A SCHOOL where “excellence is standard” and pupils receive a “top-class education” has been lauded by watchdogs in its first inspection for more than a decade.

St Thomas More’s Catholic Primary School in Colchester has maintained its outstanding rating in its newest Ofsted report.

The school, in Priory Street, has not been inspected for more than a decade and the latest visit is its first since being converted to an academy in 2012.

Four inspectors visited the school over two days in November and were full of praise for the school’s pupils, staff, curriculum and more.

Gazette: Welcome - outside the schoolWelcome - outside the school (Image: St Thomas More's)

The report reads: “Pupils attend a school where excellence is standard.

“Pupils are polite and courteous. Classrooms are calm, yet they bubble and brim with excitement as pupils learn together.”

“The strong, shared vision weaves through all the school does.

“Over time, leaders including governors, have realised this vision. Pupils receive a top-class education.

“Staff are truly valued and are supported by school leaders to hone and refine their practice and to become experts in what they do."

Ofsted also noted how pupils learn and achieve “exceptionally well” across the curriculum and benefit “strongly” from the “many and varied wider opportunities on offer”.

Gazette: Dermot O'Leary stopped by St Thomas More's Primary School in 2022Dermot O'Leary stopped by St Thomas More's Primary School in 2022 (Image: Newsquest)

It added how pupils with special educational need and/or disabilities and pupils who speak English as an additional language are supported “extremely well” to access the curriculum.

Teachers were noted as having “strong subject knowledge”, with trustees and the governing body working closely with the school, having an “accurate view of the many strengths of the provision”.

Safeguarding at the school was also deemed effective.

Headteacher Bridget Harris said: "We are of course delighted with the findings of the recent Ofsted inspection and we believe the words in the report truly reflect our school.

"It has been many years since the last inspection, one I remember well as headteacher here at the time, and since then the school has continued to move forward, achieve great results and remain a happy place for staff and pupils.

"We are a strong community, pupils, parents, Governors, Trustees and staff and like all schools, as a team we are committed to providing the best possible education for the pupils in our care."