Symondsbury Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

About Symondsbury Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School Browse Features

Symondsbury Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School

Name Symondsbury Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Symondsbury, Bridport, DT6 6HD
Phone Number 01308423502
Type Primary
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 106 (45.3% boys 54.7% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 21.2
Local Authority Dorset
Percentage Free School Meals 14.2%
Percentage English is Not First Language 0%
Persistent Absence 3.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 22.2%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (10 March 2020)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils say they feel ‘lucky’ to attend their school. They live out their school motto ‘You, me, us and everyone’ when acknowledging and celebrating their differences and those across the school community. All benefit from access to a wide range of clubs and events, for example cross country, choir and a community opera that involves pupils, staff and parents. Parents are overwhelmingly positive about the support they and their families receive.

Older pupils train as peer mediators. They help pupils sort out problems in the playground. Pupils say that bullying is very rare, but adults always help them. Adults show the utmost care for every pupil. As a result, pupils say they are happy and feel safe.

Pupils understand they can make a difference, no matter how small. Pupils’ actions extend beyond the school gates and include a wide range of experiences, such as ‘We Day’ and the ‘100 Challenge’. Pupils organise litter picks in the village with their families.

Staff have high expectations of pupil behaviour. As a result, there are very few incidents of poor behaviour. Pupils are always polite. However, when tasks do not meet pupils’ needs, pupils lose interest in their learning. Leaders are making changes to improve this.

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

Leaders do everything they can to get children off to a strong start in the early years. The focus on developing children’s language skills is paying off. All children are confident and keen to talk about their learning. Parents share information about their child’s development. Early years staff use this information well to shape the curriculum so that children make good progress.

Leaders have prioritised reading. Staff training has been effective. Reading books match the letters and sounds children are learning. As a result, children have a good grasp of phonics and use this well in their writing. Teachers make sure that there is extra support for pupils in danger of falling behind. This support is effective and helps pupils to catch up.

Leaders have identified that that some older pupils find reading difficult. They have purchased additional books to inspire pupils of all ability levels. In addition, leaders have raised the profile of reading in the school. They have welcomed visitors into the school to share their favourite books to inspire a love of reading in all pupils.

Pupils are achieving more than they have previously. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well. Leaders have taken on board advice from external support, for example how to check the quality of curriculum plans. This work is making a difference. They have introduced ‘early bird’ mathematics where help is given the same day to those pupils who need it. Teachers use questioning effectively to test pupils’ understanding. This helps pupils to succeed. As a result, pupils across the school know more and can do more in mathematics.

Learning has been organised across the curriculum to promote pupils’ personal development. It does this very well. In personal, social and health education (PSHE), staff plan for pupils to gain a strong understanding of life in multicultural Britain. The well-thought-out PSHE curriculum helps pupils to consider and understand that people have different life experiences. As a result, pupils demonstrate empathy for those with lives different than their own.

Leaders have recently reorganised the school’s curriculum. Some curriculum areas are more developed than others. Pupils say that they enjoy the new curriculum. They speak enthusiastically about the ‘hands on’ lessons, for example making volcanoes and recreating Stonehenge. Pupils have developed a detailed knowledge in some aspects of history. However, this knowledge does not link with what pupils have learned previously. Consequently, pupils do not develop a deep and ‘joined up’ understanding of history as a result.

Leaders, including governors, are passionate about improving opportunities and outcomes for all pupils. They understand which areas of the school need to improve. They ensure that pupils with SEND receive the support they need. Leaders check how well pupils are learning, for example how disadvantaged pupils benefit from extra help.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All safeguarding checks are in place to ensure adults working and volunteering at the school are safe to work with children.

Staff complete training and work with a range of agencies to successfully provide early help, for example the Family Partnership Zone. Concerns for pupils are recorded in an online programme and, if necessary, followed up with social care. Leaders pursue concerns if a satisfactory outcome is not achieved for the family.

PSHE and computing lessons are used to teach pupils how to keep themselves safe, for example not sharing photos or passwords online and how to cross a road safely.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Teachers need sufficient specialist knowledge of each subject. Leaders must ensure staff have access to appropriate training to further develop their subject knowledge so that pupils develop the depth of knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential.Many curriculum leads are new to their role. Leaders need to ensure they develop curriculum leaders’ roles in order to support colleagues to ensure that all subjects are planned equally well and organised for all pupils.