Rapid improvements lead to success at Bridgerule as pupils’ imaginations are fired

Posted on: 4 March 2013

Staff and pupils at Bridgerule are celebrating after the primary school was rated good with outstanding features by education inspectors.

Just 15 months ago the Church of England primary school was judged as inadequate.

Now inspectors say it has improved so much that it no longer requires significant improvement.

And they praise acting headteacher Jo Dymond who leads Bridgerule and Bradford primaries as part of the wider Holsworthy Federation.

“The acting headteacher has provided strong (and effective) leadership to bring about rapid improvements,” say the inspectors.

“Teaching and learning are good overall and at times outstanding.

“Pupils are making good progress and achieve well.

“Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning, show great enthusiasm, concentration and a determination to succeed.

“A stimulating curriculum is on offer. It provides a range of practical experiences which fire pupils’ imagination.

“Attainment is rising fast and is above average in reading and writing.

”Behaviour is outstanding both around the school and in lessons.”

Senior Ofsted inspector David Townsend spent a day at Bridgerule in January and his report has just been published.

He says pupils of all ages and abilities show much-improved attitudes to learning and are achieving well.

They get off to a flying start in Reception where strong teaching and high expectations create a vibrant atmosphere in which to learn and ensure outstanding progress.

Teaching is good throughout the school and the teaching assistants are well trained and provide good support.

“Behaviour is exemplary at all times and pupils’ attitudes to learning are outstanding,” says Mr Townsend.

“The care and guidance for pupils is of a high quality.

“Pupils recognise that improvements to teaching and the curriculum mean they are much more enthusiastic about their learning and willing to contribute fully to school life.

“They really enjoy school and are proud to be part of its community.“

Mr Townsend says there is no reason why Bridgerule cannot improve even more.

He says leaders and governors have high aspirations for the school and Devon County Council has provided good support and effective challenge.

To maintain its progress, the school should continue to raise pupils’ attainment in maths as it has done in English.

Today acting headteacher Jo Dymond said: “Within seven weeks of being in post, we received the notice to improve judgement from Ofsted.

“The past 15 months have been a fantastically exciting journey as every member of staff has fully committed themselves to provide the high quality education Bridgerule Primary now offers our children.

“It is the hard work and relentless drive of staff and governors that has created the vibrant and thriving school we have today.

“We are extremely proud of our school and feel we are at the heart of our community. Thanks go to everyone who joined us and took part in our journey.’’

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