School etc

Orchard Vale Community School Closed - academy converter Oct. 31, 2011

see new Orchard Vale Community School

Orchard Vale Community School
Westacott Road
Whiddon Valley

phone: 01271 *** ***

headteacher: Mrs J Baker

school holidays: via Devon council

Primary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 1999
Close date
Oct. 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 258329, Northing: 132856
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.077, Longitude: -4.0238
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Ofsted last inspection
March 14, 2007
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › North Devon › Forches and Whiddon Valley
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
SLCN - Speech, language and Communication
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Barnstaple

Schools nearby

  1. Orchard Vale Community School EX328QY (354 pupils)
  2. 0.7 miles Forches Cross Community Primary School EX328EF (173 pupils)
  3. 0.8 miles The Lampard Community School EX329DD (98 pupils)
  4. 0.9 miles Newport Community School EX329BW
  5. 0.9 miles Newport Community School Primary Academy EX329BW (496 pupils)
  6. 1.1 mile Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, Barnstaple EX328DN (176 pupils)
  7. 1.1 mile Our Lady's Catholic Primary School, Barnstaple EX328DN
  8. 1.2 mile Landkey Primary School EX320LJ (173 pupils)
  9. 1.2 mile Goodleigh Church of England Primary School EX327LU (81 pupils)
  10. 1.3 mile Ashleigh CofE (VC) Primary School EX328LJ (253 pupils)
  11. 1.3 mile The Park Community School EX329AX (1310 pupils)
  12. 1.3 mile The Yeo Centre, North Devon KS3 PRU EX327AU
  13. 1.4 mile Yeo Valley Primary School EX327HB (235 pupils)
  14. 1.8 mile Pilton Infants' School EX311JU (177 pupils)
  15. 1.9 mile Bishops Tawton Primary School EX320AE (123 pupils)
  16. 1.9 mile Pilton the Bluecoat Church of England Junior School EX311JU
  17. 1.9 mile Pathfield School EX311JU (124 pupils)
  18. 1.9 mile Pilton Bluecoat Church of England Junior School EX311JU (249 pupils)
  19. 2 miles Petroc EX312BQ
  20. 2.1 miles Pilton Community College EX311RB
  21. 2.1 miles Pilton Community College EX311RB (1261 pupils)
  22. 2.3 miles Chelfham Mill School EX327LA (27 pupils)
  23. 2.4 miles St Michael's School EX313HY
  24. 2.6 miles Sticklepath Community School EX312HH (328 pupils)

List of schools in Barnstaple

Age group 3–11
Inspection date(s) 2–3 November 2011
Inspection number 381325

Orchard Vale Community School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 137644
Local Authority Devon
Inspection number 381325
Inspection dates 2–3 November 2011
Report ing inspector Anne Wright

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Primary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 3–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 345
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Janet Cowie
Headteacher Jan Baker
Date of previous school inspection 14–15 March 2007
School address Westacott Road
Whiddon Valley
EX32 8QY
Telephone number 01271 375074
Fax number 01271 347050
Email address reveal email: jba…


This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. Inspectors observed
seventeen lessons taught by twelve teachers and briefly visited other lessons and
activities. Meetings were held with members of the governing body, staff and pupils.

Inspectors observed the school’s work and looked at school documents, including
those related to safeguarding, the school development plan, pupils’ work, and
information about pupils’ progress. They also took into account the views of pupils,

staff and 100 parents and carers expressed in responses to questionnaires.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school’s work. It looked in detail

at a number of key areas.

  • The impact of work being done to improve pupils’ progress, in particular in
    English and mathematics at Key Stage 1, and in mathematics across the school.
  • The effectiveness of provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or
    disabilities and for the more able.
  • The effectiveness of leaders at all levels and of the governing body in helping to
    improve the school further.

Information about the school

This is larger than the average-sized primary school. Most pupils live in the local
community and are of White British heritage. There are no other groups of significant
size in the school. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals
is below average. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or
disabilities is high, as is the proportion of pupils with a statement of special
educational needs. This is because the school has an allocated resource unit for
pupils whose needs relate to speech, language and communication learning
difficulties. The school provides day care for children from birth to three years of age
and after-school care for its pupils through the Arts Play Club. These are run by
private organisations and were not part of this inspection. The school has achieved a
number of nationally recognised awards, including Healthy Schools status, the Green
Flag Award for International Eco-Schools, and the International School Award.
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in the Nursery and in the
Reception class. The school converted to academy status on 1 November 2011.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school’s capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

This is a good school. As a consequence of the strong leadership and management
of the headteacher, significant improvements have been made since the last
inspection leading to consistently high attainment and outstanding achievement for
pupils at the end of Key Stage 2. These improvements have been recognised by
most parents and carers who hold the school in high regard. Several commented,

‘This school has strong leadership’.

