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 349 pupils learning with us which includes a 52 place Nursery.


At Orchard Vale we have three core aims:


  • High quality education through a culture of learning for all
  • Commitment to working with and for our community
  • Developing an understanding and commitment to sustainability 

The school site is extremely attractive; the building constructed with red brick, wood from sustainable forests and recycled oak for the windows.


We have a super front entrance with planting designed and maintained by pupils, staff and parents. Cycle storage and recycling facilities are a priority.


From our Nursery through to our year 6 classes, we aim to deliver high quality education through our broad and balanced curriculum so our pupils are articulate, confident and relish new challenges.

We have 13 classrooms at Orchard Vale and a Nursery and Baby provision. Our large school hall is used for sporting activities and dinning, fully equipped music, maths and food technology rooms, a community room, library and therapy room.


Our grounds boast a large grass playing field, forest school area, large playground with gazebo and play activities, willow area and an adventure trail.


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 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 eleven 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 Head of School 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 eleven schools, at a local level Ms Miller-Marshall works to ensure that Orchard Vale continues to provide an excellent level of education for our pupils. 


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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