First Federation Trust welcomes Portesham CE Primary School to its growing family of schools
West Dorset primary school becomes 17th primary to join the multi-academy trust
A West Dorset primary school has become the 17th school to join the First Federation Trust, a growing family of primary schools in the South West. It is also the first school from outside Devon to join the trust.
Portesham CE Primary School says that the move will bring ‘opportunities for collaboration’, and help the school improve its teaching and learning.
“Being a part of the First Federation Trust family will bring a host of benefits to our school, including tailored support in key areas, and staff training and development in subject knowledge and teaching practice. We are really excited about the opportunities for collaboration with colleagues from across the trust family of schools” said Vicky Prior, Head of School.
“For a small school such as ours, the support provided by the trust as we seek to raise standards across the school will be crucial.”
Chief Executive Officer of First Federation Trust Paul Walker added, “We are delighted to welcome Portesham CE Primary School to our family of schools and to have the opportunity to extend our impact into neighbouring Dorset. Our shared aspirations and standards will help us to focus on what is most important: providing all pupils with the best education, enabling them to succeed.
“This is a vibrant, rural village school that has experienced some difficulties recently. Our aim is to support the school and Vicky in her commitment to driving up standards, while maintaining the school’s identity which is so valued by the whole school community.”
Vicky Prior, Head of School added “Like us, the trust is passionate about learning and delivering a curriculum that broadens all children’s horizons and prepares them for their future. The whole school team are looking forward to utilising the expertise of the trust as we move forward on our improvement journey”.
Brixington Primary Academy celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted rating
Ambitious school moves from ‘requires improvement to ‘good’ in its latest inspection
Staff and pupils at a Devon primary school are celebrating the results of its latest inspection by Ofsted. Brixington Primary Academy in Exmouth has been judged ‘good’ in all areas. Ofsted inspectors found the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and the early years provision all to be good.
Ofsted noted how the school’s values of friendship, respect, honesty, endeavour and sportsmanship permeate the school and how pupils learn, how ambitious the school is for its pupils, and the calm and purposeful atmosphere.
Inspectors praised the strength of school leadership. They noted the investment in time and training to improve subject leadership, and the school’s ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils.
Stuart Dyer, Head of School at Brixington Primary Academy, said “I’m extremely proud of the children and staff here at Brixington. Their positive approach and belief in the school has been crucial on this journey of improvement. The inspection was an opportunity for the team and children to demonstrate the impact of their hard work and dedication in achieving our vision for the school. Our mission is about inspiring excellence, so our journey doesn’t stop here – we will keep working to make the school even better.”
Since its last full inspection four years ago, the school embarked on a comprehensive development plan. Children’s attainment improved significantly as a result. Subsequent focus on curriculum development culminated in a new curriculum being put in place in 2019/20, with a new approach to senior and middle leadership to ensure this was successfully implemented. First Federation Trust supported the school with staff training, sharing good practice and close collaboration through its network of teaching specialists, as well as investing in a new early reading phonics programme and library of books.
Paul Walker, Chief Executive of First Federation Trust, said, “Achieving ‘good’ is a well-deserved outcome for everyone involved. The hard work of colleagues and pupils has been rewarded with this very positive report. As a member of the First Federation Trust family of schools, Brixington Primary Academy has benefited from tailored support from our Trust in key focus areas, as well as staff training and development, in areas such as subject knowledge and teaching practice. It’s fantastic to see Ofsted recognise the integral part this support has played.”
Stuart Dyer, Head of School added “I could not be prouder of this achievement and would like to thank the team at Brixington, the school community and First Federation Trust for their support.”
Comments from the Ofsted inspectors included:
‘Staff are ambitious for what they believe pupils can achieve.’
‘Children in early years get off to a strong and well-supported start.’
‘Staff encourage children to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. There is a rigorous approach to monitoring how successfully children learn. This ensures that children develop strong understanding.’
‘Pupils are keen to do their best. They know what is expected from them and respond to this positively.’
‘Staff feel well supported by the senior leadership team. They value the training and
time they have had to develop as teachers and subject leaders. The trust uses its
detailed knowledge of the school to provide support and challenge.’
‘Pupils say that they have no concerns about bullying. They are confident that staff would sort out any problems quickly should they occur.’
‘The school is calm and has a purposeful atmosphere. Pupils are polite and confident
and say that most pupils behave well.’
World Book Day 2022
World Book Day's mission is to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.
Spending just 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories with children can make a crucial difference to their future success and it’s fun for all involved.
We loved seeing all their wonderful costumes and hearing about all the great activities they had taken part in this year.
East Devon school's ticket to Uganda day
An Exmouth Primary school hosted a 'ticket to Uganda' day last Thursday.
