Pupils enjoy Bideford primary
Posted: 07/02/2007 23:02:58
Pupils enjoy Bideford primary with record of big improvements
A North Devon school where standards and achievement have improved considerably has been praised by independent education inspectors.
They say pupils at St Mary's Church of England Primary in Bideford enjoy school and feel safe and secure.
The pupils told them: "Teachers and teaching assistants always try to help you and this makes you want to do your best."
Headteacher Bob Fancourt has moved the Devon County Council school forward well in the two years since he was appointed and the inspectors predict it will do even better in the future.
"Good leadership and management and the hard work and enthusiasm of the staff and governors have resulted in considerable improvement in standards and achievement," say the inspectors.
"The school has a good capacity to succeed in the future."
The inspectors, from the school standards agency Ofsted, spent two days at the 340-pupil school in December and their report has just been published.
They judge every area of school life and St Mary's is rated good for leadership and management; care, guidance and support; curriculum and other activities and personal development and well being. Teaching and learning, achievement and overall effectiveness are all at least satisfactory.
Mr Fancourt said today: "I am pleased with the report. This reflects the hard work and dedication of the whole school community.
"We continue to strive to get the best from all our pupils and appreciate the way parents feel able to work with us to achieve this."
The inspectors say that pupils start at St Mary's with average or below average attainment.
By the time they leave they are achieving at least average standards and often above average.
In 2005, pupils' test results in maths showed exceptional achievement, say the inspectors. Teaching and learning are always satisfactory with lessons featuring good and sometimes outstanding teaching.
"As a result of good care, guidance and support and especially strong pastoral provision, pupils' personal development is good," says the report.
"Pupils behave well, enjoy all activities, feel safe in school and have a good knowledge of how to lead healthy lifestyles.
"Curriculum provision is good with many initiatives underway to make it even better. The school provides a good range of extra-curricular activities."
The inspectors say the school has developed an excellent system to record pupils' progress and to help its further improvement it should make full use of assessment information to set clear and precise targets for all children.
It should also raise standards and achievement in writing which Mr Fancourt said was a clear priority in the school improvement plan.
A separate report on the school by the Diocese of Exeter concluded: "This is a good Church of England school in which the positive Christian ethos and character provide an effective and distinctive learning environment for spiritual and moral growth.
"The Christian values on which it is built provide a family ethos where pupils, parents and staff are very happy."
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