At the heart of the school’s work are excellent levels of care and support for every

child. As a result, there is mutual respect between adults and pupils. The latter say
they are extremely happy and feel very safe at Orchard Vale. They behave well and

they enjoy school life. Pupils’ well-being is further enhanced by the exceptional

effectiveness with which they are encouraged to live healthy lifestyles, recognised in
a national award. The school is particularly successful in nurturing the few pupils who
have speech, language and communication learning difficulties taught in the resource
unit. Pupils contribute exceptionally well to the school and wider community
demonstrating their skills as responsible citizens through embracing numerous roles,
such as play leaders and fund raisers. They respect one another’s differences
extremely well and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is
Learning is good overall. Children settle quickly into the Early Years Foundation Stage
and make satisfactory progress, and pupils continue to do so in Key Stage 1.
However, their progress accelerates rapidly and is outstanding in Key Stage 2.
Consequently, their attainment in English and mathematics is significantly above
average by the time they leave in Year 6. Learning is not outstanding overall because

of some unevenness in progress across the school. This unevenness is the result of

the inconsistencies in the quality of teaching and assessment. However, the school is
aware of this and has put strategies into place, in particular in Key Stage 1, to
accelerate progress in English and in mathematics. These strategies, such as ‘talk

partners’ and ‘Talk for Writing’, are beginning to impact positively, especially on the

attainment of more-able pupils.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress. This is
as a result of focused additional support. The high-quality individual programmes of
work for those with complex speech, language and communication learning
difficulties taught in the resource unit similarly result in good progress.

Teachers have strong relationships with their classes and plan interesting activities
which mostly engage and motivate learners of all abilities. In a few lessons, in both
English and mathematics, the match of work to pupils’ abilities is not precise enough,
and consequently it is too easy so that progress slows. There is variation in the
quality of marking in English and in mathematics throughout the school. Where it is
good, pupils are given clear, subject-specific guidance in terms of next steps for
The pursuit of excellence is evident at all levels of the school community and school
leaders have high expectations of pupils. They have a clear view of where
improvement is needed, based on thorough monitoring and self-evaluation. This has

resulted in improvements in many aspects of the school’s work since 2007, including

the creation of a stimulating outdoor environment to support learning in the Early
Years Foundation Stage. The governing body plays a key role in establishing the
strategic direction of the school. Consequently, the school has good capacity for
sustained improvement.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Accelerate learning and progress so that it is consistently outstanding by
    making the majority of teaching outstanding through:
    rigorously challenging all pupils to achieve as well as they can especially in
    the Early Years Foundation Stage and in Key Stage 1.
  • Improve the quality of assessment by ensuring that teachers’ feedback and
    marking always help pupils to improve.
    Pupils enjoy their learning and this is clearly reflected in most lessons where they
    fully engage with their learning and remain focused on their tasks. They cooperate
    and collaborate effectively in pairs and groups. Pupils particularly enjoy practical
    learning. For example, in a mixed-age Year 3 and 4 lesson, they were able to
    demonstrate their knowledge of how to find areas of rectangles using multiplication,
    and their understanding of its connection to counting squares and arrows, through
    actively teaching each other. In a few lessons, however, pupils are less engaged
    because there is insufficient challenge.
    A range of intervention programmes including reading recovery are proving effective
    in bringing about improvements in reading at Key Stage 1. Consequently, pupils’
    progress has accelerated. Similarly, a concerted drive to improve mathematics across
    the school through intervention programmes, such as one-to-one tuition, has
    accelerated pupils’ progress.
    Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress. They
    are given good support which helps them to develop positive attitudes to learning.
    Some pupils, especially those educated in the resource unit, make excellent progress
    in developing the skills necessary to take full part in the life of the school.
    Pupils show an exemplary understanding of the need to live a healthy lifestyle and
    many are keen participants in a range of sports-related activities. Pupils are clear
    that there is little bullying and they would readily turn to an adult if they were
    concerned. Pupils make an outstanding contribution to the running of the school and
    both the Key Stage 1 and the Key Stage 2 school councils provide a very effective
    voice in the school. For example, as a consequence of their influence the school
    dinner arrangements have been completely altered. The school has been awarded
    the Green Flag for International Eco-Schools as a result of pupils’ ambassadorship as
    Eco warriors. Pupils also make an excellent contribution to the wider community
    through, for example, performing at local festivals and regularly participating in local
    events. Pupils’ good attendance, combined with their excellent basic skills, means
    they are very well prepared for secondary school and the world beyond.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 1

