Black Torrington school is 'fantastic'

OFSTED inspectors have praised the fantastic" atmosphere created by staff at a small village primary school and say the pupils thoroughly enjoy everything on offer. The children were so eager to go to school that they braved snow and flooded roads duri

OFSTED inspectors have praised the "fantastic" atmosphere created by staff at a small village primary school and say the pupils thoroughly enjoy everything on offer.The children were so eager to go to school that they braved snow and flooded roads during last month's inspection of Black Torrington Primary, say the inspectors, who were clearly impressed with their dedication."This is a good school," they say. "There are significant strengths in the care and support provided for individual pupils and the wide range of experiences the school offers."The school is very much at the heart of its community with pupils participating in local events and good links being forged with other schools and providers."Pupils are very positive about their school and thoroughly enjoy all that it offers. (They) are exceptionally keen to come to school, as was evident during the inspection when many made their way through snow and flooded roads."The two inspectors from the school standards agency Ofsted spent a day at Black Torrington last month and their report has just been published.Lead inspector Shirley Billington says every aspect of the school's work is good or better.She agreed with one parent who told her: "The staff create a fantastic atmosphere in which children thrive and there are always interesting and imaginative activities."The inspectors say the youngest children get off to a flying start in the Early Years Foundation Stage where they make good progress in all areas of learning."Pupils are also making good progress in Years 1 to 6," says Ms Billington. "Pupils benefit from good teaching and a stimulating curriculum."Teaching is well focused and purposeful. Relationships are very positive and teachers know their pupils exceptionally well."Visits, visitors and a wide variety of clubs and social events also enthuse pupils and extend their experiences."She says the children's behaviour is exemplary and they have very good relationships across the age ranges. They have excellent awareness of the need to stay safe and to take care of each other and they are exceptionally well cared for by staff.She says new head teacher Celia Luff, who took over at Black Torrington last April, has been instrumental in leading a range of improvements over the past year."The school has good capacity to improve further," says Ms Billington. "Governors are supportive of the school. Staff work effectively as a team and there is a shared sense of responsibility for pupils' achievement and welfare."To continue its recent improvements, the school should accelerate the progress of the more able pupils - particularly in maths - and extend pupils' awareness of cultural diversity. It should also provide more support for the class teacher responsible for the younger children.Today Ms Luff said: "We are all absolutely delighted with the report which reflects the commitment and hard work of all members of the school community.


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