The Brixington Primary Academy children dressed in black, gold and red - the colours of the Ugandan flag and learned about gender equality in Uganda and the UK, and made traditional houses out of clay, using recycled materials to make Ugandan dodgeballs and footballs, and traditional African drumming. The children even learned some phrases in Acholi - the language that is spoken by many children in Kirombe.
Brixington Primary raised over £400 which will be used to pay for a young girl called Patricia to keep attending school. Patricia is in Year 4 and a few of Brixington's pupils were lucky enough to speak to her via Zoom.
Gatehouse Primary Academy celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted rating
A Devon primary school is celebrating the results of its latest school inspection by Ofsted. Gatehouse Primary Academy in Dawlish has been judged ‘Good’ in all areas. The latest report praised the leadership and teaching, the curriculum, and noted how proud pupils are of their school.
Leila Naldrett, Head of School at Gatehouse said “This report is an excellent and hugely well-deserved outcome for our school. The team at Gatehouse has worked tirelessly since our last full inspection. We are passionate about raising standards in education and are dedicated to creating a school environment that is positive and stimulating for both the children and staff. Each step of the school improvement journey has been meticulously considered to ensure the maximum impact for the children, whilst ensuring that the wellbeing of children and staff is supported. It’s wonderful to see Ofsted recognise this hard work and commitment.”
Paul Walker, Chief Executive of First Federation Trust said “Achieving ‘good’ is a tremendous outcome. And amid a pandemic - it’s a truly brilliant achievement. The staff and pupils have worked so hard for this and deserve such a super report. As a member of the First Federation Trust family of schools, Gatehouse Primary Academy has benefited from tailored improvement support from our Trust in key focus areas, as well as staff training and development, in areas such as subject knowledge and teaching practice. Our Trust has developed a tried and tested approach to school improvement. Each school is supported to improve, whatever their starting point. Working together with Leila and her team and sharing expertise from across our Trust has had a huge impact on the turnaround at Gatehouse.”
Leila Naldrett, Head of School added “I could not be prouder of this achievement and would like to thank the team at Gatehouse, the school community and First Federation Trust for their support.”
A small selection of comments from the Ofsted inspectors included:
‘Gatehouse is a thoroughly inclusive school. Pupils are happy and love coming to school to see their friends and staff. Pupils talk with pride about how their school has improved. They enjoy learning and value the wide range of subjects they study.’
‘Children get off to a flying start. Effective teaching in the early years ensures children develop their phonics knowledge well. Staff build precisely on what pupils already know'.
‘Pupils are respectful, caring and keen to learn. Pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain. Leaders ensure that pupils develop the skills required to be a positive member of society.'
'Leaders are determined for every pupil to be successful'
Athletic youngsters make victory over cancer a racing certainty
On Monday May 24, all of the children and staff at Brixington Primary Academy took part in a Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The Year 4 children, as part of the school's commitment to contributing to the community, planned an event that would test out their athletic skills they had been working on in PE.
A track was set out around the school's large playing fields and the whole school were challenged to run as far as they could in a given time. Before the event, the school invited families to use this as an opportunity to celebrate and remember loved ones, and to make donations to support the crucial work of Cancer Research UK.
Brixington parents are always extremely generous, having previously raised huge amounts for such charities as the Devon Air Ambulance and Children in Need, but the response from the community for the Race for Life event was overwhelming! Donations began flying in over the weekend and the total amount raced up towards £1,000 by Monday lunchtime. The money kept rolling in as the children battled monsoon conditions and splashed through the mud for as many laps as they could. By the time the event had finished, the total had neared £2,000, and this soon became £3,000 as children shared their stories with relatives over the next few days. It was a very emotional day, with many children and staff running with a particular friend or family member in mind.
Head of teaching and learning Stuart Dyer said: “We're very proud that we were able to learn about the powerful themes of grief, loss, hope and adversity, in a way that celebrated life and brought the community together.
“Many children ran with the names of friends and family-members on their backs, and shared stories of how Cancer had touched their lives. It was a brilliant sporting event, too, with some fierce competition on show despite the horrendous weather! We're so grateful for the support and generosity of our families.”
Pupils make a step change with 'park and stride' initiative
Pupils at Colyton Primary Academy joined thousands of children across the UK to celebrate the benefits of walking during Walk to School Week last week. Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking as part of their National Walking Month campaign each May.
Families were encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot or ‘park and stride’ for the whole week to see the big differences that come from small steps, from healthier and happier children to fewer cars outside the school gates. To conclude the week they were inspired by one of their own students, Lucy Voysey, to do something a little different. During the lockdown Lucy took advantage of quieter streets and rode her horse to school. This sparked a discussion of other exciting ways to come to school and so the challenge was set!
