Village school is improving

A NORTH Devon Primary School recently inspected by Ofsted is providing a satisfactory standard of education and a good level of care and support, says the report from inspectors. The 161-pupil St Helen s C of E Primary School in Abbotsham was inspected at

A NORTH Devon Primary School recently inspected by Ofsted is providing a satisfactory standard of education and a good level of care and support, says the report from inspectors.

The 161-pupil St Helen's C of E Primary School in Abbotsham was inspected at the end of March, and their report just published describes it as 'an improving school' where the leadership, supported well by the staff, has implemented measures to address previous underachievement.

Inspectors noted the high level of support from parents of pupils at the school, saying: "Parents greatly appreciate what the school provides for their children, particularly the good level of care and support. Typical was the comment of one parent that 'We are very proud to be part of the school and appreciate the hard work of the staff.'"

The school was judged satisfactory overall, with many good features. In particular the early years foundation stage was judged to be good, with outstanding leadership and management.

"Pupils feel safe and well cared for, and enjoy coming to school," says the report. "They particularly appreciate the range of extra activities provided by the school, such as music and sports clubs."

Inspectors say the leadership has a good understanding of what the school needs to do to secure further improvement, and the governors as active and knowledgeable.

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Areas highlighted for further improvement were standards and progress by raising teachers' expectations; the quality of learning through better use of assessment and targets; and more consistent monitoring of teaching and learning.

St Helen's head teacher Kim Baker said: "We are really pleased that inspectors have recognised the many improvements we have made in teaching and learning since the last inspection.

"The strengths recognised are a testament to the staff, governors, pupils and families who have all given their unswerving support to the school, particularly through our recent tragic circumstances.

"I am particularly warmed by the many highly positive comments received from parents, which I hope reflect our commitment to providing a stimulating, fun and supportive learning environment for all our pupils.

"However we will, of course, continually strive for further improvement, and are looking at how we will strengthen those areas identified.

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