Transformed Hazeldown provides high quality education

Posted on: 15 July 2015

A Teignmouth primary school has been ‘transformed’ over the last two years with rapidly improved teaching and pupil achievement.

Hazeldown School has now been rated as good across the board by education inspectors with some outstanding features.

They say the 420-pupil primary’s overall effectiveness is good.

So is the quality of teaching, the achievement of pupils, the leadership and management, the behaviour and safety of pupils and the early years’ provision.

Just two years ago inspectors from the school standards watchdog, Ofsted, said Hazeldown required improvement.

But they now say teaching has been rapidly improved and pupils’ good achievement secured under headteacher Stuart Ludford’s resolute leadership.

Mr Ludford said: “I am incredibly proud that the hard work, commitment and dedication of the staff team has been recognised by Ofsted during this inspection.

“Hazeldown School is in a very strong position to continue with the journey of improvement. This is a school to be proud of – a view shared by children, parents, staff and the inspection team alike.”

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

Lead inspector Alex Baxter says the staff has changed significantly since the last inspection and two new assistant heads joined last September.

“United leadership has played a pivotal role in rapidly improving the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement – especially this academic year,” he says.

“Teaching is good across the school. Pupils enjoy school. (They) behave well and demonstrate positive attitudes to learning.

“Pupils have significantly quickened their progress and increasingly demonstrate a higher level of skills than normally expected for their age.

“The school’s stimulating range of learning opportunities also promotes the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development well.

“It is underpinned by the harmonious atmosphere pupils experience in learning together at the school.

“Pupils say: ‘This school gives you so many opportunities for us to learn together’,” says Mr Baxter.

He says children have a smooth and happy start to school in the early years with positive relationships between staff, children and their parents.

Teaching is good and all staff are diligent in sustaining excellent care.

This continues into the main school where pupils respond eagerly to their teachers’ and their equally caring teaching assistants’ encouragement.

Mr Baxter says parents told the inspectors that their children are very happy at school and this is demonstrated in their above average attendance. They also comment on the ‘positive transformation’ of the school.

“The significantly increased number of pupils now making good progress reflects the rapid and significant nature of the school’s improvement over the past year,” he concludes.

To continue this, he says, the school should make more use of its outstanding practice to secure more high quality teaching and teachers should present pupils with harder work to quicken their progress more regularly.

Mr Ludford said: “All the staff are justifiably pleased that the positive outcomes that we provide for our pupils have been rewarded with this judgement.

“Our staff team has made a massive contribution to moving the school forwards over the last 12 months and I would like to thank them all for their unwavering efforts to achieve this judgement.

“The inspectors were particularly impressed with the rapidity of improvement since September and the determination of leaders at all levels to secure the very best outcomes for pupils.”

Posted in: Education