On Friday the children arrived in style... on a tractor, skip lorry, horses, go-carts, hover boards, tied together with three legs, on broomsticks, rollerskates, skipping and even on a unicorn!
“This was such a great way to bring our school community together, have fun and raise awareness of walking to school too,” said Aerfen Mills, the head of school. “We have missed our whole school events this year and this really brought a smile to everyone’s faces.”
Two children also took the opportunity to walk from their home to raise awareness for an orphanage in Africa where children walk 10 miles a day to attend a school. Ebi and Neri walked five and a half miles from their home one morning – a super achievement.
Mrs Mills said: “This was such a fantastic achievement for Ebi and Neri, we were very proud of them. Especially as they completed a whole day of school afterwards too!”
The school would like to thank the parents for helping the children arrive safely as well as the people of the town for supporting such a fun but crazy morning.
Pupils Scooter to Willowbank Primary School, thanks to new bike rack
Musbury Primary School celebrate Ofsted result
Pupils, parents, carers and staff at Musbury Primary School are delighted with the Ofsted Report, following the recent inspection of their school; where it was judged to be ‘Good’ in every aspect. The inspection highlighted that ‘teachers plan skillfully for the challenges of mixed age and mixed key-stage classes and this enables pupils to make strong progress across the curriculum’. ‘Teaching Assistants know the pupils well. They motivate pupils well and instil a thirst for learning’.
‘The Trust has a strong influence on the work of the school. There is a collegiate and determined approach to improvement. Leaders are ambitious and make sure that their decisions ensure the full inclusion of all pupils’. The Ofsted Report praised the behaviour of pupils saying they are ‘well- mannered and caring’.
Head of Teaching and Learning, Tim Nield, said ‘I am incredibly proud of the children and staff, who thoroughly deserve this outcome. The children are a pleasure to teach and their kind and friendly nature made the inspector feel welcomed throughout his visit. I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and professionalism and also the parents and community for their support of our school.
Martin O’Mahony, Executive Head of Teaching and Learning at Musbury Primary School stated,
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Nield and his team of dedicated staff who have been relentless in their aspirations for the school. This report recognises their commitment to improving the progress and outcomes of all children whilst maintaining a broad and balanced curriculum. The community of Musbury has a school they should be incredibly of!’
Sidmouth Primary School celebrate recent Ofsted inspection
Sidmouth Primary School has been judged 'Good' in all aspects following its recent Ofsted Inspection.
Claire Fegan, Head of Teaching & Learning at Sidmouth Primary School said
"I am so proud of the whole school community at Sidmouth Primary because everyone's hard work and commitment - pupils, staff and parents - is reflected in this report. I am thrilled that the inspectors noted the strong team ethos at our school and recognised that the children are happy, safe and achieving well. We will continue to strive forwards, working on these areas for improvement, to make the school the very best it can be".
The Sidmouth Herald shared the good news - please follow the link to read the article.
Westcliff Primary Academy Celebrate Ofsted Result
Pupils, parents, carers and staff at Westcliff Primary Academy are delighted with the Ofsted Report, following the recent inspection of their school; where it was judged to be ‘Good’ in every aspect. The inspection highlighted that the leadership of the school have ‘drive, determination and ambition for all pupils’ and that teachers ‘plan a creative and exciting curriculum that interests pupils and ensures their full engagement in learning.’
Such has been the success of the pupils at Westcliff Primary Academy since becoming part of the First Federation Trust in February 2016, that pupils’ reading progress at Key Stage 2 was in the top 10% of schools nationally in 2018. At the same time writing attainment at Key Stage 2 has improved significantly, and in 2018 compared well with the top 20% of schools nationally. This is a tremendous achievement by children and staff. The Ofsted Report praised the behaviour of pupils, the effective contribution of Teaching Assistants and the ‘Team Feeling’ within the school and across the First Federation Trust.
Head of Teaching and Learning, Emma Lewry, said ‘On a personal level I would like to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone involved with Westcliff Primary Academy. The dedicated, hard-working and professional team of teachers and support staff ensure that the best possible primary education is delivered to all our children. I cannot thank them enough. In addition; the level of support we receive from parents/carers and members of the local community is greatly valued!’
Jackie Huntington, Executive Head of Teaching and Learning at Westcliff Primary Academy stated,
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emma Lewry and all her team for what they have accomplished. Emma is an exceptional leader who has worked with passion and determination to take the school from strength to strength. I am also grateful to everyone employed at the school, who all play their part. But even with such excellent leadership and dedicated staff, I know that this fantastic report would not be as complimentary without the tremendous amount of hard work over the past few years, from our children. Well done Westcliff Primary Academy!’