One of the community’s best-known primary schools, Rosh Pinah in Edgware, has been judged inadequate – the lowest of the four inspection grades – following an Ofsted visit in January.
Pupils were “not working at the levels they should” considering their attainment at reception, inspectors said in a report published this week.
The quality of teaching and its effect on pupils’ learning had “declined considerably” across years one to six since the previous inspection in 2009 when the school was rated good.
Pupils “make especially slow progress in writing partly because they have too few opportunities for extended writing in English and other subjects”.
Some subjects such as science were not taught in enough depth, while marking did not always show pupils where they had gone wrong.
Inspectors acknowledged that the 480-pupil school had been through “a very difficult” over the previous 18 months. “Many parents and carers lost confidence in its leadership and governance,” inspectors reported.
But the new headteacher and deputy heads, who had began last September, were rebuilding staff confidence and had raised morale.
However, many of the subject leaders had only started in their roles last autumn and had not yet reached the stage where they were “able to support the headteacher’s drive and actions as well as they might”.
One positive feature were the early years classes, housed in a new wing, which were ranked good.
The pupils were also well prepared for life in Britain and taught about other faiths and cultures, for example doing activities for Black History Month.
Andrew Rotenberg, chairman of the school's governors, said after a meeting of parents on Thursday night to discuss the report,"My impression was that they appreciated that an action plan is in place to address the issues that need to be addressed. We have committed to giving parents updates so that they are in the loop."