A DARWEN school is celebrating after it was given an ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted.

The education watchdog praised the quality of teaching and the teachers’ ambition at St Cuthbert’s CE Primary School.

The St Albans Road school has jumped from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ in all areas.

The school has 207 pupils on the roll and a significantly higher proportion of children with special educational needs than the national average.

Lead inspector Maggie Parker said: “Leaders and governors know this school very well.

“They are passionate about the care, welfare and education of every pupil who attends the school.

“They have brought about many significant improvements to the quality of teaching, learning and assessment since the

last inspection.”

She said teachers share leaders’ ‘driving ambition and vision’ for the school while the curriculum is ‘exceptionally well planned’.

She praised the support given to ensure pupils’ wellbeing and the fact sign language is taught to all pupils.

“This form of inclusion is just an example of what makes this school so special,” Ms Parker said.

She continued: “Staff are very knowledgeable and highly creative in their approach.

“They craft learning so that it engages all pupils, whatever their starting point, and deepens knowledge through active participation.

“Pupils told inspectors that they thoroughly enjoy coming to school and do not like to miss a single day. This is reflected in their consistently above-average attendance.”

The school was rated ‘outstanding’ for effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and behaviour, outcomes for pupils and early years provision.

Headteacher Michelle Smith said: “The whole team, from our outstanding early years provision upwards, works incredibly hard to ensure the very best outcomes for all our children and their families and the report also reflects this passion, drive and dedication.

“We are thrilled with this judgment and are excited to begin the next phase of the journey.”

Linda Clegg, director of children’s services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement. I am especially pleased that inspectors gave credit for the school’s focus on the emotional health and wellbeing of pupils.”