Good progress for all pupils at successful South Molton school

School makes major progress following 2010 inspection.

SOUTH Molton C of E Junior School has won fulsome praise from education inspectors for the rapid improvements it has made in recent years.

All year groups at the school are now making good progress in their learning, say Ofsted.

And they have graded South Molton as ‘good’ across all areas of school life including overall effectiveness, achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

That is a major improvement on the satisfactory grade the school received in 2010 at a time when Ofsted has introduced a much tougher inspection regime.

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And, the inspectors say, South Molton is set to get even better in the future.

Lead inspector Anne Newall concluded: “Pupils’ achievement is good and improving with the great majority of pupils currently making good progress.

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“The quality of teaching is good. It is characterised by good use of resources to support learning, activities matched well to pupils’ needs or interests in most lessons, high expectations of staff and motivated pupils.

“The curriculum is well planned, making good use of cross-curricular links to enhance learning. Outstanding use is made of technology in some lessons.

“Pupils are proud of their school and say they get plenty of help. They enjoy their lessons and other activities. They behave very well and their attendance is above average.”

Mrs Newall said parents told her that the reputation of the school in the community had improved considerably.

She said: “The highly effective headteacher has shown enthusiasm and inspiration in leading improvements to give pupils a high quality education.

“She has created a strong staff team which now works closely with the governing body (which) has been instrumental in involving parents more in school life.

“Devon County Council has provided the school with good support to improve achievement and the quality of teaching.”

Mrs Newall said school leaders and staff were committed to the safety and safeguarding of all pupils.

To improve further, the school should improve the quality of teaching from good to outstanding, target the work of teaching assistants more precisely and provide more appropriate work for more able pupils.

But Ms Newall said she was confident the school will respond to these challenges: “The steady improvements over recent years in achievement, the quality of teaching, strengthening leadership, the environment, the involvement of governors and the reputation of the school show that the school has the capacity to improve further.”

Headteacher Patricia Martin said: “I am delighted that our school is now recognised as a good school, reflecting the tremendous hard work by everyone in the school community.

“My thanks go to the teachers who have responded positively to changes and initiatives over the past three years, in particular. “Their commitment and dedication have been instrumental in the improvements across all areas of school life.”

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