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Outstanding across the board at village school

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: September 15, 2013

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SET on the outskirts of the scenic Staffordshire Moorlands village of Rudyard is the small but bustling school of Horton St Michael's First.

Pupils, staff and governors are over the moon about the school's latest Ofsted report which has come back as Outstanding.

Government inspectors visited the school in July and they have given the school 'outstanding' for all areas of the inspection including: achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and, leadership and management.

Horton St Michael's First also gained an Outstanding result at its last inspection which was carried out in 2008.

Headteacher David Bell said: "I feel that this result is an incredible statement of effective teamwork. To be inspected during the second to last week of a school year during the transition week was a tall order.

"However it didn't appear to inhibit the staff performing as usual producing exemplary lessons, meeting the needs of all the children."

Mr Bell added: "I think getting Outstanding for a second time is even harder than the first time and also essentially knowing of the current Ofsted regime as we have been led to believe that the bar has changed and it would be more difficult to gain an Outstanding.

"Some of the strengths outlined in the report highlight the imaginative delivery by staff. A very accurate differentiation to meet the needs of the wide variety of children we have."

Horton St Michael pupil Katie Johnson, aged eight, said: "I think it's great that our school has got outstanding.

"I think we deserve this because we are a really good school.

"It's good how our teachers encourage us to learn hard but they also make lessons fun."

Fellow pupil eight-year-old Noah Reany added: "I really like PE lessons at our school because most of them are outside.

"I enjoy taking part in Tag Rugby.

"Our teachers are really nice and I have lots of friends at school."

Mr Bell is also headteacher at Caste Primary at Mow Cop after the two schools entered into a 'loose collaboration' in September last year.

Mr Bell added: "I feel that this report is a thumbs up to that situation.

It means the schools are running efficiently and effectively.

"Through the loose collaboration we share a few members of staff, resources, training and also shared trips and it works for the pupils.

"Obviously an enormous amount of work falls on the deputy heads and without quality deputies at each of the schools the schools would not operate so well."

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