STAFF and pupils at a Hampshire school are celebrating after it was awarded the highest possible rating by education watchdogs.

Ofsted has described the 259-pupil Orchard Infant School in Water Lane, Dibden Purlieu, as "outstanding" in all five categories examined by the organisation.

The report, which follows a two-day inspection carried out in March, says: "Learning at Orchard Infant School is irresistible.

"Staff use their significant expertise to provide exciting lessons that engage pupils quickly. In every classroom, pupils are eager to learn new information.

"Staff find out what makes each pupil unique. This knowledge is used to provide the individual support that means pupils achieve exceptionally well."

Daily Echo: Orchard Infant School has been rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted.Orchard Infant School has been rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted.

The report says leaders, staff and governors are "extremely proud" of the school.

It adds: "Their ambition is limitless. There is a relentless focus on giving their pupils the very best education.

"This begins in early years, where the youngest children make an exceptional start to their education. Learning is constantly redesigned to engage and enthuse.

READ MORE: Portswood Primary School rated 'Good' by Ofsted

"Governors and leaders have prioritised staff professional development so that all staff have the skills they need to deliver the well-sequenced and ambitious curriculum.

"This enables staff to quickly identify any gaps in pupils’ understanding and act on these quickly."

Daily Echo: Changes introduced by Ofsted mean it is more difficult to obtain the highest rating. Changes introduced by Ofsted mean it is more difficult to obtain the highest rating.

Caroline Wakeham, the Orchard Infant's senior admin officer, said the school was "absolutely delighted" with the outcome of the inspection.

She added: "The report makes for lovely reading and really captures the essence of our school. We are all very proud of our school and are therefore thrilled that what our staff and pupils achieve has been recognised and validated externally through a most rigorous process.

"We're particularly proud of this achievement as recent changes to the Ofsted inspection framework has meant that achieving this outcome has become much more challenging.

"Recent national data indicates that nearly 85% of primary schools which were previously judged to be ‘outstanding’ have since been downgraded.

"The governors and I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our committed, passionate and talented staff team.

"We would also like to thank all our parents and carers for their continuing support and positive comments, which were taken into consideration."

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