OLD Cleeve CofE School, Washford, has been described by Ofsted inspectors as "strong and improving" after earning an ‘outstanding’ rating for early years provision and ‘good’ for overall effectiveness.

Following its first inspection since becoming an academy, a report said "pupils flourish at this friendly, family-oriented school".

It added: "They make a flying start from the moment they arrive to the school in nursery. Pupils go on to achieve well. Staff know each pupil as an individual."

Ofsted inspectors noted the trust and school leaders have worked to turn around a previous decline in standards and current leaders have raised expectations and improved the school systematically.

The report added that leaders have everyone's support and enthusiasm - staff feel valued and the curriculum has improved, with pupils learning more and strong engagement from across the school community.

Headteacher Emma Murch said: "I am immensely proud of the Old Cleeve family.

"The team of adults are dedicated, thoughtful and ambitious. They strive for the very best for the children.

"Their dedication around curriculum redesign was recognised and praised as well as their enthusiasm.

"Our children are enthusiastic, kind and determined and it is a joy supporting them to flourish as individuals.

"The parents and carers of Old Cleeve are supportive of their children and the school community and it was lovely to see so many of them share their views about their children’s experiences at school.

"It is extremely rewarding reading our Ofsted report, which captures our wonderful school so perfectly.

"We are excited to continue to improve the school together, maintaining a love for reading and sharing the successes of our outstanding early years.”

Jane Bellamy, Old Cleeve School’s Academic Improvement Board chairman, said: “I am keen to ensure that the Christian ethos of the school is upheld, so I am thrilled that Ofsted noted that children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is stimulated very effectively through regular school and church calendar events.

“In the year ahead, we will be continuing to pursue our vision to ‘see remarkable things every day’ either through academic success or personal challenge.

"We aim to give all our pupils the best possible education to ensure they have the tools to succeed in later life.”

Robert Lakin, Beacon Education Trust chief executive, said: "It makes all the hard work worthwhile when you receive such encouragement and recognition by Ofsted for the efforts already made.

"Congratulations to Emma and her team and thanks to all our trustees, parents and carers for their continuing support of the school.”