Family-friendly, harmonious school where pupils achieve well

Posted on: 18 April 2016

An Exmouth primary school where pupils achieve well and feel safe has been rated as good again by independent education inspectors.

The Beacon Church of England (V.A.) Primary School was judged as good by inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, in 2011.

Now – despite the inspection regime becoming much tougher – The Beacon has been rated good again following a visit by Ofsted before Easter.

In a letter to headteacher Sue Lockwood, the senior Ofsted inspector, Steffi Penny, concludes: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the previous inspection.

“Building on the good judgement, you, the staff and governors have shown a great determination to bring about further improvements. The quality of learning is routinely and firmly good or better.”

Ms Penny says all the teachers in the small primary school have a leadership role and she adds: “Under your skilled leadership, they have a shared enthusiasm and ambition to help pupils achieve the best they can.

“There is a clear sense of purpose to provide a rounded education for pupils.

“The school’s successful focus on developing pupils’ skills and understanding in maths and English is balanced well with pupils developing their skills in creative subjects such as music and art.

“As a result, pupils make good progress in a wide range of subjects. Pupils relish being challenged to think more deeply about their learning. They greatly value the support they get from their teachers.

“Every pupil leaves the school being able to play at least one instrument. Most play more than one. Dance is also a significant strength. Pupils successfully take part in a wide range of sporting activities and competitions.”

Ms Penny says: “With the support of all the staff and parents, Mrs Lockwood has created a family-friendly, harmonious school where pupils feel happy and safe and like to come to school because they enjoy each other’s company.

“There is a strong, shared culture to ensure that pupils are kept safe,” she says. “Pupils with special educational needs or disabilities are effectively supported.

“Clubs at lunchtimes and after school are very popular and much appreciated by pupils and parents.”

Ms Penny says the governing body is a considerable strength of the school community and governors have a wide range of expertise and experience.

She says to continue its improvement, the school’s leaders and governors should ensure that teachers continue to reduce the attainment gaps in writing at the start of Year 1 between girls and boys, build on the success they have had in teaching and using assessment in maths and English by using the same methods in other subjects and continue to enjoy opportunities for enhanced leadership roles and sharing best practice.

A delighted Mrs Lockwood said: “We are pleased that the report recognises our successes in ensuring pupils are happy and achieve well.

“Staff and governors work hard to ensure pupils become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.

“Our school really is a great place to be.”

Posted in: Education