PROUD staff at an Oxford primary school were moved to tears of joy after reading their best Ofsted report yet.

A new era has started at John Henry Newman Academy in Littlemore, after it was rated ‘good’ for the first time ever.

Inspectors’ report praised leaders for building an ‘ambitious culture’ and driving ‘determination’ to ensure all pupils achieve.

They noted ‘rapidly improving outcomes for pupils’ and one pupil even told them: “Things are much better now.”

Headteacher Katie Screaton, who was enlisted from neighbouring school The Oxford Academy to guide improvements, said: “We are over the moon, the report is truly lovely.

“It really got to me because I care about our community.

“For me, the joy and the tears were around that sense of pride for our families and our children and our dedicated hard-working staff – I am just so proud.

“Staff have worked incredibly hard and to have that recognised is so very important.”

The 336-pupil Littlemore school opened in 2003 as John Henry Newman CE Primary School and converted into an academy in 2012. It had been rated ‘requires improvement’ since then.

Conversion to academy technically creates a ‘new’ school, but its reputation was still linked to its predecessor, which was twice handed Ofsted’s worst rating.

The new report, published after inspection last month, said: “Quality of teaching, learning and assessment has improved.

“Pupils are polite, courteous and behave well... they have trusting relationships with staff, who are totally committed to pupils’ care and wellbeing... Mutual respect permeates the school.”

It said teaching had strengthened and pupils at risk of falling behind were quickly identified.

The school in Grange Road is run by Oxford Diocese Schools Trust, which hailed the new rating as a ‘historic moment’.

Chief executive Anne Davey said: “It is fantastic to celebrate another good school in the heart of Littlemore. [The trust] is proud to be associated with this hugely successful improvement in pupils’ life chances.”

All five areas assessed were rated ‘good’ except outcomes for pupils, which was ‘requires improvement’, but the report noted this was ‘rapidly improving’.

Ms Screaton said: “The children, their families and the community deserve a good school.

“It’s so important the opportunities and experiences they get here are the best, and we will continue to get better and better.

“Our children are absolute stars and the sky is their limit.”

She said one of the key areas improved was pupils' attendance, and Ofsted echoed this in its report.

Assistant headteacher Rachel Weston added: “There have been a lot of tears over this Ofsted report because people have invested so much in the school.

“It’s what we have known for a long time, so it means so much.”