A PRIMARY school has been told it is “rapidly improving” after being graded as ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Shipton Bellinger Primary School, in Parkhouse Road, was given the rating following an inspection on June 4 and 5, having previously been graded as ‘requires improvement’ in March 2017.

An inspector from the education watchdog found all areas were ‘good’ including leadership, teaching, outcomes for pupils, behaviour and early years provision.

The new headteacher, Matthew Nightingale, was praised by Ofsted for his “strong leadership.”

The report noted that many changes to both the leadership and teaching team had resulted in a “period of instability” which “slowed down the rate of improvement for a period of time.”

However, Mr Nightingale, who was appointed in September last year, was said to have “stabilised the school.” The report added: “He has provided strong and determined leadership and has worked tirelessly in his drive for school improvement. As a result, this is now a good and improving school.”

A questionnaire completed by staff at the school revealed that they are proud to work there.

The school has a higher proportion of children with parents in the Armed Forces, and Ofsted found that their needs are met well.

Those joining at various times during the year are quickly integrated, and funding received for service children is “used to good effect,” such as by providing emotional support.

Pupils at Shipton Bellinger Primary School told inspectors that they are happy at school, and find lessons interesting.

The report said: “They get on well with each other and have built strong relationships with the adults who work in the school.”

It added: “In most classes, pupils settle quickly to their work and concentrate well. In some classes, however, pupils go off task when the work is not matched appropriately to their ability. This slows their progress.”

Ofsted found that teaching is now “typically good” with the report saying: “As a result of improvements in the quality of teaching in most year groups, pupils are now making strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics. However, in some year groups this progress has been restricted due to the need to plug gaps left by previously weak teaching.”

It added: “Leaders recognised, however, that there are inconsistencies in teaching across the school, and are addressing this through coaching and regular monitoring.”

The new early years leader was praised by the inspection team for her “clear knowledge of the children in her care” despite only recently joining the school.

The report said: “She has already made several changes that have improved outcomes for children, most notably in the teaching of phonics, and is keen to develop the early years provision further. She is well supported by the early years team.”

The school was advised on various ways it can improve further, including effectively challenging the most able pupils.

Mr Nightingale said: "Everyone in the school is very proud of the positive Ofsted judgement, validating the hard work of the whole school community over the last two years.

"It takes every member of staff working together and trying their best to become a good school. We are really proud of the hard work of the team at Shipton and are always keen to work alongside the local community to do the best for the children. We have been very fortunate in the support we have received from the army with numerous projects - enabling us to do things for the children that we would not normally be able to do.

"We are particularly looking forward to supporting more members of the services community over the summer months, as more families return to the Shipton Bellinger area." 

The school is hosting an open day on September 3 from 10am to 12pm to enable enable all families who have moved to the area to have a look around the school, get to know some of the staff and to gather starter packs and uniforms.