Two inspectors from the school standards agency, Ofsted, visited Totnes St John’s in Bridgetown in March. After a visit that lasted two days, they said the school was ‘good’ in all the things they looked at.
The school is warm and welcoming, said the inspectors, and the children are safe there. They are ‘confident and resilient,’ as a result of the ‘creative and ambitious’ learning they do. They are polite, and ‘respectful’ towards adults.
The children have lots of chances to learn to be responsible, including readingto younger ones, running lunchtime clubs, being school councillors, holding class meetings and growing their own food to sell in Totnes market. Even the very youngest children learn to be independent early on. They have ‘challenging’ activities to support all their learning, including reading and maths.
The children who need more support to learn can join in properly in lessons. This is because teachers make sensitive changes to what they are teaching. All the staff know the children well and every child is helped to do the best that they can.
The inspectors listened to children reading during their visit. They found they read ‘widely and with fluency’ because of the very careful way in which teachers teach reading. There are plenty of checks on how children’s reading is getting on.
The inspectors praised the leaders in the school, including the headteacher, Mr Jaworski, and the school’s governors. They found that everyone felt they belonged to a team.
The inspectors said teachers now need to make sure that children know and remember more by finding out carefully what they have already learnt and building on it.
William Jaworski, the Executive Headteacher, said, ‘We are thrilled that Ofsted judges us to be a good school. The inspectors were rigorous but fair. Their report reflects what we do well and it will also help us to get even better. Now that it is published, we are excited to be able to share what the inspectors found with the whole school community, especially all our parents.’
Totnes St John’s is part of the Academies for Character and Excellence Academy Trust. The Chair of the Trust, Roger Willoughby, said, ‘All members of the Board are delighted by the inspectors’ findings on Totnes St John’s. We congratulate all the staff and children on their hard work and this success. We look forward to continuing to support the school, and the others in our Trust, on their journeys to excellence.’