STAFF, pupils and parents at Lewtrenchard Primary School are celebrating a glowing report just released by Ofsted inspectors.

The school, which has 68 pupils, has improved standards since the last Ofsted report and after a rigorous week of inspection, came in for particular praise for its caring environment.

Keith Urro, headteacher, said he was 'delighted' by the news: 'It is a gratifying vindication of all that we have been trying to do since the last inspection in 1997, which was itself a good platform for development.'

And he paid tribute to staff and support teams at Lewtrenchard, who contributed to the successful report, as well as parents and friends of the school who made so many additional projects possible.

'We are a happy and successful school and now we have been given official acknowledgement for all that has been achieved. I am so pleased for the children, the parents, the staff and governors,' he said.

The inspection team, led by senior Ofsted inspector John Francis, said in their report: 'This is an effective school where pupils make very good progress and attain high standards in mathematics and science by the time they are eleven.

'Standards have risen consistently over the last four years — good attitudes by pupils and improvements to the quality of teaching and the curriculum have all contributed to this.

'The school offers good value for money.'

Inspectors found that overall, the quality of teaching at Lewtrenchard was good, with consistently high quality lessons for the youngest and oldest pupils.

The curriculum was 'broad and balanced', with good provision for pupils' personal and moral development.

Parents were found to be 'very positive' in their views of the school, while leadership from the headteacher and other key staff was considered 'sound' and 'effective'.

Results for this year in mathematics are particularly good and given an A* rating, putting them in the top five per cent of the country. Science results were also well above average, but English was average and compared with other similar schools, below average.

But as the report pointed out, in a small school like Lewtrenchard, care needed to be taken when interpreting data. Overall, the team considered results had improved satisfactorily, with particularly good progress shown in maths and science.

The report did pick out areas for improvement. Standards in English could be improved — it was felt reduction of the heavy use of worksheets could help in this area, which would also help the way work was planned for pupils of differing attainment.

Improvements were also recommended in the way test assessment information was used to improve teaching, the quality of teachers' marking and consequential target setting.

Bob Westlake, chairman of governors, said the report 'set the seal on an exciting year of development' at Lewtrenchard.

'This is just the result we needed. We now have new facilities, a new classroom, endorsement for the teaching achievements and policies of the school and can go foward with renewed confidence,' he said.