Culmstock Primary School

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About Culmstock Primary School

Name Culmstock Primary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mrs Clare Nevinson
Address Culmstock, Cullompton, EX15 3JP
Phone Number 01884840598
Phase Primary
Type Community school
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 140
Local Authority Devon
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud of their school. They are keen to follow the 'Culmstock Way', which sets out the school's values of, for example, showing care and compassion.

Pupils know that everyone is treated equally. They feel safe and know there is an adult to speak to if they have any concerns. Pupils behave well and, as a result, the school is calm.

Parents speak positively about the recent changes to the school's leadership. The school is keen to build strong links with families. Parents appreciate the way staff welcome children to school in the morning.

Parents comment that the school wants the best for their children. Pupils attend well and are punctual.

...Pupils appreciate the range of clubs on offer to them, such as computing club and eco-club.

They participate in birdwatching to help engage with the local environment. Pupils are also encouraged to set up their own clubs, such as chess club. These activities help to build pupils' confidence and independence.

The school goes above and beyond to engage with the local community. The school's weekly park run, which takes pupils, parents and staff out beyond the school gates and into the local area, is always well attended.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders are ambitious for the school and the local community.

This has led to all staff having high expectations for all pupils. Throughout the school, pupils form positive relationships with staff. As a result, pupils engage well in lessons and are motivated to learn.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) learn the same curriculum as their peers. There are well-established systems that identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND. As a result, pupils with SEND are well supported.

The school has prioritised reading and developing pupils' use of language and understanding of vocabulary. As a result, the school now has a strong reading culture. Children in Reception learn phonics from day one.

Teachers are skilled in checking pupils' understanding of phonics before introducing new letters and sounds. When necessary, children receive extra support to ensure they catch up quickly. As children progress, they use their phonics knowledge to decode words with confidence.

The books pupils read are well matched to their reading ability. This means pupils develop a love of reading and read widely and often.

The school has carried out a review of the curriculum.

Staff training has been prioritised. As a result, in most subjects, the school has set out the key knowledge and skills it wants pupils to learn and remember. Some subjects are more developed than others.

For example, in mathematics, teachers are confident in what they want pupils to know and remember. They check pupils' understanding effectively and adjust the learning swiftly. As a result, pupils talk positively and confidently about the mathematics they learn.

However, in other subjects, assessment is not used as effectively. This leads to pupils developing gaps in their knowledge.

Children in the Reception class get off to a flying start.

Knowledgeable staff identify the interests and needs of children early on. Staff design activities that are stimulating and meet children's needs. For example, children use arm movements to successfully represent and remember the 'equals' sign in mathematics.

Children in Reception class are kind and considerate to each other. They are keen to share their learning with adults. They listen well and respond politely.

Pupils appreciate the opportunity to take on roles of responsibility. Older pupils understand what it means to be a good role model and, as a result, they take their roles seriously. Pupils who are play leaders help younger children at lunchtimes.

Pupils on the school council help to organise local fundraising events, such as the reindeer run. Pupils also benefit from trips to museums to learn about Romans and Egyptians. However, other aspects of pupils' personal development are at an early stage.

As a result, pupils have a limited understanding of fundamental British values, other faiths and cultures, as well as people's differences.

Staff at the school feel valued. They know that their workload and well-being are considered by school leaders.

Governors know the strengths and areas for development of the school. They are supportive of school leaders and hold them to account through a balance of support and challenge. Governors bring a rich range of skills that enhance the strength of school leadership further.

They work closely with parents to ensure the school remains at the heart of the community.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, assessment is not always used effectively to check pupils' understanding or to address misconceptions.

As a result, pupils develop gaps in their knowledge. The school needs to ensure there is a consistent and effective approach to assessment in all subjects. This will enable teachers to adapt learning successfully when needed.

• Some aspects of the personal development curriculum are at an early stage of implementation. This means pupils do not learn effectively about fundamental British values, different faiths and cultures and protected characteristics. The school should review the essential knowledge it wants pupils to know and remember to ensure that pupils have more opportunities to learn about citizenship, faiths and other cultures.

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