A SMALL school near Pershore has been praised for raising expectations and ensuring pupils enjoy a curriculum packed with interesting and worthwhile activities.

Ofsted inspectors visited Eckington CE First School and graded the school as good earlier this year, a continuation of the standard it achieved at its previous inspection in May 2012.

Inspectors said the school had many strengths with effective teaching and strong leadership and this helped pupils grow in confidence, feel safe and develop their abilities, skills and interests.

The report said: "Teaching staff are calm and caring and keep children productively occupied in a safe and stimulating environment."

The acting headteacher was praised for encouraging training among staff and her plans for future development of the school were called "well informed, realistic and ambitious."

Teaching was said to be strong with particular praise for teaching in maths in years 3 and 4.

Pupils regularly visited places of interest and teachers injected imagination and infectious enthusiasm into classroom work with students able to regularly sing, dance, investigate, build, draw, paint, act, research, study and create.

Pupils were described as behaving very well, attentive in class and co-operative on the playground

The report said attendance rates had risen as unnecessary absence has reduced - although a small number of pupils still have high levels of absence.

Safeguarding is effective with staff understanding what they should do if concerned about a child's safety.

Pupils feel safe in school and said unkind or rough behaviour was stopped by teachers.

Bullying was raised as a concern by some parents.

Inspectors said it was rare but where it did happen it was challenged and stopped effectively.

The school was praised for successfully tackling areas of improvement identified by the previous inspection.

The school had also noticed that while academic standards over time have been above average, the most able pupils could do even better, especially in mathematics, and had plans in place to make this happen.

Standards in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 2 have typically been above national figures, sometimes, significantly so.

However, results for pupils in writing in 2016, when assessments were made more difficult, were much lower.

Inspectors said the school was quick to act to lift expectations and improve standards.

Governors were described as "forward thinking" and very active in their support for the school.

Headteacher Gill Humphriss said: "I am extremely proud of all of the staff and children here at Eckington CE First School and really pleased that we have maintained our good rating from Ofsted.

"The report demonstrates the high quality of education, fun, awe and wonder at our school.

"It is a happy team here and every day brings something new, different and special."