STAFF at a primary school near Didcot are “over the moon” after it got its first ever “good” inspection rating.

Ofsted praised 22-year-old St Blaise C of E Primary School, which it rated as “requires improvement” at its last inspection in 2013.

Previously, the Milton Heights school, which has 59 pupils, has always been rated as “satisfactory” or “requires improvement”.

In 2013, Ofsted said that pupils found literacy lessons tedious or “not purposeful” and the quality of teaching was not checked frequently enough.

Yet It now said the school had improved “significantly” and praised efforts of teachers and the behaviour of children.

The report says: “Pupils have great regard for their school. When asked what they would change about their school, they replied ‘absolutely nothing’.”

It praised the school’s “strong” links with the church and community, sporting activities and its “pupil parliament” initiative, for pupils to give views on school issues and trips.

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Head teacher Ruth Leach, appointed head in September 2013, said: “It’s a real celebration because our school has never had such a high rating before.

“We worked really hard to improve on everything that Ofsted had pointed out to us, such as making our writing lessons more purposeful.

“We got the children involved in local activities and topics of interest in the community so they had something to inspire their writing.

“The children also wrote to their MP to lobby for a new school sign and as a result, they’ve been invited to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament next month.

“It’s just brilliant for them because they can really see that their writing is important and can make a difference.”

It comes after the school was this month awarded silver in the Sainsbury’s School Games Awards for their participation and training in sports and physical education.

She said: “We have also worked really hard with sports. We enter so many tournaments and work really, really hard but because we are so small we never win so being awarded a Silver in the Sainsbury’s School Games Awards was fantastic for us. We really deserved it.

“It’s a really exciting time for the school and I think that the children are growing in confidence and we can all enter the new year with optimism.

“Because we are such a small school, I think we tend to get a bit forgotten about but we have excellent pupils here and great team of staff and I’m pleased that it has been recognised.”

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