High achieving pupils thrive at friendly school

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High achieving pupils thrive at friendly school

Posted: 19/01/2007 16:17:56

High achieving pupils thrive at friendly Stoke Hill Junior

Happy pupils at an Exeter junior school achieve above average standards and thrive in its friendly and harmonious atmosphere, according to education inspectors.

Stoke Hill Junior School has been highly praised by the inspectors for the quality of teaching and the progress pupils make.

They say standards have risen over recent years as a result of good teaching and learning and the school is well placed to improve even more.

"Pupils of all abilities and backgrounds thrive in the school's friendly and harmonious atmosphere. (They) clearly enjoy school," say the inspectors.

Stoke Hill opened as a junior school in September 2005 as part of the successful reorganisation of education in Exeter. It had previously been a middle school.

Inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, visited Stoke Hill over two days in December and their report has just been published.

Lead inspector Hazel Callaghan concludes: "Stoke Hill Junior is a good school that has made many improvements since the previous inspection.

"This is because the headteacher and senior staff have a clear view of what the school needs to do to improve and seek to meet the needs of all pupils.

"This has resulted in good levels of care, support and guidance, together with pupils' good personal development and academic achievement."

In all, Stoke Hill was graded on seven areas of school life; overall effectiveness; achievement and standards; personal development; teaching and learning; curriculum; care, guidance and support and leadership and management. All were rated good.

The inspectors said one comment from a parent was typical of many they received during their two-day visit.

The parent told them: "I am delighted at the encouragement the school gives to my children enabling them to become confident and enthusiastic learners."

Pupils told them: "Teachers treat you well and lessons are fun."

The inspectors say pupils benefit from a wide range of activities which have a positive impact on promoting their love of learning. They start school with broadly average attainment and go on to achieve above average standards at 11.

"Those who have special academic gifts and talents are given many opportunities to extend their skills and broaden their experiences," says the report. "Pupils with learning difficulties make particularly good progress in groups withdrawn from the main class lessons."

Headteacher Roy Souter and his senior staff provide a clear vision and enthusiastic leadership, say the inspectors, and there is a clear focus on raising achievement and the pastoral care of pupils. Governors play an active role in supporting the school.

To continue its recent rapid improvement, the school should develop clear individual learning targets for pupils in maths and monitor all pupils' learning targets more regularly.

Mr Souter said today: "We are all really pleased with the report. The staff deserve every praise for their dedication and excellent practice.

"We will continue to work to develop our approach to target setting to enable us to become even better."

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