Colyton Primary School 'transformed' in a year

PUBLISHED: 09:38 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:47 15 June 2010

AN EAST DEVON primary school has been transformed in the past year and now has a real sense of energy and purpose, according to education inspectors

AN EAST DEVON primary school has been transformed in the past year and now has a real sense of energy and purpose, according to education inspectors.

A year ago Colyton Primary was criticised by the school standards agency Ofsted and placed on special measures.

Now a new report by two Ofsted inspectors has concluded new headteacher Nic Harris has transformed the atmosphere of the school.

"As a direct result of his efforts the school is a very different establishment from that visited initially," they say.

"There is now a good atmosphere and sense of energy around the place.

"He has empowered key staff and set a tone of confidence and determination to improve things.

"He has been especially effective in gaining the respect and support of staff, governors, parents and pupils."

As a result of significant improvements in teaching, pupils at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 (seven and 11-years-old) are set to achieve above average standards, says lead inspector Laurie Lewin.

"In most classes there is a buzz of purposeful activity with pupils concentrating and working hard to do their best," he says.

"In most classes, and the Year 6 class in particular, pupils show an increased enjoyment in their work because they feel the work is now challenging them effectively."

Mr Lewin says behaviour is good across the school and pupils display a good attitude towards their work.

"Good relationships flourish throughout the school between staff and pupils and between pupils," he says.

"This contributes strongly to the positive atmosphere evident throughout the school."

Mr Lewin says there have been key changes in staffing at the school which have resulted in significant improvements in teaching in nearly all classes.

"Those teachers new to the school over the last year have settled in very well and are making a strong impact on improving the learning for the individuals in their care," he says.

But there is still work to be done with just one priority for further improvement.

That is for the school to move forward urgently on improving teaching for the Years 3 and 4 class.

Mr Lewin concludes: "The local authority (Devon County Council) continues to play a dynamic part in aiding the school's recovery programme. It is rightly impressed by the way the new senior leadership team is driving forward initiatives.

"Along with school staff, they have invested much good support in the direction of improving teaching for the pupils in Years 3 and 4 but agree there has still been insufficient progress. This area remains the major stumbling block to helping the school fully recover."

Today headteacher Nic Harris said: "I am very pleased by our latest monitoring report. It has recognised the huge efforts made by all members of staff and the children.

"The whole team are working hard to improve the school. While we still have some areas to concentrate upon, this report clearly indicates that we are progressing well on our journey out of special measures

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