Rising praise for high Bickington School

Joseph Bulmer

Ofsted inspector impressed by improvement at the school and its effective teaching.

HIGH Bickington Primary School has won praise from Ofsted inspectors who say it is a good school where pupils achieve well.

Lead inspector Martin James visited the school in September and his report which has just been published, praises High Bickington for “the real enjoyment” pupils show in their learning and their above average results.

He said the school had shown significant improvements since its last inspection in December 2008. “Good” is the second highest rating Ofsted can bestow.

Back in the summer the school was again placed in the top five per cent nationally for the improvement – or “added value” – children make from the time they start school to the time they leave, based on the 2011 SAT test results.

“The headteacher, Rob Norton, supported well by staff, has been successful in creating a caring school with a strong ambition to improve,” said Mr James, who rated teaching in every lesson as “good” or “better.”

“Effective teaching and a good curriculum are crucial factors in the good progress made by all pupils. Pupils are well behaved (and) show real enjoyment in their learning.”

He said the school had good capacity to continue improving and to help achieve this it should continue to raise standards in writing to match those in reading and maths, as well as provide more opportunities for pupils to find out about other cultures.

Rob Norton said the report reflected the great deal of hard work that has been put in by everyone since the last inspection.

“We have just opened our own nursery provision and the inspector said that he had seen ‘exemplary practice’ there - a big achievement after only one week in operation,” he said.

“We are already working to further develop our school. We know that to have a good school is very important to High Bickington but we see this judgement as a stepping stone towards our goal of being outstanding.”