupils with SEND understand their work.

"This support is effective because you have planned it and targeted it to those who need it most."

The school curriculum has also been recently reviewed, with plans now in place to allocate more time to key stage 3.

Leaders have also implemented a new reading scheme, but this now needs to be embedded.

The report states: "There is a programme of staff training to develop greater expertise in phonics and early reading.

"You recognise that books and other reading materials are not consistently well matched to pupils’ phonics knowledge."

Principal, Mrs Clare Martin said: "We are extremely pleased that Ofsted have recognised the school’s high quality of education provision in their brief report of the monitoring visit.

"Ofsted have highlighted much of the on-going work included in the school’s strategic planning, particularly around literacy and the development of the curriculum, and we are delighted that the emerging positive impact of such focus has been acknowledged.

"With the current pandemic presenting considerable challenges to the school, it is reassuring that Ofsted have concluded that the school’s provision for remote learning and the additional support in place for vulnerable and SEND students is effective in ensuring students remain engaged during these current circumstances."