Happy children achieve above average results at East Devon ‘family’ school

children playing school

Posted on: 18 January 2016

Children achieve well and make rapid progress at an East Devon village school because of good teaching and a very welcoming and caring culture.

A new independent inspection report on Hawkchurch Church of England Primary says it is a good school where pupils achieve well.

In a letter to executive headteacher, Paul Walker, Ofsted inspector Richard Light says: “You use your detailed understanding of the needs of pupils, staff and the community to drive rapid improvement in the quality of education at the school.

“The head of teaching and learning, Jayne Vanstone , is playing a very active role in driving school improvement.

“Children achieve well. They enjoy learning. Almost every one of the 24 pupils made good or better progress during the last academic year.

“This good progress has accelerated further this term. Pupils’ progress is rapid because of the high quality teaching and excellent individual attention they receive. Pupils’ attainment in reading, writing and maths is therefore improving faster than the national rate.”

Mr Light visited Hawkchurch last term and his report has just been published.

He says Hawkchurch is a harmonious school community where all staff strive to make things even better.

Parents he spoke to were overwhelmingly positive about the school, he says.

One pupil told him: “This school’s a family. We feel part of it.”

Another said: “We’re happy here, looked after and cared for. You can always rely on a teacher.”

Mr Light says all staff know each pupil and their needs exceptionally well and act as role models in the way they talk, act and behave to each other.

“Pupils’ good behaviour, enthusiasm and positive outlook towards learning play a strong part in the good progress they are making,” he says.

“The school’s core values of kind-heartedness, mutual respect, honesty and self-reliance permeate all aspects of its work.

“The curriculum is also successful in developing pupils’ social, moral, cultural and spiritual understanding.”

Hawkchurch is part of the Two Valleys Federation of schools and uses this wider experience to improve its work.

To get even better, the school should make sure the most able pupils are sufficiently challenged to reach the highest levels and children in Years 5 and 6 should use their knowledge of spelling rules to improve their writing, says Mr Light.

He says, along with all the staff, the governors are ambitious for the school and have taken decisive action to secure its future success.

This all means the school is set to continue to improve and get even better in the future.

Mr Walker said: “I am delighted with this report for our school.

“We were thrilled to be able to have Hawkchurch join our federation and we are very pleased that this has shown success in such a short time.

“We are looking forward to a very strong future at the school.”

Posted in: Education