Ofsted and Performance


Thorncombe St Mary’s Church of England Primary Academy was last inspected by Ofsted in October 2023. The school was graded ‘Good’ for:

  • Leadership and management
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Early Years provision. 

With respect to quality of education, we have taken the inspector’s comments onboard and acted to develop curriculum areas that require improvement. Through Spring 2024 we refined our subject curriculums for Humanities and Art to ensure that we build childrens’ knowledge well over time so that they learn more and remember more. These curriculum improvements, together with our shared high expectations and ongoing work to develop the children’s metacognition, gives impetus to driving our journey to securing ‘Good’ overall at the next inspection. Until then we celebrate the inspectors’ many positive findings:


Kathy Maddocks, His Majesty’s Inspector

“The school’s strong community ethos allows pupils to feel happy and safe. Pupils respond well to the daily routines and expectations set for them. They take pride in their work to support local and international charities. 

Staff know every pupil individually. This is particularly valuable for the many pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The school’s curriculum is improving. Many subject curriculums are designed well. The personal, social, health and economic curriculum provides pupils with a comprehensive knowledge of how to keep themselves and the environment healthy.

Pupils are developing as responsible citizens of the future.”


Amanda Spielman, His Majesty’s Chief Inspector

“It is clear from the report that school and Trust leaders are working in partnership to bring about improvement. I am delighted to read that your team is focussed on developing children’s curiosity and readiness to learn. Furthermore, it is good to know that pupils become fluent early readers who now choose to read for pleasure.”


Please see the links below for the full Ofsted report and a letter that was sent to our parents and carers.

Full inspection report, October 2023

Ofsted letter to parents/carers


Prior to joining the Acorn Multi Academy Trust, Thorncombe St Mary’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School received a ‘Good’ judgement at SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools) in December 2019. 


Reverend Jeremy Hellier, December 2019

“The Christian vision promotes a strong sense of community and has a significant impact on the flourishing of pupils and adults. 

There is a broad curriculum and an approach to spirituality carefully mapped and documented in all subjects. The vision of ‘life in all its fullness’ means a range of other opportunities are provided in and out of school from which pupils gain great joy.”


Today, through Trust Ethos Group meetings, school leaders continue to evaluate how the school’s theologically rooted Christian vision drives our work and collaborate for shared policies and practice. Local parishioners enhance the children’s understanding of Christianity as a living faith and we have taken steps to deepen their knowledge of Christianity as a multicultural world faith. Children are encouraged to take on increasingly independent roles within Collective Worship; each term School Ethos Council, Eco Council and Mental Health Ambassadors take the lead to share and champion causes meaningful to them.

We are immensely grateful to the Reverends Philip and Michelle Butcher for their contribution to our school from leading Collective Worship in school and at St Mary’s Church to helping bring Religious Education to life and offering assurance that Thorncombe St Mary’s is living up to its foundation as a Church school.


Reverend Michelle Butcher, December 2023

“I always come away from a visit to your school feeling so encouraged by the character, warmth and joy of both the children and the staff - such an amazing attribute of the school. You only have to walk through the doors to know that the school is a safe, nurturing place that allows children to be themselves, explore their place in the world and to grow - both through their academic learning and through all the different experiences that you provide.”


Please see the links below for the full SIAMS report.

Full SIAMS report, December 2019

Performance Data

Please see the link below to see information published about our school’s performance and how this compares to other schools locally and nationally.

Performance breakdown and comparisons

Parent View

Your voice is so important to us! Parent View lets parents tell Ofsted what they think of the school. Click on the image below and have your say.

Parent View