Pupils ‘can’t wait to get’ to expanding village school

Posted on: 6 February 2017

Children can’t wait to get to a successful and expanding North Devon primary school every day, according to education inspectors.

They say parents describe Shebbear Community School as ‘amazing’ and ‘brilliant’ and detail how the school has grown by a third over the last two years.

That reflects the popularity of the school’s extended family feel, they say.

The school’s curriculum is well balanced and inspires creativity. Its success is reflected in the pupils’ good rates of progress.

Shebbear last had a full inspection by the school standards agency, Ofsted, in March 2012 and was judged as good.

Just before Christmas, Ofsted visited again for a short inspection and then wrote to headteacher Karen Hutton.

Ofsted inspector Tracy Hannon tells Mrs Hutton, who joined the school just after the last inspection:

“This school continues to be good.

“The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection.

“You have a clear insight into both the school’s successes and those aspects of the school’s work which need further attention. Staff are in no doubt about your expectations and rise to the challenge.

“Pupils value the guidance that teachers provide and respond well. Where pupils need to catch up, teachers and teaching assistants provide high-quality intervention.”

Ms Hannon says that pupils feel safe because ‘adults look after us’ and the school’s safeguarding is effective.

The school provides effective pastoral support for pupils and their families.

Pupils are supportive of each other. They are considerate and behave well.

She says the school’s wide-ranging clubs support pupils’ fitness and help them to develop sporting interests and lead healthy lifestyles.

Parents also praised the early morning exercise routine their children receive.

The letter continues:

“A distinct feature of Shebbear is the strong commitment you and your staff share in nurturing pupils.

“In your endeavours to continually improve the life chances of the pupils, you are assiduous in engaging the advice and support of external agencies.

“In particular, you and your team work tirelessly to support pupils with special educational needs.”

And Ms Hannon concludes:

“Pupils are becoming increasingly well prepared for secondary school when they leave Shebbear.

“The current school culture is building pupils’ confidence, resilience and aspirations effectively.”

She says to get even better, the school should ensure the most able mathematicians fully develop their reasoning skills, teachers in the early years ensure all children achieve well in writing and teachers demand high-quality presentation of pupils’ writing.

Mrs Hutton said:

“We are delighted that all of our hard work, not least that of our children, has been recognised by Ofsted.

“It is also a great pleasure to know how well regarded, and well supported, our school is by our parents and carers.”

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Posted in: Education