A SMALL school near Pershore was praised this time last year, for raising expectations and ensuring pupils enjoyed a curriculum packed with interesting and worthwhile activities.

Ofsted inspectors visited Eckington CE First School and graded the school as good last 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 the classroom work.

Bullying was raised as a concern by some parents but it was rare and where it happened was challenged and stopped effectively. The school was praised for successfully tackling areas of improvement identified by the previous inspection.

Standards in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year 2 have typically been above national figures. However, results for pupils in writing in 2016, when assessments were made more difficult, were much lower. The school was quick to act to lift expectations and improve standards. Governors were described as “forward thinking”. Headteacher Gill Humphriss said last year: “I am extremely proud of all of the staff and children.”