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Orchard Infant School in Dibden Purlieu rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted

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A DIBDEN Purlieu school was described as having "limitless" ambition by Ofsted inspectors who rated it 'outstanding'.

The Water Lane establishment, which teaches 259 pupils aged between four and seven, was visited by inspectors in March.

Prior to that, it was last visited in 2007 when it was given the same rating, leaving it exempt from regular inspection.

Staff and pupils celebrate the rating
Staff and pupils celebrate the rating

A report praised leaders, staff and governors, who were described as "extremely proud" of their school.

It added: "Their ambition is limitless [and] there is a relentless focus on giving their pupils the very best education."

The report said governors and leaders had prioritised professional development so that all staff have the skills they need to deliver the well-sequenced and ambitious curriculum.

It added: "Learning at Orchard Infant School is irresistible. Staff use their significant expertise to provide exciting lessons that engage pupils quickly.

"Reading is at the heart of the school [and] pupils can read with confidence because of the support they get from the highly trained staff."

The needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are carefully identified and these are then used to plan specific support to help them achieve highly, inspectors noted.

Pupils who need help in learning how to control their behaviour get this daily, and dedicated time is also given to any pupils who find reading more difficult.

Ofsted highlighted the wider personal development curriculum as a strength of the school, and said there had been a focus on reinstating links with the local community that were missed because of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

The school recently held a community week which saw reception aged pupils serve their grandparents at a tea party and year two pupils help raise money towards the restoration of the historic Hythe pier.

Headteacher Jane West told the A&T: "We are all very proud to have been awarded the 'outstanding' judgement from Ofsted.

"It is a great accolade for Orchard Infant School that reflects our hard working school community and our wonderful children."

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