Strengthened teaching, exemplary behaviour and high expectations have helped a school maintain its ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.
Singleton CE Primary was visited by Helena Read in May when she carried out a short inspection – the first since July 2012 – and her findings were published on June 16.
The tiny school, which has only three classes, was described by Ms Read as fostering “a close family atmosphere”.
She said: “Pupils are very well known as individuals by staff, and great care is taken to support both their academic and pastoral development.”
When it came to lessons she recognised how staffing changes had brought new expertise to the classrooms and added: “This has strengthened teaching and helped to secure better progress for pupils in early years, Year 2 and Years 5 and 6.”
Standards in writing were seen to be higher, and Ms Read acknowledged the work carried out by headteacher Christopher Todd to tackle areas previously highlighted for improvement.
The report found last year’s achievements by children in the early years class had not been high enough – an issue that was swiftly tackled by Mr Todd and his team.
Ms Read said: “A new team is in place who have brought a fresh approach. This has led to much more emphasis being placed on pupils’ work in phonics – the sounds that letters make – with careful records of what they learn.”
She described the behaviour of the children as “exemplary” and their conduct as “courteous and thoughtful”, adding: “At lunch time, pupils all eat together in the main hall in a calm and orderly manner. They look out for each other, mix well and demonstrate the values that characterise the school.”
Ms Read also recognised how the ethos of the school blended Christian values with the tenets of a Unicef ‘Rights Respecting School’, with the pupils seen as highly knowledgeable about how to treat others.
She added: “There are very high expectations of pupils’ personal responsibility for their own conduct.”
Mr Todd said he and his colleagues were delighted with Ms Read’s report.
He added: “We have a fantastic team of skilled and dedicated staff and governors at Singleton who work very hard to create a school of which all can be proud.
“The report highlighted so many of the school’s strengths, shows that the school continues to provide a good standard of education and has usefully identified ways to move the school forward to achieve greater success in the future.”
One of the areas identified for further improvement was the need for teachers to plan activities that stretched and challenged the most able pupils.
Ms Read said: “At times the most able do not have work which is sufficiently challenging and they do not make accelerated progress in mathematics.”
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