A PRIMARY school in rural Pendle is improving and provides outstanding education in key areas, according to inspectors.

Education watchdogs from Ofsted said they were especially pleased with the reception class provisions offered by Blacko Primary, following a recent visit.

The inspectors found results at the Gisburn Road school were also significantly above average at the end of Year 6 in English, maths and science.

And the personal and spiritual development of pupils, along with the quality of teaching and leadership, was also praised.

Reporting inspector David Earley, summing up his findings, said: "This is a good and improving school with some outstanding features. It gives good value for money.

"Achievement for all pupils, whatever their gender, age, ability or circumstances is good."

Help and assistance given to pupils who may have learning difficulties was also highlighted by Mr Earley.

He added: Pupils in the current Year 6 are on track to reach above average standards.

"This represents good progress for most pupils because there is a large proportion of them who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities."

The school was informed that reading, writing and maths skills had dipped slightly towards the end of Year 2, because assessment standards were inadequate.

Inspectors said providing greater challenges for more able pupils in Year 2, in writing and science, and placing more emphasis on outlining achievement targets to youngsters were the only two main areas where the school needs to improve.

Key areas like punctuality, behaviour and attendance were all found to be "good" and pastoral care was said to be "excellent".

Mr Earley said: "The quality of teaching and learning is good. Lessons are generally lively and interesting so that pupils enjoy learning and want to learn.

"Very good links are forged with parents and the staff provide regular feedback to them about their children's progress."

Headteacher Mark Harrison demonstrated "strong leadership", well-supported by fellow staff and governors, the inspectors added.

Andrew McLean, chairman of governers at the school, said: “I would like on behalf of governers and parents to thank all the staff in school for their hard work which has ensured this commendable report from Ofsted and offer our congratulations to them all for their continued dedication and commitment.”