A FOREST school has seen its numbers more than triple and its Ofsted rating improve in just two years.

Walmore Primary School in Westbury-on-Severn was facing a decline to fewer than 20 pupils in 2015 and was told by Ofsted that it required improvement at its last inspection.

A new inspection, in December 2017, rated the school good.

The school puts the turnaround down to the addition of new teachers and assistants. Headteacher Brett Stevenson, who took over in September 2015, added it to the federation of Blakeney and Pillowell primary schools.

In the past two years Mr Stevenson has transformed Walmore Hill with a six-figure investment in buildings, technology and teaching staff.  A new admin block and upgraded classrooms are complemented by an on-site playgroup, Bright Horizons, which nurtures young children and helps them make a transition to primary school.

The Ofsted report stated that: “The headteacher and assistant headteacher, along with governors, have successfully led the school through a very difficult period of change. As a result, the school is now in a much more stable position and parents comment positively on the hard work of leaders, the positive atmosphere and the ‘lovely family feel of the school.’”

The report also quotes parents as saying: “children thrive and get the best of everything here.”

Mr Stevenson, said: “This Ofsted report is a massive achievement, a turnaround story that endorses the great work of our staff but more importantly how happy and settled the children are.  All schools are distinct, but Walmore Hill has a very special family feel.

“I want to thank our governors, parents and all staff whose support and commitment to this community has been instrumental in its transformation. Together we have built a school that gives its kids confidence and skills so they can benefit from more opportunities as they grow.”

Parent Mark Terry-Lush, said: “I have two daughters and both are really happy. Walmore Hill is unrecognisable since Mr Stevenson and his team came in and gave it a complete facelift. The new buildings give everyone more space, the playgrounds are fun and safe, morale among staff is high, and the kids are doing really well academically.”

Changes introduced by the school also include a wide range of non-curricular activities, which have been recognised by the inspectorate. Recently, former Royal Marines have been employed to run a Mini Marines club that enables pupils to engage in outdoor activities, which help them to keep healthy and raise their aspirations of what they can achieve.  

Recent ties with Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, biologists and conservationists, sports stars, celebrities, and local artists have all combined to help pupils excel in and out of the classroom.