One of Pendle’s smallest primary schools has been graded as “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors who visited it last month.
St Mary’s, in Newchurch, has just 47 pupils on the register and was classed as good when it was last inspected in 2007.
But the team who spent two days in the school in March gave it top marks in all four relevant categories – pupil achievement, quality of teaching, pupil behaviour and leadership.
In their report, the inspectors say: “Pupils make rapid and sustained progress through the school and learn exceptionally well.
“Consequently, their attainment by the end of Year 6 in English and mathematics is consistently well above average.
“Attainment in reading is exceptionally high.
“This reflects outstanding achievement from children’s starting points, which are generally below those expected for their age.
“Much of the teaching is outstanding and it is never less than consistently good.
“Teachers plan and teach lessons that help pupils to learn exceptionally well in different subjects.
“However, they have yet to extend their high quality marking to all subjects.
“Staff show high levels of respect and courtesy for pupils and others.
“Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary.
“They are very polite, courteous and very respectful of others.
“Pupils say they feel completely safe in school. They have an excellent understanding of how to keep themselves and others safe.”
The report also says of the village school: “The inspirational leadership of the headteacher has been at the heart of the school’s good improvement since the previous inspection.
“Leaders and governors have worked especially well together to improve the quality of teaching and accelerate pupils’ progress.
“The procedures for checking how well the school is doing are outstanding.
“They enable leaders and governors to base actions for improvement on a deep and accurate understanding of the school’s performance.”