Village school is a ‘happy place’, say Ofsted inspectors

INSPECTORS have praised a Frampton Cotterell school’s “high expectations for what all pupils can achieve”.

Regulator Ofsted says Watermore Primary School has an ambitious curriculum, “welcoming ethos” and warm relationships between pupils and staff.

The school has been rated ‘good’ in all areas – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and Early Years provision.

A team of three inspectors visited the school in Lower Stone Close, which has 414 pupils aged from four to 11, in February.

It was Watermore’s first inspection for nearly 12 years, since it was rated ‘outstanding’ in 2012.

Since then the school has moved to a new building, changed head teacher and a new inspection regime has been introduced.

Ofsted said that until November 2020, the school was exempt from routine inspection, so “there has been a longer gap than usual between graded inspections”. There has also been a backlog of inspections due to lockdown.

School has a ‘welcoming ethos’

The inspectors said: “Watermore Primary is a happy place, where pupils enjoy learning.

“Parents speak highly about the school’s welcoming ethos and the care it shows to both pupils and families.”

The report said pupils have “warm relationships with one another, and with staff”, and know that adults listen to them and help them with any worries they may have.

They also appreciate the activities on offer, from sport and sign language to singing and dance, and opportunities to contribute to school life.

High expectations and ‘ambitious curriculum’

The inspectors said: “The school has high expectations for what all pupils can achieve.

“An ambitious curriculum has been designed well. It considers what pupils need to know and when they need to know it.

“The school has established systems in place to monitor and evaluate the impact of its actions. In many areas, these are well used to further improve the quality of education that pupils receive.”

Inspectors highlighted the “love of reading” promoted at the school from the start, with pupils becoming “increasingly confident and fluent” readers as they progress.

They said training to help staff develop subject knowledge and expertise helps them “deliver the curriculum well”, and cited teaching of maths, where pupils moved from understanding concepts well to solving more complex problems.

The inspectors also praised the “effective and timely systems” to identify pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, and the support they receive to ensure they can learn the same curriculum as other pupils.

To improve further the inspectors recommended that the school ensure that its systems to monitor what pupils had learned were effectively used across all subjects in the wider curriculum, where in some subjects knowledge is “less secure”.

Head teacher is ‘proud of everyone involved’

Head teacher Lisa Rawcliffe said: “We are extremely pleased with the outcome of our recent OFSTED visit.

“The staff work incredibly hard to make sure the curriculum is inspiring and it was lovely to hear our pupils echo this when asked.

“The inspector stated Watermore is a happy place that parents speak highly of and I am proud of everyone involved.”