A SCHOOL which "threads the values of friendship, compassion and perseverance" has been lauded by watchdogs in a report which saw it achieve its first ‘good’ rating for the first time in more than 15 years.

Howbridge Junior School, in Witham, has been celebrating following the positive report from Ofsted.

Inspection team Sonia Innes, Nicola Shadbolt and Sue Cox were full of praise for the school, its pupils and its staff.

The report said the "inclusive" school "threads the values of friendship, compassion and perseverance through school life".

It added adults "encourage pupils to work hard and have high aspirations" and "pupils feel proud of their work".

The report continued: "Pupils participate in a range of activities out of the classroom and the majority of pupils want to follow leaders’ high expectations of how they should behave, and they behave well during lessons.

"The school has effective processes in place to support the identification of any pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

"Pupils with SEND learn the same curriculum as their classmates, sometimes with adapted tasks or additional adult support."

It also praised the school for its "broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum", and teachers’  "strong" subject knowledge.

Braintree and Witham Times: Pupils and staff celebrate their good rating with Dame PritiPupils and staff celebrate their good rating with Dame Priti (Image: N/A)

Vine Schools Trust chief executive, Emma Wigmore, said, “We are delighted that Dame Priti took the time to pay a visit to Howbridge this morning.

“We were over the moon when we received the school’s most recent Ofsted report. 

“It was wonderful to see the inspector recognise everything that makes Howbridge a brilliant school.

“This school has been on a long journey of improvement. The pupils, staff and school community have worked exceptionally hard, and we are proud to have this acknowledged.

“The school is an integral part of the Witham community, and we are happy that Dame Priti was able to share in this success for the local area.”

Witham MP Dame Priti Patel also celebrated with the school.

Dame Priti attended an assembly at Howbridge Junior School, where the pupils showcased their singing with a rendition of ‘We’re Proud of Our School’ as well as showing off artwork created to celebrate their Ofsted result.

This includes a mosaic spelling out the word ‘GOOD’.

Dame Priti said: "I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the staff and pupils who have made this great achievement possible.

"Supporting the school’s progress to a ‘Good’ rating has been an issue I have been working on with both the school and Vine Schools Trust.

"Educational standards in Witham have seen significant improvements since 2010, and while there is still more work that we can do to see more schools rated as outstanding, this achievement at Howbridge Juniors is testament to the teachers who work incredibly hard to ensure that pupils have a great day, week and year at school.”