Staff and pupils at Hightown Primary School in Thornhill are celebrating after receiving a good rating across the board by Ofsted. 

Following a two-day visit, inspectors praised the school's broad and engaging curriculum and the strong relationships between staff and pupils. 

The school, part of the Inspire Learning Partnership multi-academy trust, an alliance of schools and a nursery in the Southampton and Waterside areas, had been rated as 'requires improvement' as recently as May 2016. 

Daily Echo: Pupils and staff at Hightown Primary School in Southampton celebrate a ‘Good’ rating following

READ MORE: Southampton residents fight to save 'last remaining local park'

The report said: "Pupils enjoy attending Hightown. Relationships between adults and pupils are strong. Staff know pupils and their families well. Children in the early years settle into school life happily and quickly.

"Pupils strive to show the school’s ‘INSPIRE’ values, such as innovation and excellence, in their approach to work and behaviour."

Inspectors praised the access to a wide range of educational experiences for pupils and said they love attending clubs and are proud to take on responsibilities. 

They added that the school has high expectations and that pupils are learning well in most subjects.

A reviewing of the curriculum is having a positive impact on current pupils, who are learning more, the report added.

The document said attendance is improving rapidly. It did, however, raise concerns over too many children persistently missing school. 

Daily Echo: Hayley Clark Principal of Hightown Primary School in Southampton

Principal Hayley Clark said: “My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to give the children the best education provision possible - we are incredibly proud of them.

“Thanks to the children, staff, supportive parents, guardians and Trust, Hightown has made significant improvements since 2016, when Ofsted inspectors said the school required improvement.

“The Good rating is especially meaningful to all of us because of the negative impact of the pandemic and, as identified in the Ofsted report, the school had undergone significant changes since the last inspection.

“We are in a fortunate position to be able to draw upon the resources of the Trust, with considerable experience and best teaching practice brought into classrooms as a result, including regular visits by Amanda Johnston, Director of Primary Education.

“As with many other schools following the pandemic, and mentioned by Ofsted, we do have pupils who are persistently missing from school; we are doing all we can to improve unauthorised absences."