Infant School tops class with outstanding Ofsted

Drake School in Thetford celebrate their outstanding OFSTED.
Mary Bartrop is the headteacher (black cardigan), assistant...

Drake School in Thetford celebrate their outstanding OFSTED. Mary Bartrop is the headteacher (black cardigan), assistant head, Tim RIchie and assistant head Sonia Hall. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

A Thetford school has swept the board in its latest Ofsted report, being given top marks in every category.

Drake Infant School and Nursery, for ages three to seven, was rated as 'outstanding' by inspectors for the second time in a row when it was visited on October 8 and 9.

In all four of Ofsted's rating criterion - achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management - the school was given the highest possible mark.

The report, released to parents on Friday, states that teaching at the school is excellent and praised pupils for their hard work and good attitude towards learning.

Progress in some lessons was described as 'remarkable' by inspectors.

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Mary Bartrop, headteacher, said the outcome was 'a team effort'.

'Everybody is involved in this result; children, staff, parents and our governors.

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'We are relentless in making sure that everything is right for the children,' she said.

Reports have been known to take up to six weeks to be released after visiting a school.

But inspectors took just a week to release Drake's report, a sign that they were impressed, according to Mrs Bartrop.

'They felt everything we did was spot on and I think they recognised that it's all about getting the learning right for us,' she said.

The report stated that many pupils join the school with skills and knowledge that are below the expected level.

But the school makes 'outstanding' advances with children, according to the report.

It states: 'Children in the Nursery and Reception classes make excellent progress in all areas of their learning. This pattern of progress is firmly established over several years.'

The report adds that the level of development is 'significantly higher' than in most schools.

Pupils' personal and social development was also praised, with behaviour rated as oustanding.

A previous inspection in March 2010 also found that the school was outstanding.

Mrs Bartrop added that the school does not want to become an academy.

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