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‘Outstanding’ Exning Primary School goes to the top of the class

A village primary school has been named as one of the best in the country following an Ofsted inspection which rated it as outstanding in every category.

Exning school is the first in Suffolk to get an outstanding rating under new Ofsted guidelines introduced last year.

The school was praised by Her Majesty’s Inspector Wendy Varney and Ofsted Inspector Debbie Rogan for the quality of education, behaviour and attitude of the pupils, leadership and management, early years provision and personal development, all of which were deemed outstanding.

Exning School Ofsted (29457152)
Exning School Ofsted (29457152)

Describing Exning as ‘a school that has got the balance right’, the report said that leaders focused on academic excellence but also made sure pupils developed into happy, healthy and well-rounded young citizens whose behaviour was ‘impeccable’.

“Standards in reading, writing and mathematics are some of the best in the country,” said the report. “This is not because Year 6 pupils are ‘hot-housed’ for the national tests but because they have had seven excellent years of education and are ready by the time these assessments come about. These same high standards apply to the full range of national curriculum subjects”

The report said the school’s high standards began from pupils’ first days in the Reception Class. “They settle quickly and become effective young learners,” said the inspectors. “Children love to learn because the early years curriculum is thoughtfully planned, stimulating and exciting.”

The report praised the school’s ethos that ‘no child will go without because of a lack of funds’ and said disadvantaged children achieved at least as well as other pupils and, very often, did better. The needs of pupils with special needs and/or disabilities were also met extremely effectively, said the report.

Headteacher James Clark said:“We are thrilled with the judgment and are delighted that Ofsted recognised the many strengths within our school.

’We are particularly pleased with the inspection team’s impression of our outstanding curriculum from Reception to Year 6 and look forward to continuing to improve and develop this in the future. I would like to thank every member of staff, our governors and all the children at Exning Primary School who have worked so hard to get to where we are today. Everybody is extremely proud of what we have achieved.”