Dunsford Community Academy

Name Dunsford Community Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 19 September 2011
Address Dunsford, Exeter, Devon, EX6 7DD
Phone Number 01647252548
Type Academy
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Number of Pupils per Teacher 22.3
Academy Sponsor Learning Academy Partnership (South West)
Local Authority Devon
Percentage Free School Meals 6.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the school

This is a small school. It serves the local area, but with some pupils coming from further afield. The overall proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average, as is the proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals. Nearly all of the pupils are White British, with a very small number coming from a mixture of other ethnic backgrounds. The school runs four classes with four teachers in the morning and three classes with three teachers in the afternoon sessions. This is set up in the following way: the Early Years Foundation Stage children work in a class with Year 1 pupils throughout the day; the Year 2 pupils work as a separate class for literacy and numeracy in the morning as do the Year 3 and 4 pupils, in the afternoon sessions pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 combine as one class; pupils in Years 5 and 6 work as one class throughout the day. The school runs a ‘Breakfast Club’. In addition, working jointly with other local schools it runs an ‘After School Club’. The school rents out some of its accommodation to the Pre-School Group. The school has an acting headteacher, who was initially appointed to cover the long-term sickness of the substantive headteacher. This interim measure has been sustained by the governing body to cover the current phase in which they are seeking federation with two other schools.

Main findings

This is a good school. Parents and carers are very pleased with the provision. Typical of the comments from them were, ‘It’s safe, enjoyable and interesting for the children… extremely supportive… you can trust the teachers 100%.’ Children have an excellent start in the Early Years Foundation Stage, where outstanding provision helps them make very good progress. As a result of good teaching throughout the school, pupils achieve well and attain above-average levels by the end of Year 6. Their attainment in writing, while above average, is not as good as in reading, mathematics and science. Staff and pupils get on well together. All pupils are thoroughly encouraged to do their best. As a result, all groups of pupils, including those who are more able and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, become confident and enthusiastic learners. Lessons are interesting as well as challenging and based on a well-planned curriculum. The school makes the most of its beautiful outdoor woodland and ‘wild garden’ setting so that pupils gain a good range of outdoor practical experiences. The very good links established with other local schools mean that the pupils benefit from participating in lots of festivals and sports tournaments. Pupils are very healthy and fit and have an excellent knowledge about how to stay this way. The school council is extremely active and ensures that all pupils have a strong voice in school affairs; for example, the pupils’ involvement in designing the play equipment installed on the field. Through this kind of activity, along with their charity fundraising involvement and participation in local village events, pupils make an outstanding impact on the community. Through activities such as links with and a residential visit made to a school in Leicester, pupils gain an outstanding awareness about how people from other backgrounds live. Typical of the comments made by pupils relating their experiences were, ‘It doesn’t matter about your skin colour, your religion or what your name is… you’re still part of our country.’ Excellent provision for care, guidance and support ensures that all pupils feel completely safe. They very much enjoy their time at school and their attendance is above average. Pupils behave well and sometimes show exemplary behaviour. They show a very good level of moral and social awareness. The very strong support provided for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities as well as for those with social and emotional difficulties ensures the individuals concerned make excellent progress. Since taking up her post the acting headteacher has done an outstanding job. She has worked hard with staff and governors to ensure that all aspects of school improvement planning move forward at a good pace. As a result, teaching and pupils’ achievement have improved since the school’s previous inspection. Subject coordinators work well and have a clear understanding about how well pupils are progressing. However, their overview of the quality of teaching is limited because : they do not have enough chances to monitor and evaluate lessons. Excellent communication ensures that parents and carers are fully informed about and involved in supporting their children’s learning. The governing body works very well. It has robust systems for monitoring the school’s performance, very effectively supports staff as well as holding them to account and ensures that high quality safeguarding procedures are maintained. Accurate self-evaluation, good progress made since the previous inspection, excellent teamwork established amongst staff and clear plans to guide future improvement mean the school has a good capacity to progress well in the future.