These are the grades for pupils’ outcomes

Pupils’ achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
Pupils’ attainment
The quality of pupils’ learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress



The extent to which pupils feel safe 1
Pupils’ behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic we ll-being
Taking into account:
Pupils’ attendance


The extent of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1

How effective is the provision?

Initiatives have been introduced to enhance key aspects of provision and to improve

pupils’ achievement. Consequently, the quality of teaching is improving, and skilled

teaching in the resource unit helps pupils with speech, language and communication
learning difficulties to make good progress. Strengths of teaching include the
effective deployment of teaching assistants to facilitate learning, good relationships
with pupils and the teachers’ good subject knowledge. Enjoyment of learning is


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average;

and 4 is low

enhanced by a good curriculum that is well organised and creative, and an extensive
programme of visits and visitors to the school. Extra-curricular provision, such as
residential trips to Paignton and Bude, provides pupils with opportunities to bring
learning to life. However, it is not outstanding because the curriculum offer in a few

lessons does not appropriately match the needs of all learners, especially in Key

Stage 1. Teachers use a wide variety of effective strategies to assess pupils’ learning
and progress. However, marking across the school in both English and mathematics
is inconsistent in terms of helping pupils to understand how to improve their work.

The school’s outstanding care of its pupils is evident in its support for pupils whose

circumstances make them potentially vulnerable. For example, staff work in very
close partnership with parents and carers, and with an extensive range of outside
agencies to meet their needs. This is especially the case for pupils in the resource
unit. Parents and carers value the opportunities offered to them to chat informally
with each other, and with staff by visiting the ‘Coffee Corner’ located on the school
site. Very thorough transition arrangements are in place to support pupils when they
join or leave the school, so that they settle happily.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning


The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils’ needs, including, where
relevant, through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

The successful leadership of the headteacher has resulted in a clear, shared vision
for the school. This is based on high expectations and continuous improvement.
Morale is high as reflected by a member of staff who said, ‘I am proud to work at
Orchard Vale and feel very valued.’ The headteacher, ably supported by senior
leaders, instils a sense of drive throughout the school. Challenging targets are set for

pupils’ performance in national tests at the end of Year 6. The monitoring of the
school’s provision is robust, and as a result, the quality of teaching is good. Leaders

provide regular professional development opportunities, for example through
coaching and mentoring, to allow staff to improve the quality of teaching and its
impact on learning. The leadership and management of the resource unit are good
because of clear planning. The school communicates well with parents and carers,
and works exceptionally well in partnership with others. Consequently, pupils’
achievement and personal development are outstanding The school is looking
forward to extending its partnership links further through the additional opportunities
provided as a result of its new academy status.
The governing body is effective in ensuring that the school meets its statutory duties,

for example with regard to the safeguarding of children. Arrangements in this respect
are good and are constantly updated to reflect their high priority within the school.
The governing body challenges and holds the school to account well.
The school is very inclusive and promotes and tackles discrimination exceptionally
well. Consequently, the school is a happy and harmonious place for pupils to learn
and play together. The school promotes community cohesion well, in particular its
links with other schools in other countries. These have been recognised by the
achievement of the International School Award. The school is actively seeking to
further develop links with other schools in the United Kingdom.
The school provides outstanding value for money because it manages resources very
effectively, leading to outstanding outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils at
the end of Key Stage 2.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and
driv ing improvement
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning


The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities
The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and
tackles discrimination
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohes ion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for

