High achieving children at ‘good’ village school

Posted on: 27 October 2016

A South Hams primary has improved so much that every aspect of school life is now rated good or better.

A new report by independent education inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, says Shaugh Prior Primary is well placed to get even better.

Just over two years ago, Ofsted told Shaugh Prior that it required improvements.

Now, following a two-day inspection, Ofsted says that the school’s overall effectiveness is good.

Inspectors also rated the effectiveness of the leadership and management, the quality of teaching, the outcomes for pupils, the Early Years’ provision and the personal development, behaviour and welfare of all pupils as good.

Lead inspector Matt Middlemore says teaching and achievement have improved since the last inspection because of the efforts of Executive Headteacher, Simon Hall, and the Head of Teaching and Learning, Gill Gilmartin.

“Effective challenge from governors has also helped to bring about swift improvement,” says Mr Middlemore.

Shaugh Prior is one of three primary schools linked through the Moorsway Federation with Cornwood CofE Primary and The Erme in Ivybridge.

Mr Middlemore concludes: “Teaching is good throughout the school. Relationships with pupils are strong and based on high expectations and mutual respect. Pupils are typically determined to achieve their very best.”

Last year, by the end of Key Stage 1 (age 7), pupils were achieving above average attainment in writing and maths and were in line with national expectations for reading, says Mr Middlemore.

In Year 6 (age 11) more pupils were making better than expected progress in reading and maths and were in line with the national average for writing.

“Pupils achieve more highly now than they did at the time of the previous inspection,” he says.

“This is because leaders have raised the quality of teaching and made good use of external support.

“The curriculum is a real strength of the school and has been adapted across the federation to improve achievement, particularly in English and maths.

“School improvement has been very well supported by both the local authority (Devon County Council) and external specialists.

“All the parents who spoke to inspectors were very supportive of the school and the improvements they have seen.”

He says parents are particularly complimentary about the teaching staff.

One parent’s comment that ‘teachers are welcoming, warm and friendly’ was typical, says Mr Middlemore.

He says all pupils benefit from good quality care and effective action is taken to promote their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The school offers a ‘calm, purposeful and safe’ environment in which children can flourish and their behaviour is good because they are eager to learn and work well.

They have a good introduction to school life in the Early Years which is a constant hive of activity where they experience a wealth of exciting activities, he says.

To become an outstanding school, Shaugh Prior should raise achievement in reading at Key Stage 2 to the level already achieved in maths and writing, improve pupils’ literacy, particularly in Key Stage 1 spelling, and ensure governors have a better understanding of the impact of pupil and sport premium funding.

Mr Middlemore says Shaugh Prior has received national recognition for its participation in sport and was awarded the highest level of achievement in 2015-16.

Today Mr Hall said: “We are delighted that the efforts and achievements of the school have been recognised by Ofsted.

“To have achieved so much is testament to the dedication, commitment and enthusiasm of everyone involved in the school and reflects the hard work  of the children, staff, governors and parents to improve on our ‘requires improvement’ judgement two years ago.

“Whilst we are taking a breath to enjoy this news, I can assure you that we will not rest on our laurels, but will use the report to build further on the progress, attainment, safety and well-being of all our children.”

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Posted in: DCC Homepage | Education