Primary school changing for the better, says Ofsted

IMPROVEMENTS in exam success at an East Devon primary school show how it is changing for the better, according to education inspectors.

IMPROVEMENTS in exam success at an East Devon primary school show how it is changing for the better, according to education inspectors.Honiton Primary School saw its maths results record a big rise last year as the number of children gaining the expected Level 4 or above in their SATs tests went from 62 per cent in 2007 to 76.5 per cent in 2008. The number of children gaining the higher Level 5 more than doubled.And in English the percentage of those achieving Level 4 or above went up from 66 to 73.5 per cent.Inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, say: "The school is already changing for the better."Recent changes to the way the school is led and managed are beginning to bear fruit. "Headteacher Andrea Brown has a clear vision for the future of the school. Initiatives to raise standards are starting to work and this demonstrates the school's capacity to improve."The recent academic success of the older children sits alongside the school's Foundation Stage unit which combines the nursery and Reception classes."Children receive a good start with many making excellent progress in their personal, creative and physical development," say the inspectors."They settle in quickly and love learning in the caring and supportive environment."Throughout the school, parents value the caring ethos and the enthusiasm of staff, say the inspectors.But they say, despite the recent rise in standards, there has been ineffective learning in the past.The recent changes have not yet had sufficient time to take full effect and children are still not achieving as well as they should do. Because of this, they say, the school needs to continue making significant improvements in their performance and in the quality of teaching and learning."The school provides an acceptable quality of education for its pupils," says lead inspector Jonathan Palk."Pupils like coming to school (and) generally behave well, treating each other with consideration. Their personal development is good and pupils report that all the teachers are friendly and helpful."But, says Mr Palk, the school needs to improve pupils' progress in writing and maths and ensure that, in all lessons, every child is set work that is carefully matched to their abilities.

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