Pupils’ curiosity and learning stimulated at good village school

Posted on: 23 November 2017

The curiosity and learning of pupils at an East Devon village school is stimulated by enticing classrooms and common areas, according to independent inspectors.

They say that pupils at Whimple Primary School behave extremely well and are motivated to learn productively.

And they say that Whimple should retain the rating of good it received when the school was last inspected in 2013.

That is a real achievement as a new, tougher inspection regime has been introduced since Ofsted last visited.

In a letter to acting headteacher Carole Shilston, who has been in charge for the last academic year, Ofsted inspector Alex Baxter concludes: “Your determined and supportive leadership has brought a strongly shared vision and commitment to improvement among all those who work at the school.”

“Parents and staff praise the effectiveness of the new leadership and identify continuing improvement in pupils’ academic and personal development.”

He said one parent’s comment was typical when they told the inspectors: “My children are extremely happy and thriving.”

The letter continues: “Pupils behave extremely well and are motivated to learn productively.”

“You, your leadership team and governors know the school thoroughly (and) have maintained a good quality of education in the school since the previous inspection.”

Mr Baxter spent a day at Whimple last month and his report has just been published.

He says that – since her appointment – Mrs Shilston and the governors have managed staff changes and brought about further improvements in the school.

She has built on an already stimulating curriculum to enhance the quality of education that the school provides.

“Governors have supported you well in sustaining good teaching and pupils’ positive attitude to learning,” says Mr Baxter.

He says there is a strong culture of keeping pupils safe evident throughout the school.

“Pupils feel safe and their parents strongly agree that their children enjoy school and are well cared for,” he says.

“Pupils enjoy school and this is reflected in the overall rate of attendance, which is once again above average.”

Mrs Shilston said she was delighted with the inspection verdict.

“I would like to thank the children and their families, our staff and the governors for supporting me over the past 15 months, “ she said.

“We have continued to build on the very successful foundations that were already in place and, together, we can only continue to improve.”

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