Joy at top report for resort school

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A Blackpool school is celebrating an early Christmas present after getting a glowing report from inspectors.

Norbeck Primary Academy was praised by Ofsted for having “happy” pupils, “effective” teaching, staff who are “willing to go the extra mile” and a “harmonious” school community.

The school’s teaching of reading in particular was highlighted, with pupils in all years achieving the very best grades.

The inspectors also outline that good progress is achieved by pupils in maths and writing too, and the school’s disadvantaged pupils make even better progress than is expected from national guidelines.

The report follows praise of the school from the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2013 for its attempts to raise attainment.

Headteacher Karen McCarter, who was commended in the report for being “dedicated and committed”, said: “It happened through tremendous hard work over many years and amazing teamwork.

“It’s a lovely and warm report which I feel really reflects Norbreck.

“I came into teaching to make a difference for children who are our future. We’ve got future nurses, doctors and hairdressers here – each one deserves a wonderful education which I hope and know they will get at Norbreck.”

The report outlines a number of achievements:

> The teaching of reading is a strength of the school, because of a focus on individual needs in this subject. The rates of progress in reading between Years Three and Six are above those found nationally.

> Staff report being part of a team which is constantly striving for improvement, and where everyone is valued and supported.

> For disadvantaged pupils, progress is more than that expected nationally.

> The school’s curriculum offers a range of exciting opportunities for pupils.

> Parents are very supportive. They are fulsome in the praise of staff.

It is the first time the 609-pupil school has been inspected since converting to academy status in 2012.

Mrs McCarter has been at the school for 10 years, going through three Ofsted inspections which all ended with a ‘good’ rating.

She added: “It’s much harder over the years, to get the good and maintain that, so we’re constantly reviewing the way we work, our standards and our data, and making sure no child leaves Norbreck having failed.

“Our results and our Ofsted show that we’re a happy school where children behave well.

“I was pleased with the comments about their manners and behaviour. I’m most proud of the children and staff.”