Frampton Cotterell primary school ranked as outstanding by Ofsted inspectors
A PRIMARY school in Frampton Cotterell overcame the challenge of being based on two sites 350 yards apart to earn an "outstanding" rating from government inspectors.
Watermore Primary School, which was formed following the amalgamation of Brockeridge Infant School and Highcroft Junior School in January last year, received top marks from Ofsted after an inspection last month.
The 200-pupil school, led by head teacher Janet Hoyle, was praised for the achievements of the children, good behaviour, excellent teaching and outstanding leadership and management.
The school is based in the existing junior and infant school buildings in Lower Stone Close and Woodend Road but there are plans to move it onto a single site when funding becomes available.
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Last year the Post reported that a new school, on the Highcroft site, would cost about £5 million.
Lead inspector Andrew Saunders commended staff for working hard to establish a "cohesive approach" across the two sites.
In his report, Mr Saunders said: "This is an outstanding school because the achievement of pupils is outstanding.
"Since the amalgamation, the head teacher has ensured that teaching is outstanding and has developed a widely-shared vision for ensuring the best possible outcomes for pupils."
He said the school could improve further if pupils responded better to the "high quality" feedback from teachers, and staff made sure the behaviour of all pupils met the high expectations.
Mrs Hoyle, who became head of the school in January 2011 after moving from a school in Painswick, Gloucestershire, said: "Bringing the schools together was quite a challenge, especially with them being on two sites.
"We're really pleased with the outcome of the inspection. A good job has been done in bringing together the two sites and sharing the expectations.
"It's an amazing achievement but being on the two sites constrains what we can do in terms of older and younger pupils working together and members of staff working together.
"There are no concrete plans to move onto one site because capital funding has been cut severely so the local authority doesn't have the funding at the moment. The school's governors are looking at other options going forward."
Of the Ofsted rating, she added: "The key to it is the outstanding teaching, the high expectations and the hard work we've put in to bring in procedures for assessment across the school.
"The parents are very supportive and very involved. We have an excellent governing body and PTA.
"It's been a lot of work in the last 15 months but I'm really pleased it's paid off and the pupils and staff have got the credit they deserve."
Brockeridge Infant School, which was previously rated as "good" by schools watchdog Ofsted, and Highcroft Junior School, which was previously judged as "outstanding", were combined to form Watermore to overcome the problem of falling pupil numbers.
The merger process started when the combined number of vacancies reached about 100.
Jo Cooke, one of the parent governors at the school, was "over the moon" with the Ofsted verdict.
She said: "The head teacher has made a tremendous achievement and the whole management team has done so well – we are exceptionally proud of them.
"We are looking forward to keeping at this level and raising it. We have some challenging times ahead – we are pushing hard to get us onto one site."