Outstanding school's extraordinary achievement

IAN CLARKE A Norfolk infant school has been hailed for its “extraordinary achievement” in getting an outstanding rating in every category of its Ofsted report. The 265-pupil Toftwood Infant School, Dereham, had previously been judged “very good” but a fresh report from Ofsted inspector Heather Weston has given it the highest grade possible.

IAN CLARKE

A Norfolk infant school has been hailed for its “extraordinary achievement” in getting an outstanding rating in every category of its Ofsted report.

The 265-pupil Toftwood Infant School, Dereham, had previously been judged “very good” but a fresh report from Ofsted inspector Heather Weston has given it the highest grade possible.

She said: “The school's claim that 'every child matters and is special' is fully reflected in all its work and the school could rightly say the same about adults.”

The overall effectiveness of the school was outstanding and the report gave top grade in specific areas including achievements and standards, personal development and well being, teaching and learning, curriculum and other activities, care, guidance and support and leadership and management.

Toftwood Infant got the outstanding mark in 16 of the 18 categories in the report.

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Norfolk County Council school development advisor Mary-Jane Edwards said: “It is an extraordinary achievement to get outstanding in every aspect of the school's provision. It is a cause for considerable celebration and the opportunity for others to share in the school's good practice.”

Headteacher Joanna Pedlow said: “This is a tremendous achievement for our school and truly reflects the hard work and dedication of all of those in our school community.”

Another school celebrating good news was Burnham Market Primary which has made “rapid improvements” over the past 18 months and been taken off special measures.

Ofsted inspectors said there is now “a strong framework to grow into an outstanding school.”

The report for the 100-pupil school praised the children's attitudes to learning and behaviour, along with the quality of teaching and learning and teamwork throughout the school.

Headteacher Steven Hales said: “The strength of the community spirit has been excellent, ensuring our children get every learning opportunity they richly deserve. This is a tribute to excellent teamwork - from staff, parents and governors at the school.”

t Bawdeswell Primary School, near Dereham, has been placed in special measures after inspectors said the 97 pupils are not making enough progress and there is a lack of strong leadership.

The education authority has now installed county headteacher Maureen Vaissiere to run the school to overcome a “period of considerable instability in leadership.”

Fred Corbett, Norfolk's deputy director of children's services, said: “We have every confidence Maureen will look after the school well and steer it on the right course to make swift improvements.”

The Ofsted report said there was good teaching and learning in the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage One but it said at Key Stage Two both were inadequate.

Mrs Vaissiere said: “There are many other positives to build on. At a recent parents' meeting there was a lot of support for the school and I am sure, with everyone working together, that we will make good progress in raising standards at Bawdeswell Primary School.”