A VILLAGE primary school has excelled after being subjected to surprise back-to-back inspections.

Dr South's CE Primary School went under the microscope of both Ofsted and the Church of England's own school inspection body, within the space of a few weeks.

The 112-pupil school in Islip, near Oxford, has now been rated 'good' by both regulators.

Ofsted's inspector noticed a 'strong sense of unity and purpose' at Dr South's, adding: "The school is a happy place. Everyone in it is well known, valued and included.

"Consequently, pupils and staff grow in skill and confidence. It is a school where people matter and thrive."

Ofsted hailed pupils as 'confident and competent mathematicians' who also boast a 'rich vocabulary.'

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Its report, which followed a short inspection last month, added: "Children flourish because the environment provides them with a wide range of interesting and well-chosen experiences to develop skills.

"Adults are highly skilled at asking questions to probe understanding and help develop children’s understanding of concepts."

The report, published just before the Easter break, was addressed to the school's headteacher Huw Morgan.

It said pupils' enjoyment is 'enhanced by a creative and carefully designed curriculum.'

Ofsted's visit, which came with a day's warning, closely followed an inspection from the Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS).

The visit - which also only took place with a few days' notice - also resulted in a 'good' judgement.

A consequent report states: "Diligent and dedicated leaders successfully nurture, educate and inspire the staff team, role modelling Christian values underpinned by a strong belief in everyone having dignity at work.

"The Christian vision to ‘Nurture, Educate and Inspire’ is truly lived out at this happy, family orientated school, where all are welcome and inspired to achieve greater things than thought possible."

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The inspector even had praise for Digby, the school's dog, stating: "Digby contributes by being a listening ear and stress reliever for any who experience difficulty, feel anxious or distressed."

Oxford Mail:

Digby the school dog. Pic: Ed Nix

She added that pupils have 'infectious enthusiasm' for helping less fortunate people, and have 'well-developed understanding of difference' despite the pupil population itself having 'low levels of religious and cultural diversity.'

The report added: "Pupils are able to contribute ideas for who they wish to support and how.

"One pupil said 'It’s ok to fight with words if you wish to say that you feel something isn’t right. You are speaking up for what you believe to be true.'"

The school in Bletchingdon Road is part of the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust, and was previously rated 'good' by Ofsted in 2013.

This was its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy in 2017.