Smiles all round as infant school is awarded top teaching prize

Caister Infant school has been awarded an Education Quality Mark.Headteacher Nick Southgate with chi

Caister Infant school has been awarded an Education Quality Mark.Headteacher Nick Southgate with children from Seals, Otters and Seahorses classes.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

It was smiles all round at a school after inspectors awarded it a prestigious teaching accolade.

Caister Infant School, in Kingston Avenue, has been reaccredited with the Early Years Quality Mark for the third time. The rating was developed in 1996 to promote improvements in children's basic or functional skills, including literacy, language and mathematics.

Head teacher Nick Southgate said: 'It shows there is a particularly high standard around our provision for young children and nursery pupils.'

Since the last time the school was accredited, £30,000 has been invested in the outdoor area.

Mr Southgate said: 'We are particularly focusing on outdoor aspects of children's learning. The quality of the environment is really strong at the school.'

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The site has a special area where children are taught forest skills including bushcraft and lighting fires under supervision. Mr Southgate added: 'The inspectors are also concerned to make sure there is a good level of parental involvement. We really value that partnership.'

The school, which has 272 pupils and a nursery which caters for a further 50, holds a regular reading café where pupils and parents read together with teachers on hand.

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A former head of Colman Infant School in Norwich, Mr Southgate has been at the school since the start of the year and he said his priority now was to get to know people and establish positive relationships.

He also thanked the teachers and support workers at the school for their work.

He added: 'It is very much thanks to the staff and a team effort in terms of their commitment.'

What do you think about outdoor learning? Write to Letters at The Mercury, 169 King Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 2PA or email

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