School ‘utterly thrilled’ after outstanding rating

Sparhawk Infant School in Norwich has been rated outstanding by Ofsted under the inspectorate's new

Sparhawk Infant School in Norwich has been rated outstanding by Ofsted under the inspectorate's new inspection framework. Picture: Sally Mann - Credit: Sally Mann

A Norwich school says it is 'utterly thrilled' after scoring top marks from Ofsted under a new, more rigorous inspection framework.

Sparhawk Infant School in Sprowston was ranked outstanding following a visit by inspectors in November.

The school in Sparkhawk Avenue - previously judged to be good by inspectors - achieved the top ranking in all areas in the inspection, which was conducted under Ofsted's new framework including new criteria on the quality of education.

Inspectors said there was a "strong sense of a school community" at Sparkhawk Infant, that pupils were well behaved and helpful and that they performed "extremely well" across a range of subjects.

Support for families was said to be exceptional.

The inspection report said a "noticeable feature of the school is the high quality of everything it does", which was said to be particularly evident in reading.

Inspectors said the one area picked out for improvement at the school's previous inspection in April 2019, better use of "subject-specific language" by pupils, had improved to the point that it was now a strength across the school.

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The report added that governors "share leaders' high ambitions for the school and for pupils' learning and care".

Sparhawk Infant School, which has around 210 pupils aged three to seven, joins around 14 infant schools in the county already rated outstanding.

Headteacher Emma Davies said: "We are utterly thrilled with this result. We are a strongly committed team (governors, staff, parents and pupils). We understand what it's like to be a Sparhawk child and we have worked to ensure our curriculum provides our children with irresistible learning opportunities. We have spent much time unpicking what we do and why we do it.

"To have our hard work and dedication validated on such a rigorous framework is a special feeling.

"There's always been something special about Sparhawk, there is a 'buzz' that all our visitors comment on - this Christmas there will be an even greater buzz as we celebrate our collaborative achievement."