Staff go the ‘extra mile’ for pupils who enjoy learning and achieve high standards at Tiverton primary

schoolchild hands on computer

Posted on: 22 July 2016

A Tiverton primary is celebrating after every aspect of school life was rated good or better by independent education inspectors.

They say staff at Wilcombe Primary go the extra mile to meet pupils’ needs and that has led to sustained improvement in the quality of teaching and learning.

Pupils make better progress than most children nationally in reading, writing and maths and more pupils than average are achieving higher standards in reading and maths, say the inspectors from the school standards watchdog, Ofsted.

The two inspectors classed the overall effectiveness of Wilcombe as good along with the leadership and management, the quality of teaching and learning, the outcomes for pupils, their personal development, behaviour and welfare and the Early Years provision.

That has all been achieved in a harmonious environment where pupils are enthused, enjoy learning and are keen to try their best.

Following a two-day visit in May, lead inspector Tracy Hannon concludes: “The head of school, Louise Oxenham, has galvanised a staff team who go the ‘extra mile’ to meet pupils’ needs.

“Pupils and staff feel valued, share a pride in their school and work hard to be successful.”

She says the school is benefitting from being part of the Primary Academies Trust with 10 other schools under chief executive, Gary Chown, and executive headteacher Ashley Leeson.

“The head of school, with strong support from the executive head and the Primary Academies Trust, is driving the continual improvement of the school,” says Ms Hannon.

“The strong partnership has provided effective challenge and support for leaders and teachers to improve.”

Ms Hannon says pupils enjoy coming to school and attendance is improving steadily.

“The behaviour of pupils is good. (They) conduct themselves well around the school (and) feel valued and respected,” she says.

“Teachers plan work that is fun, interesting and challenging. Relationships between staff and pupils strongly contribute to the progress pupils make. Teaching assistants provide good support in lessons.

“The most able pupils make good progress. Disadvantaged pupils are making accelerated progress in reading, writing and maths.

“The majority of pupils who have special educational needs or disability achieve well from their starting points.”

Ms Hannon says the most able pupils are set challenging work that deepens their thinking and extends their learning.

One group of children told her: “We have no boundaries in our learning. Every day we learn something new.”

Ms Hannon says parents are fully involved in their children’s education and are very positive about the school’s work.

One typical comment was: “This is a cracking school. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Head of School, Louise Oxenham, said: “We are all delighted that the inspectors have recognised the significant improvements that have been made over the past two years and that is down to the hard work of all the children and staff and the support of our parents and the Trust.

“We are also very pleased that the inspectors recognised the high quality of the care and support all our children receive and how proud they are of Wilcombe.”

Executive headteacher Ashley Leeson said: “The inspectors recognised that Wilcombe provides an excellent education for all children, no matter what their skills and abilities. We are committed to improving that education still further in the future.”

Primary Academies Trust chief executive, Gary Chown, said: “The report confirms what we already knew. The school has improved considerably over the past two years.

“It is heartening that the inspectors recognised the work that PAT is able to do in inspiring success and encouraging collaboration across schools to the benefit of all our children.”

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