Old Cleeve Church of England School (Old Cleeve School), which is based in Washford, Somerset, was inspected by Ofsted in July, just before the summer holidays. In its report, Ofsted described it as ‘a strong and improving school’ after awarding it an ‘outstanding’ judgment for its early years provision plus a judgment of ‘good’ for overall effectiveness.
Following its first inspection since becoming an academy, inspectors opened their report with the statement ‘pupils flourish at this friendly, family-oriented school. They make a flying start from the moment they arrive to the school in Nursery. Pupils go on to achieve well. Staff know each pupil as an individual.’
Ofsted inspectors noted that the Trust and school leaders had worked together determinedly to turn around a previous decline in standards and could see that current leaders have raised expectations and improved the school systematically.
The report went on to say that leaders have secured the support and enthusiasm of all; staff feel and are valued and as a result, the curriculum has improved, pupils are learning more and there is strong engagement from all members of the school community.
Headteacher, Emma Murch, who joined the school in 2021, commented “I am immensely proud of the Old Cleeve Family, the team of adults are dedicated, thoughtful and ambitious. They strive for the very best for the children. Their dedication around curriculum redesign was recognised and praised as well as their enthusiasm. Our children are enthusiastic, kind and determined and it is a joy supporting them to flourish as individuals. The parents and carers of Old Cleeve school are supportive of their children and the school community and it was lovely, to see so many of them share their views about their children’s experiences at school. It is extremely rewarding, reading our Ofsted report, which captures our wonderful school so perfectly! We are excited to continue to improve the school together, maintaining a love for reading and sharing the successes of our Outstanding early years”
Jane Bellamy, chair of Old Cleeve School’s Academic Improvement Board is delighted by the Ofsted report. She said: “I am keen to ensure that the Christian ethos of the school is upheld so I am thrilled that Ofsted noted that children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is stimulated very effectively through regular school and church calendar events.
“In the year ahead, we will be continuing to pursue our vision to ‘see remarkable things every day’ either through academic success or personal challenge. We aim to give all our pupils the best possible education to ensure they have the tools to succeed in later life.”
Robert Lakin, CEO of Beacon Education Trust, endorsed these views: “It makes all the hard work worthwhile when you receive such encouragement and recognition by Ofsted for the efforts already made. Congratulations to Emma and her team and thanks to all our trustees, parents and carers for their continuing support of the school.”