Early Years Foundation Stage

The attainment of children on entry into Reception shows an improving trend over
the last three years. The 2010-2011 group of children entered Reception with skills
and abilities that are above those typical for children of their age overall. This is
especially the case for those who attend the Nursery. However, their knowledge and
understanding of letters and sounds, and calculation are below those typical for
children of their age. Children settle rapidly because of the outstanding care, warm
relationships and good liaison with parents and carers. Consequently, they feel safe
and secure. Children show positive attitudes and behave well. Children eat healthy
snacks and are aware of the importance of basic hygiene, such as washing hands.
The activities that are available indoors and in the stimulating outside environment

give them ample opportunity to show initiative and become independent learners.
While some children make good progress in all areas of learning, overall progress is
satisfactory. For example, the 2010-2011 group entered Year 1 with knowledge and
skills that are above age-related expectations but below these in their understanding
of letters and sounds, and calculation.
The school is aware that children make satisfactory progress overall in all areas of
learning which lead to average outcomes. They have consequently put a range of
strategies and programmes into place which have resulted in good provision.
Outcomes this year, therefore, show an improving trend. Teaching, facilitated by the
effective deployment of teaching assistants to support learning, is good. As a result,
children are happy and they enjoy their learning. This was evident, for example,
when children in Reception were observed working independently in a music lesson,
playing instruments to enact different sounds, such as rain and thunder.
Leadership of the Early Years Foundation Stage is good. Detailed strategic plans
outline a clear direction for improvement based on an accurate view of strengths and
areas for development. Consequently, members of staff are working effectively as a
team. They use assessment information well to inform appropriate interventions to
accelerate progress across all areas of learning.

These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage

Overall effectiveness of the Ear ly Years Foundation Stage
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation



Views of parents and carers

Almost one third of parents and carers completed the inspection questionnaire,
showing a higher than average response. Their views were overwhelmingly positive
about all aspects of the school. They particularly appreciate how much their children
enjoy school and how safe they are, with one parent commenting, ‘Orchard Vale is
like a second home.’ Another commented, ‘My child is very happy at this school and
is always eager to come.’ A very few concerns were expressed by parents and carers
relating to behaviour. Inspectors found behaviour to be good during the inspection.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted’s questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Orchard Vale Community

School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agree d with 13
statements about the school.
The inspection team received 100 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In
total, there are 345 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number
of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular
question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree disagree
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 67 67 31 31 0 0 1 1
The school keeps my child
66 66 32 32 0 0 0 0
The school informs me about
my child’s progress
56 56 38 38 3 3 0 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
51 51 45 45 0 0 0 0
The teaching is good at this
71 71 27 27 0 0 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child’s learning
59 59 38 38 1 1 0 0
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
57 57 38 38 1 1 0 0
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
55 55 40 40 0 0 0 0
The school meets my child’s
particular needs
61 61 36 36 1 1 0 0
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
45 45 46 46 2 2 1 1
The school takes account of
my suggestions and
49 49 45 45 2 2 0 0
The school is led and
managed effectively
51 51 43 43 2 2 0 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child’s experience at this
67 67 31 31 0 0 0 0


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding
school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school
that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant
improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils.
Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 43 47 10 0
Primary schools 6 46 42 6
14 36 41 9
Sixth forms 15 42 41 3
Special schools 30 48 19 3
Pupil referral
14 50 31 5
All schools 10 44 39 6

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that
inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 08 April 2011 and are consistent
with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in

secondary schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning, development or training.

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the
quality of its systems to maintain improvement.

Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,

not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the

Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their

understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school’s overall

effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,
in particular, influence what the overall
effectiveness judgement will be.

  • The school’s capacity for sustained
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets
    pupils’ needs, including, where relevant,
    through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and

Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and

over longer periods of time. It is often measured

by comparing the pupils’ attainment at the end of a

key stage with their attainment when they started.

4 November 2011
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Orchard Vale Community School, Barnstaple EX32 8QY

Thank you for the warm welcome you gave to the inspectors when we recently
visited your school, and special thanks to those of you who took the time to talk to
us or tell us your views about the school through the questionnaire. We are pleased
to see that almost all of you enjoy school. Your school provides you with a good
education and does some things particularly well. As a result, when you leave school
at the end of Year 6, your achievement is outstanding. You have lots of opportunities

to participate in clubs and visits. This helps you to develop good skills in working

together and appreciating others’ needs. Your behaviour is good, and your
headteacher and staff take excellent care of you. Consequently, you have an
excellent understanding of the importance of keeping healthy and of staying safe.
You make an outstanding contribution to the school and the wider community of
To help the school improve further, we have asked teachers to do the following:

  • Help you to improve your work by making sure that learning is always
    challenging enough, especially for those of you aged four to seven.
  • Mark your books to show you clearly how to improve your work. You can all
    help by thinking carefully about how much you understand.

We wish you all well for the future.
Yours sincerely
Anne Wright
Lead inspector


print / save trees, print less