Children’s thinking skills ‘real strength’ of outstanding school

Posted on: 12 July 2016

An Exmouth primary where pupils’ thinking skills are a real strength of the school has been rated outstanding by independent inspectors.

The Beacon Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School was judged
outstanding by inspectors from the Diocese of Exeter.

It follows an inspection visit to the school earlier last month.

The Beacon has already been rated as a good school this year by inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted.

They concluded: “The quality of learning is routinely and firmly good or better.”

Now Church of England inspector David Hatrey says that the distinctiveness and effectiveness of The Beacon is outstanding and so is its ability to meet the needs of all learners.

The effectiveness of the leadership and management is outstanding as is the effectiveness of its religious education. And, says Mr Hatrey, the impact of collective worship on the school community is good.

In his three-page report which has just been published, he concludes:

“The school has been proactive in refining its teaching and learning strategies which have made a real impact on children’s thinking.

“There is a strong emphasis on questioning ideas, reasoning answers and building upon the ideas of peers.

“Children have confidence to positively challenge others as they refine their ideas. This was evident in the depth of their thoughts and the way in which they express them in written work and through discussions. This is a real strength of the school.

“Children apply ideas, skills and knowledge to new situations with maturity, consistently using higher order thinking skills.”

Mr Hatrey says headteacher Sue Lockwood’s enthusiasm and dedication has established an ethos in the school of high expectations where children feel successful.

The staff are committed to this vision and the Christian distinctiveness is reflected in the relationships which are developed with parents and the compassionate care and nurture of families with a diverse range of needs.

“Particular groups, such as those who have special educational needs, are carefully tracked and effective individual plans enable them to develop their unique talents (and) blossom.”

A delighted Mrs Lockwood said:

“We are delighted that the hard work and dedication of staff, and others associated with our school, has been recognised.

“We all work hard to ensure our children achieve well and enjoy school.  This is evident in our happy and articulate pupils who embrace the many opportunities available to them.”

Posted in: Education