PUPILS are at the very heart of everything at a rapidly improving Devon village school with rising standards, according to education inspectors. They say many aspects of life at Shebbear Community School are already good and it is set to get even better

PUPILS are at the very heart of everything at a rapidly improving Devon village school with rising standards, according to education inspectors.They say many aspects of life at Shebbear Community School are already good and it is set to get even better in the future."The pupils are at the heart of all that the school does," say the inspectors from the school standards agency Ofsted."They are helped to be happy, social young people who like school very much. They are friendly, polite and a pleasure to meet."Teaching in lessons is consistently good and there are examples of outstanding teaching."As a result, say the inspectors, pupils' progress has accelerated recently and is now good.This rapid improvement is due to the good and decisive leadership of the governors and head teacher Sally Strange, who was appointed last year."The head's focus on raising achievement and enhancing pupils' personal development is very positively reflected in improved teaching and progress," says lead inspector Rowena Onions."Parents are highly supportive of the school and consider it is doing well by their children."The two Ofsted inspectors visited the school last this month and their report has just been published.They say throughout the school expectations are very high."Teachers have high expectations of themselves. In turn they hold high expectations of their pupils," they say."Pupils develop very positive relationships with staff. They are ready to help and support each other in class and in the playground."This helps them to be comfortable in school and to enjoy being there."The inspectors say the curriculum is well matched to the needs and interests of pupils and ensures they know how to keep themselves healthy, safe and well.There are many visits, visitors and after-school clubs that help to enrich the curriculum and extend the pupils' experiences and these successfully promote their enjoyment of school.To continue its rapid improvement, the school should ensure pupils are given more chances to practise their writing across the curriculum and know more about cultural diversity.The leadership skills and roles of other staff should also be developed to reduce the burden on the head.Today head teacher Sally Strange said: "I am delighted with this positive Ofsted report which truly reflects the dedication and hard work of the staff, governors and pupils. "As a 'rapidly improving' school, we are already implementing plans to address the issues that have been raised. "This is a lovely village school,with a family atmosphere, and I am proud to be head teacher here".