New Norwich school's glowing report

Steve DownesA new school on the edge of Norwich has been given a glowing report by inspectors, just 18 months after it opened its doors.Steve Downes

A new school on the edge of Norwich has been given a glowing report by inspectors, just 18 months after it opened its doors.

Queen's Hill Primary and Nursery was opened in September 2008 to provide extra school places for the children of families moving to new housing developments in Costessey.

The number of pupils was just 29 when the school opened, but has risen to 124 as more families move to the area.

Ofsted inspectors, who visited Queen's Hill Primary on March 30 and 31, said the school had made a 'really good start', adding that it had 'developed rapidly'.

They said: 'It has quickly established itself as a good school because, from the drawing board to opening its doors, it has been steered effectively by experienced and expert governors and school leaders.

'This has resulted in much that is good, and some things which are outstanding, in the work of the school.'

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The school was given an overall rating of 'good', but with some 'outstanding' features, including:

t the effectiveness of care, guidance and support

t its promotion of community cohesion.

The report said: 'The school has made itself a focal point in its community, helping it to find its identity and providing the space for setting up many community services and activities.

'It involves pupils in local and national sports and cultural activities, for example through fundraising, music festivals, sporting events and religious celebrations. It has also made several links with schools abroad.'

The report also praised governors for making 'astute' appointments that ensured the school started out with 'strong leadership and management'.

Penny Sheppard, headteacher, said: 'It is every headteacher's dream to be able to start up a new school. I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised how hard the school, teachers, governors, pupils, and parents, have worked to help bring the community together and make the most of this fantastic opportunity.'

The �6m school opened in September 2008 at the centre of the new Queen's Hill estate in Costessey, with �3.6m invested by Norfolk County Council plus an additional �2.4m secured by the council from the housing developers.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for children's services at the council, said: 'Our aim at Queen's Hill was to provide an education for the young children that was not only placed right in the heart of the community, but also worked for the community, so it's wonderful to know that the efforts of this dedicated team of staff and the support of pupils and their parents is achieving great success.'

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