Happy pupils enjoy school and achieve well at St Margaret’s

children playing school

Posted on: 14 December 2015

Pupils at two Torridge schools which have recently forged close ties are celebrating a double success.

At the end of the summer term, independent education inspectors rated St George’s Church of England Infant and Nursery School at Northam as good with outstanding features.

They said children were taught well, made good progress and were kept very safe.

Now inspectors have rated St Margaret’s Church of England Junior School as good in every respect.

Just two years ago the school was told it required improvement and the latest success comes after a more rigorous inspection procedure was introduced.

The two schools are members of the Atlantic Coast Co-operative Trust and recently joined together to form the Northam Schools’ Federation under executive headteacher Claire Cole.

Two inspectors from the schools standards agency, Ofsted, spent two days at St Margaret’s last month and their report has just been published.

They concluded that the overall effectiveness of the school was good and so was the quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils, the effectiveness of the leadership and management and the pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare.

“The executive head and deputy head are a strong partnership, ably supported by governors, middle leaders and staff. They have a clear focus on improving the school for every pupil,” says lead inspector Stuart Busby.

“The strong drive, determination and commitment of the executive head to improve the school has led to significant improvements in all areas since the last inspection.

“Without exception, parents are overwhelmingly positive about the school.

“The well-planned curriculum is suitably adapted so that each pupil can make good progress in all subjects and attainment is rising.

“Good behaviour and supportive relationships result in learning proceeding smoothly in lessons and outside class. Teaching assistants support learning well and contribute effectively to pupil progress.

“Pupils show positive attitudes to their learning so they work hard and progress well.

“Achievement in reading and writing is good. In 2015, pupils achieved well above the national average in reading and maths.”

Mr Busby says all pupils benefit from good quality care. Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs receive the support they need.

“Well-promoted spiritual, moral, social and cultural development has created a harmonious school environment,” he says.

“Children are happy, well looked after and kept safe.”

He says governors bring a valuable range of skills to the school. They know the school and their pupils well.

Devon County Council and the Atlantic Coast Co-operative Trust provide good support.

The two schools recently held a service of Federation Celebration in St. Margaret’s Church, Northam – the first of its kind to be held in Devon.

More than 400 children attended the service with staff, governors, parents and friends.

Chair of governors, John Crossman, said the two schools had received four inspections this year – one each from Ofsted and one each from the Diocese of Exeter.

St George’s was rated as good with outstanding features by Ofsted and as good by the Diocese. St Margaret’s was rated as good by Ofsted and as outstanding by the Diocese.

Executive head Claire Cole said: “The latest Ofsted report confirms the incredible journey that St Margaret’s has been on.

“I am very proud that the hard work and dedication of the team and the children has been recognised and I am grateful for the support from families, governors and ACCT.”

She said the new Northam Schools’ federation was ensuring that future plans were securely rooted in the desire to provide the very best education for the children that the two schools serve.

Posted in: Education