Rapid improvement at Broadhembury Primary School

A DEVON village school has been highlighted by education inspectors for its rapid improvement following the appointment of a new leadership team.

A DEVON village school has been highlighted by education inspectors for its rapid improvement following the appointment of a new leadership team.

The inspectors say the progress of pupils at Broadhembury Church of England Primary School has accelerated over the past two years.

Broadhembury headteacher Gaye Williams was appointed in April 2009 and, since then, two new teachers have been appointed along with a new chair of governors and a number of other governors.

The inspectors, from the school standards agency Ofsted, say: "The school has undergone a period of considerable change.

"Good, determined leadership by the head has ensured the school has improved.

"The new staff team fully supports the changes and is challenged and inspired to move the school on.

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"The staff and governors are fully supportive of the leadership of the school and this, along with rapidly improving pupil progress, means the school is demonstrating good capacity to sustain improvement."

Ofsted spent two days at Broadhembury last month and the report on the 31-pupil school has just been published.

Lead inspector Rowena Onions concludes: "Much productive work has been done to improve pupils' attitudes to school and to their work.

"Parents comment on how much their children like the school. (This) is demonstrated by the number of them who run enthusiastically into the school yard at the beginning of the day.

"Pupils' enthusiasm is successfully promoted by enrichment activities and teachers' efforts to make learning active and fun."

Ms Onions says children make good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Parents say they settle happily and want to come to school.

Throughout the school, pupils are energetic and hard-working and try hard to succeed. They behave well, their social, moral and spiritual development is good and the older pupils support the younger ones particularly impressively.

She says parents told her they were particularly pleased with their children's enjoyment of school and the way the school cares for them.

To continue its rapid improvement, Broadhembury should develop the assessment of pupils' work so teachers and teaching assistants can help them improve and broaden the children's knowledge of other cultures.

Today headteacher Gaye Williams said: "I am pleased with the outcomes, which accurately reflect the school's journey and the hard work and dedication of the staff team and the governing body.

"We are delighted the inspector has recognised the many positive aspects of our distinctive school community. We are particularly proud of the fact that 'the care, guidance and support of pupils are given the highest priority' that 'each pupil is known and valued as an individual, enabling them to flourish' and that 'pupils play a good role in helping the school run smoothly on a day-to-day basis and they have a growing role in shaping school improvement' are all recognised in the report.

"As a school community we look forward to an exciting period of further development. The areas identified by the report are ones that the school has already prioritised. We will continue to work with the whole school community, the local authority and external consultants to ensure that our vision is realised.

"I would like to thank everyone - staff, governors and children for all their hard work in contributing to making our school a very special place and to parents for their continued support. The inspector's interactions and observations of the children throughout the whole process clearly had a very strong influence regarding her very positive judgements about the school. I would therefore like to say a very special thank you to all the children who, as usual, did us proud.