Staff and pupils at Debden Primary Academy are celebrating after receiving a 'good' Ofsted rating - marking a significant improvement on their previous inspection.

The Church of England, voluntary-controlled school was rated 'good' in all areas apart from personal development, where it was rated 'outstanding'.

Inspectors praised the school's "respectful and inclusive" culture, and said: "'Be kind, be brave, be safe, behave' is Debden CofE Primary Academy’s motto.

"Pupils know it and live it out every day. They are happy and safe at school."

Saffron Walden Reporter: Children were described as 'happy and safe' at schoolChildren were described as 'happy and safe' at school (Image: Debden Primary Academy)

The report noted the steps the school had taken to improve since their previous inspection, where they were given a 'requires improvement' rating.

Improvements had been made to the teaching of reading, as well as the school's provision in the early years - with children in reception described as "curious, enthusiastic learners".

"Leaders have planned the knowledge and skills pupils will learn in each subject and the order in which they will learn these," the report said.

"The programme for personal development is exceptional. The school’s ethos strengthens pupils’ understanding of values such as aspiration, compassion and respect.

"Through the different committees of the student council, pupils are involved in many aspects of school life.

"Since the last inspection, the headteacher has taken decisive action to drive improvements at the school. He has established an ambitious vision that is shared by staff."


The report added that parents' views of the school are very positive, and that staff feel valued by leaders.

When talking about areas where the school needed to improve, the report said: "There is some variation in the quality of pupils’ written work in the foundation subjects. 

"Leaders should build on the good practice they have established in other subjects to ensure pupils' learning and progress are fully reflected through their work across the whole curriculum."

Headteacher Matt Hawley said: "We are delighted that the school has been recognised for its significant improvements since our last inspection.

"This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented staff team, the children's enthusiasm for learning, and the support of our entire school community."