‘Highly positive, vibrant school’ rated GOOD in ‘milestone’ Ofsted judgement

Beaminster St Mary’s Academy is delighted to announce the best Ofsted inspection result in its history.


The small primary school in west Dorset has been judged to be Good in all aspects following a two-day visit by two inspectors from the education watchdog in May.


The school was rated highly for quality of education, leadership, early years provision and children’s personal development, behaviour and attitudes. Its “robust culture of safeguarding” was also praised.


“Beaminster St Mary’s Academy is a highly positive, vibrant school community. Pupils enjoy coming to school and are motivated to learn. Strong relationships between staff and pupils mean they feel safe and happy,” the inspectors said.


“Pupils behave well. Staff have high expectations of pupils. The school’s values underpin these expectations. Pupils know that it is important to treat everyone with respect and kindness.”


The findings show the rapid improvements the 103-pupil school has made, particularly since the arrival of headteacher Darren Marklew. They also praise the strong support from the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust, which the school joined in 2014.


“The Trust and the local Academy Standards and Ethos Committee have kept a clear focus on the quality of education provided by the school. The new headteacher has quickly gained the confidence of pupils, parents and staff. There is a strong momentum of school improvement which has had a positive impact on pupils’ learning in a short space of time,” the Ofsted report noted.


Pupils were said to get off to a good start in learning thanks to “consistently accurate teaching” before going on to learn well in maths and phonics and to benefit from the priority given to reading.


“Staff support children well through questioning and by modelling language. The variety of opportunities to practise using language helps children to become confident learners.

Parents value the ways that staff support them to help with their children’s learning,” the report said.


The most success was achieved when the knowledge teachers wanted children to learn was clearly identified and broken down into small steps. This approach should be followed in all subjects, ensuring that teaching matched the needs of children with special educational needs, the inspectors said.


Efforts to offer children wider learning and enrichment opportunities were highlighted. “Pupils and parents value these experiences that broaden pupils’ interests and talents.”


Headteacher Darren Marklew said: “This Ofsted judgement is an important milestone for the whole school community at Beaminster St Mary’s Academy. The inspectors were so impressed with our children, our hard-working and dedicated staff, and our supportive parents.


“Ofsted saw wonderful learning taking place over two days. Our aim is to maintain these high standards every day and strive to improve even more so that all our children continue to feel safe, happy and excited in their learning and develop as confident, inquisitive and independent individuals.”


Mark Lacey, Chief Executive of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust said: “This report is such a celebration of the wonderful children of Beaminster St Mary’s. The dedication that Mr Marklew and his team have shown to getting this right for our children has been second to none. We are so pleased with everything they have achieved and can’t wait to see what comes next for the school!”


Anyone wishing to visit the school is welcome to make contact to organise a tour.



For further details, contact:


Darren Marklew, Headteacher

Beaminster St Mary's Academy Clay Lane Beaminster Dorset DT8 3BY


Telephone: 01308 862201

Fax: 01308 862807

Email: office@beaminsterstmarys.dsat.org.uk

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