AN ISLAMIC independent school whose pupils make outstanding progress has been given the top rating by education watchdog Ofsted.

Al-Ikhlaas Primary School in Nelson was rated ‘outstanding’ in all areas after its first Ofsted inspection since it opened in 2010.

Owned by the charity Fountains of Knowledge, the Norfolk Street school has 167 pupils aged three to 11 on the roll and charges £1,400 a year in fees.

Cathy Parkinson, lead inspector, said the headteacher, governors and senior staff members provide ambitious leadership.

She said: “Pupils make excellent progress in their learning because of leaders’ work to secure outstanding teaching.

“The carefully planned curriculum provides pupils with many exciting opportunities to learn how to make a positive contribution to their community.

“Pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.

“They make rapid progress. Standards in reading, writing and mathematics are well above the national average at the end of key stage one and key stage two.”

She said teachers have excellent subject knowledge and give precise feedback to help pupils improve their work.

“Such ongoing assessment in lessons is a key strength of teaching in the school,” she said.

“Teachers plan a wide range of interesting activities to promote early literacy skills that contribute to the rapid progress that pupils make.

“Leaders are highly successful in combining the Islamic ethos with pupils’ outstanding personal development.”

She added pupils’ behaviour was exemplary and their attitudes to learning were extremely positive while safeguarding is also very effective.

Chair of governors Imran Ashraf said he was delighted with the achievements of the school.

He said: “It is down to the hard work of the pupils, staff and parents. It is a combined effort.

“We hope to continue providing this outstanding facility for the community and build on this for the future. I want to thank staff and in particular the senior management team for the way they have managed the school throughout the years."