About Us

At Orchard Vale we believe that education should be inspiring for all children whatever their age and encourage them to be confident individuals with a deep love of learning.

Orchard Vale Community School was built in 1999 as a result of a capital bid to provide a Community Primary School for the Whiddon Valley area of Barnstaple under the LEA of Devon County Council. The school opened on September 13th 1999 with 155 children and a full Nursery.

We currently have around 330 pupils learning with us which includes a 52 place Nursery and a specialised baby unit.


At Orchard Vale, every adult strives to instil a sense of Pride in our children where they will leave us with a sense of belonging and can identify with their personal achievements. We regard our children as Resilient, motivated and happy learners and aim that they leave our school with skills for life. We are proud to celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of all children and staff in our school. In order to do all the above, we recognise that children need to feel safe and cared for and create a sense of positive nurture through the school. We are open and honest and welcome participation and co-operation with our whole community.

· Pride

· Resilience

· Individuality

· Developing individuals with safety and care

· Environment based on openness and honest

The school site is extremely attractive; the building constructed with red brick, wood from sustainable forests and recycled oak for the windows. Our grounds boast a large grass playing field, forest school area complete with a fire pit, log cabin and pizza oven, an extensive wraparound playground with gazebo and play activities, a willow area used for EYFS outdoor learning, an outdoor gym and an adventure trail. 

We have a bright and welcoming front entrance courtyard with planting designed and maintained by pupils, staff and parents. We have ample space for bicycles within our bike rack which encourage children to cycle and scoot to school. These are safe and secure.

We have 13 classrooms at Orchard Vale and a Nursery and Baby provision. Our large school hall is used for sporting activities, PE sessions and lunchtimes. We also have a fully equipped music room, specialist maths room and a large cookery room. Further to this we have a community room, fully stocked library filled with age appropriate books, a sensory room and an intervention room.

Every term we offer a wide variety of clubs to suit all our pupils. These are run by our staff and include sporting activities, singing groups and eco clubs. The children also have opportunities to learn new skills through schemes such as Bikeability. We have links with the local secondary schools which offer opportunities for children to mix and participate in a range of different physical activity sessions such as multi skills. We are also lucky enough to link up with other schools within VENTRUS to offer inter-school competitions such as the Wilcombe Wobbler cross country event.

The Orchard Vale team of Teachers, Teaching assistants, Administrators and Kitchen staff aim to create a safe environment in which our pupils can thrive and learn. We like to encourage children to pursue things they are passionate about, such as writing or playing an instrument, and do what we can to help keep this passion alive.


Orchard Vale Community School, which became an academy in 2011, is a member of Ventrus. The Trust comprises fifteen primary schools and one secondary school across Devon, whose aim is to deliver excellence in education through collaborative working and mutual accountability.

Each of the schools has its own Headteacher and these school leaders work closely together to ensure that we deliver a curriculum which meets the needs of all pupils and that opportunities for our pupils are broad and challenging. 

In addition, there is an Executive Leadership team for the Trust as a whole, which comprises the CEO of the Trust, Mr Gary Chown, four Executive Headteachers, Head of HR and a Head of Finance. The Executive team oversees and supports school improvement for all sixteen schools.

Staff and governors of our school benefit hugely from working within a family of schools. The Trust operates ‘Best Practice Networks’ in a variety of subjects, aspects and phases within Primary Education. The opportunity to work in partnership to shape and develop one’s own practice, and the practice of others, has a profound effect on the quality of education that we are able to provide at Orchard Vale. 

For the children in VENTRUS schools, there are regular opportunities to work and play with children from all of the schools. Whether it be on a Gifted and Talented day for mathematicians, or a musical event or in the sporting arena, our pupils benefit from the expertise and enthusiasm of a large group of talented and skilled teachers and assistants.

(Click here to read more about Ventrus).

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