A Great Harwood primary school has been praised for its ‘outstanding’ early years provision following an Ofsted inspection.

Great Harwood St John’s CofE Primary School which caters for 148 pupils was rated ‘good’ in all areas but ‘outstanding’ for its early years provision.

The report said the school was ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

It said: “Pupils rise to the high expectations that the school sets for their achievement and they typically learn well across the curriculum.

“Children in the early years make an exceptional start to their education. Pupils experience additional visits that help to bring their learning to life.

"For instance, they spoke with enthusiasm about what they saw in London. They also said that a recent trip to a museum had helped them to solidify what they know about the Egyptians.

“Pupils appreciate the range of extra-curricular clubs that they can attend. These range from choir practice, dancing and performing arts to tag rugby and cross country club. The school supports all pupils to be able to participate fully in these activities."

The report praised the school’s early years provision.

It read: “In the early years, the school has designed an ambitious and carefully ordered curriculum that is delivered expertly by highly skilled and knowledgeable staff.

"Right from the start, experienced staff place a sharp focus on developing children’s vocabulary and communication skills.

"Children are excited by the thoughtful and interesting activities that staff design for them.

“This supports children well to acquire the knowledge that they need for subsequent learning. Children are very well prepared for the demands of year 1.

“The school ensures that reading is a priority. Younger children begin learning phonics as soon as they join the school in the reception year.

"Staff use high-quality texts to engage pupils. For example, in the reception year, children use the characters from their stories to develop their storytelling skills. Staff encourage older pupils to read widely. Pupils enjoy listening to the range of texts selected by their teachers.”

There was also praise for the school’s reading support.

The report said: “When pupils struggle with reading, skilled staff support them to keep up with their peers. By the end of year 2, pupils read with fluency and confidence. Pupils benefit from highly respectful relationships with staff. Staff take the time to help pupils to understand their feelings.

“The school has introduced strategies to ensure that pupils can work through their worries. Pupils are conscientious. They work hard and want to do their best. In the early years, staff support children well to understand and follow routines. This helps children to learn to cooperate with each other and to take turns. The school has developed an ambitious curriculum which meets pupils’ interests and aspirations.

“The school has designed learning so that pupils can build logically on what they already know. However, in a small number of subjects, the school is still finalising the knowledge that pupils should learn and when this content should be delivered. In the main, staff deliver the curriculum confidently.

"They explain new concepts clearly to pupils. In lessons, staff check that pupils have understood these concepts before they introduce new learning."

The report was also commended for supporting families.

It said: “The school has developed a myriad of ways to engage with and support families as well as pupils. For example, staff prioritise the well-being of pupils and their families so that parents have greater capacity to support children with their learning.”