Successful large primary with small school feel

Posted on: 17 May 2017

A large Exmouth primary is maintaining high academic standards according to independent education inspectors.

They say that Withycombe Raleigh C of E Primary should retain the rating of good that it was awarded in 2013.

Under the leadership of headteacher Stephen Powley, the inspectors say that the school continues to improve and attract more children.

As a school already rated good by the standards agency, Ofsted, Withycombe Raleigh underwent a one-day short inspection last month.

And lead inspector Wendy Marriott concludes: “This school continues to be good.

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

“Attainment has risen steadily, particularly at the higher standard. Across the school, pupils are enthusiastic learners who work diligently.”

In a letter to Mr Powley, Ms Marriott says: “You are ambitious for the school and, together with your strong leadership team, are driving forward the school’s continuous improvement.

“Since the previous inspection, the school has grown significantly. You have successfully steered the school through the extension of the premises as well as the changes in organisation this has involved.

Ms Marriott says one parent explained: ‘You have built a large school with small school principles.’

“You have sensitively maintained the ethos of a school which promotes the well-being of pupils and staff and strives for high academic standards.”

Ms Marriott continues: “Pupils and parents value how you maintain the wide breadth of the curriculum and provide many opportunities for pupils to take part in musical and sporting activities.

She says pupils feel safe in school and wholeheartedly believe that teachers deal with any problems swiftly and effectively.

Pupils with special needs and disabilities have full access to the curriculum and are well supported by skilled teaching assistants.

The skilled governors provide effective challenge and support to the head and staff.
To get even better Ms Marriott says the school should ensure that all groups of pupils make strong progress in writing and teachers sustain high expectations of pupils’ presentation and handwriting.

Today Mr Powley said: “I am delighted with the content of the Ofsted report and believe it reflects much of what our school is all about.

“As headteacher, I am very proud of our school and all our staff – our skilled teachers, TAs, governors and our pupils.

“It is great that others recognise the hard work and commitment we all give to ensure we make a real difference to the lives and achievements of the children in our care.”

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Posted in: Education