CELEBRATIONS are under way at a small, rural primary school which has won praise following two detailed inspections.

Dunbury Church of England Academy, which has less than 100 pupils, was rated Good in all areas after visits from government inspection body Ofsted and a Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools.

The school, in Winterborne Whitechurch, north Dorset, prides itself on its innovative approach and has also recently opened its new Learning Hub.

The hub is in the shape of a boat and houses the school library and even a secret bookcase entrance.

Head teacher Ben Barker said: "Our vision at Dunbury is for the children to live and breathe their learning and remember the experiences forever. We are so proud that, even in such times of tightening school budgets across the country, we have been able to think differently and complete such a grand project."

Dunbury was the first primary school in the UK to federate when it joined forces with three other village first schools in 1993 under the leadership of one head teacher and one governing body.

In their report, Ofsted inspectors recognise the school’s rich curriculum, including all the classes learning Japanese, a Mandarin language club, rich musical opportunities as well as several exciting events across the year, such as staging a large-scale 'UFO' crash on the school field.

Inspectors said: "Leaders, governors and directors from the multi-academy trust are ambitious for the school and its pupils. They are very committed to ensuring that pupils achieve high standards and are well cared for.

"The head teacher provides strong leadership. His determination to raise standards and improve outcomes for pupils is unwavering."

They said pupils enjoy coming to school and they are enthusiastic about their learning.

And they praised the behaviour of the pupils, both in lessons and around the school.

They said the school needs to raise the quality of teaching further by improving writing skills in the early years and raising expectation of the most able pupils.