St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery awarded the only ‘excellent’

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Sunday, November 10, 2019 - 10:58pm

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has awarded St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery ‘excellent’ in all areas of their Educational Quality inspection.  Based in Staverton, near Totnes, the independent day school for children aged 3 to 11 received ‘excellent’ for both ‘The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements’ and ‘The quality of the pupils’ personal development’.

During the inspection, which took place in September, independent school inspectors identified pupils ‘display exemplary behaviour at all times’ and ‘demonstrate highly developed knowledge, skills and understanding for their age.’  Other key findings included ‘pupils are highly articulate and have a passion for reading and writing’ while also sustaining ‘very mature and entirely positive attitudes to learning’.

Commenting on the results from the Educational Quality report, Alexandra Cottell, head at St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery says:  “I am absolutely delighted that the dedication of the staff, children and parents of St Christopher’s school to a fully rounded education has been recognised in such a wonderful way.  We strive for a purposeful and caring community environment at St. Christopher’s, and I am so proud that the inspectors acknowledged our achievement of this.”

On the 24th – 26th September ISI inspectors conducted two inspections of St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery, a Focused Compliance Inspection combined with an inspection of Educational Quality.  The Focused Compliance Inspection covered areas including ‘quality of education provided’, ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils’, ‘welfare, health and safety of pupils’, ‘quality of leadership in and management of schools’ as well as other areas which can be either ‘met’ or ‘not met’.  St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery ‘met’ all criteria in the inspection.

The Educational Quality inspection reports on the quality of the school’s work, focusing on two key outcomes; the achievement of the pupils, including their academic development and the personal development of the pupils.  The headline judgements given to schools are either ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘sound’ or ‘unsatisfactory’.  St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery received ‘excellent’ for both key outcomes.  Only five other independent Devon schools inspected by ISI achieved ‘excellent’ in both areas including Plymouth College, St Peter’s, Exeter School, The Maynard School and Exeter Cathedral School.  St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery is the only school in the South Hams to have been awarded the accolade of ‘excellent’.

St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery aims to inspire young minds and encourage excellence, creativity and collaboration amongst its pupils with its nurturing ethos.  Established in 1991, moving to its present site in Staverton in 1993, it has been owned and governed by the same family since the school’s foundation.  Occupying converted 19th Century stables and barns, it provides a delightful setting in which to learn surrounded by the beautiful South Hams countryside.  Originally founded as a nursery it quickly grew into the highly successful Prep school, accepting children from 3 to 11, that it is today.  

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations.  ISI inspections are also carried out under arrangements of the ISC Associations for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of their membership. 

St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery is hosting an open day for prospective parents and children on Thursday 14th November, during which private tours will be available.  For further information about St Christopher’s Prep School and Nursery or the open day, please visit, call 01803 762202 or email  

The full Focused Compliance Inspection and Educational Quality report can be viewed at

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