ASK any child at Branksome Heath Middle School “What’s your core task?” and he or she will usually answer quickly: “To learn.”

And staff bear in mind their own core task: “To teach.”

Head teacher Stuart Fox says: “I take parents around at any time of the day, any day of the week, knowing that they will see the Branksome children doing what they do every day – coming to school, enjoying their work, working very hard.

“We’re very fortunate to be in a position where they’ve achieved the best standards of any Branksome children at this point in time.”

This large middle school prides itself on helping each child to reach his or her potential.

Pupils speak highly of the list of school clubs, the sporting opportunities and the caring attitude of the staff.

Extracurricular activities have included taking part in Cancer Research’s art competition and joining with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to create a song celebrating the opening of Poole’s new Twin Sails Bridge.

The year six boys’ football team recently reached the county finals, while the girls’ year seven squad are next month off to Derby to take part in the finals of the English Schools Football Association Under-15 Five-a-Side Cup. Sporting opportunities are available to anyone who is interested.

After a satisfactory Ofsted in 2010, the school focused on the areas it needed to improve – and has had a successful drive to raise standards of reading and writing.

“This year our campaign slogan is ‘Great readers become better writers’,” said Mr Fox.

“Every night is reading night. They record that in their journal.”

What’s more, the school has revived the tradition of teachers reading a book to pupils at the start of every afternoon.

“And children have met authors including Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Shoo Rayner, Beverley Naidoo and Robert Muchamore.

Mr Fox adds: “We’ve got a great bunch of children. We’ve got parents who support us. We’ve got staff who plan interesting lessons to catch the imagination and inspire them to want to learn and by doing that we’ve managed to raise standards.

“We’ve particularly focused on writing and that’s really improved.”

Branksome Heath was one of the area’s pioneers in the field of pastoral care.

“One of its two pastoral care workers is at the school gates each morning, so parents or children can approach them with any concerns.

The work of its pupil services unit includes the Silver Seal programme, which involves activities for those who are identified as needing help to develop social skills.

“Our pupil services are very much a help for children, perhaps behind academically but also with emotional issues,” says Mr Fox.

He adds: “Our philosophy is no one child will stop the learning of anyone else.”

The school is keen to do better than its satisfactory Ofsted.

“I believe the children and staff are far better than satisfactory but at the time, our results were significantly below where they would have us be,” said Mr Fox.

“Because of our jump in standards here, if they came back we might get a different result.”

“It’s a school I’m proud of for the hard work we put in. We do face our challenges but we tackle them head-on. It’s nice to be in a school where we’re improving.”