Tiverton primary school ‘transformed’ as standards rise

Posted on: 12 May 2016

A Tiverton primary school is booming after being transformed by new leaders over the past three years.

Heathcoat Primary School has recorded its highest number of pupils ever and is heavily over-subscribed.

Inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, had ruled that the school required improvement following a previous visit.

But now every aspect of school life has been judged good following a rigorous new inspection.

Three Ofsted inspectors spent two days at the school last month and their report has just been published.

It concludes that the overall effectiveness of the school is good. So is the quality of teaching and learning, the outcomes for pupils, their personal development, behaviour and welfare and the early years provision.

Headteacher Jayne Keller took over at Heathcoat in September 2013 and lead inspector, Sandra Woodman, concludes: “The headteacher, together with governors and other leaders, has improved the school significantly since the previous inspection.

“Their work has transformed the school into a purposeful learning environment where teaching is good and pupils achieve well.

“The very dedicated headteacher has inspired everyone in the school community to believe in themselves and in their school.

“As a result, pupils want to achieve the best they can in their learning and their personal development.”

Heathcoat is now heavily over-subscribed with 450 pupils.

Ms Woodman says: “Parents are extremely supportive of the school. They appreciate the approachability of staff, the way their children are kept very safe and activities that encourage them to become involved in school life.”

They say that their children are happy and well looked after.

Ms Woodman says children start at Heathcoat with knowledge and skills below those typical for their age. But they get off to a flying start in Early Years and make good progress throughout the school.

Achievement is now good for all groups of pupils in reading, writing and maths, she says.

This is because teaching is good throughout the school and teachers and highly skilled teaching assistants have high expectations of what the children can achieve.

The broad and balanced curriculum follows pupils’ interests and ideas and there is a wide variety of extra-curricular activities that provide life-enhancing experiences.

“The school’s ethos is centred on kindness and respect,” says Ms Woodman. “The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well.”

Behaviour is good. Pupils are well-mannered and friendly.

Ms Woodman says the school’s governors are focused and well organised in their work and challenge leaders to raise the quality of teaching and learning still further.

Effective support from the local authority and other leaders in the Tiverton Cooperative Learning Partnership Trust has been instrumental in helping the school to improve quickly.

To get even better, she says the school should consistently challenge the most able pupils and ensure middle leaders make fuller use of information from their monitoring to further improve teaching and learning.

Headteacher Jayne Keller said: “We are so very pleased that the hard work of the children and staff has been recognised.

“There have been a huge number of changes at Heathcoat over the last three years and it is fantastic to see the positive impact that these changes have had on the quality of teaching and learning that our children receive.

“We are excited to continue on our journey of improvement and we are dedicated to ensuring that the children at Heathcoat have the very best education that can possibly be provided.”

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