'Exceptional' school report

A SCHOOL with just 43 pupils has been labelled “exceptional” after an Ofsted inspection that found it outstanding in every aspect of educational provision.

A SCHOOL with just 43 pupils has been labelled “exceptional” after an Ofsted inspection that found it outstanding in every aspect of educational provision.

Staff at West Raynham Primary received the highest praise across the board from the education standards watchdog for their teaching, curriculum, care, guidance and support, as well as management.

Writing to pupils, Ofsted inspector Godfrey Bancroft said their teachers and teaching assistants were doing an outstanding job.

He added: “They take very good care of you and provide exactly what you need to be successful learners. Because of this, you make exceptional progress. Your behaviour is exceptionally good, and I was delighted to see how well you concentrate and work hard in lessons. Well done!”

Head Chris Allen, who joined at the start of the summer term, was praised for his “infectious enthusiasm”, and the report said he and the staff were searching contin-ually for ways to bring about even greater development.

The school was awarded a grade one - meaning outstan-ding - in all of the inspection criteria, including achieve-ment and standards, personal development and wellbeing, quality of provision, leadership and management.

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One particular highlight was the teachers' ability to help any children who fell behind to catch up.

Pupils told the inspector that bullying was non-existent, and he was impressed with their behaviour and their social skills.

Also, he noted how parents held the school in high regard and were kept well informed of their children's progress.

Mr Bancroft made just two points where standards could be improved, asking the school to focus on developing mental and problem-solving skills in maths and to make full use of the pupils' excellent speaking and listening abilities to make their written work as good as it could be.

Mr Allen was pleased that Ofsted had rubber-stamped what he already believed about the school. He added: “It is a very small school on a limited site in an old Victor-ian building, but it just shows it does not matter what you have - it is how you use it.”

He said plans were under way to build an extension for a new office and main ent-rance, a special needs room, a multi-purpose classroom and an under-cover play area to build on their success.

Grant Harrison, chairman of the governors, said they were totally delighted with the report. He added: “The school has been improving all the time, but to get outstanding

in all categories is unprec-edented.

“Our partnership with Scul-thorpe Primary has also helped us, and I believe this is the way forward for rural schools. We share a head teacher and we get more money from the county

council so we have been able to put more money into IT.

“We have also been able to share school trips, which makes sense financially and culturally, but we have been able to preserve the culture of the village school.”