Dulverton Junior School is celebrating after Ofsted graded the school as ‘good’ following a short inspection on 28 March 2017. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in July 2013.
In the report letter addressed to Head Teacher Mrs Sally Fulford, the inspector said “Since your appointment as headteacher in April 2016, you have successfully steered the school through a period of major change. You have built on the strengths identified in the school at the last inspection and ensured that the good quality of education has been maintained.”
The inspector added “Senior leaders have taken the best aspects of the middle school and successfully married these to new provision for younger pupils in the junior school. The transition was complex and challenging; still, it was achieved and pupils have responded well to the new arrangement.”
The report letter also praised the children; “Pupils have readily accepted the new school and are increasingly proud of it; they have embraced the new motto, ‘my best always’. Pupils enjoy school and express confidence in their teachers. Attendance is above average and has risen in the last year, partly because parents and the school are forming an increasingly effective partnership.”
During the one-day inspection the inspector observed lessons, held discussions with the head teacher, governors, pupils, teachers and Somerset County Council’s education advisers. He evaluated pupils’ books, and examined a range of information and documentation relating to behaviour, attendance, progress, safeguarding and more.
The report identifies some areas for improvement if the school is to achieve an ‘outstanding’ rating in their next inspection, and – as a result – they will now be working on developing pupils approaches to spelling, carefully planning teachers questioning in mathematics to develop pupils’ reasoning skills and ensure that teaching continues to improve by sharing the effective practice in this school and other schools.
Headteacher, Mrs Sally Fulford, said: “We are delighted with Ofsted’s findings and it is clear they see the school as we do. I am particularly pleased with the recognition of the dedication and hard work of all the staff at the school during the transition from a middle to a junior school.
Donna Lyndsay, Chair of Governors, said; “We are very pleased with the outcome of the inspection. All the staff and governors have worked exceptionally hard to achieve this in the face of substantial restructuring in terms of age range, staffing and building layout and it was good to see the inspector acknowledge this.
“The staff in particular should be recognised for their determination to see standards improve throughout, and this includes everyone; from the cleaners to the exceptional subject leaders, all of whom play critical roles in making a school good.
“Particular praise should be reserved for the Head Teacher, Sally Fulford, who has had to deal with many legacy issues whilst transforming the school to its new format. The effort this has required should not be underestimated: it would be challenging for any experienced head and Sally achieved all this whilst also gaining her headship qualification. We now have all elements in place to move forward, driving standards higher with the ambition to make this school the outstanding provision our children and community deserve.”