AN EAST Dorset school has received praise for providing a safe, thriving and nurturing environment for its children.

The ringing endorsement for Sixpenny Handley First School came from Ofsted after it inspected the school and declared it Good.

Other highlights from the report included praise for headteacher Clare Hewitt and her "relentless drive" to improve the school and ensure pupils thrive, children are making good progress and developing into “intuitive learners” and parents are supportive and positive.

Mrs Hewitt said: "I am so delighted for our staff and pupils that their hard work has been recognised in this way.

"I am incredibly proud of everyone at the school as we continually strive to improve and set high standards for ourselves."

Sixpenny Handley is one of six first and primary schools in east Dorset that make up the Heath Academy Trust (HAT).

It was previously rated Good in November 2014.

Ofsted visited the school for a day last month and concluded that Sixpenny was well supported by a committed team of staff, governors and the trust.

The inspection also revealed that teachers have high expectations of what the children can achieve and pupils make strong progress in Reception, with the vast majority meeting national curriculum expectations by the time they leave in Year 4.

In his letter to the school, inspector Jonathan Dyer, said: "As head teacher, you display a relentless drive to improve the school and ensure pupils and staff thrive in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment.

“You are well supported in this work by a committed team of staff and governors as well as by the academy trust.”

CEO of Heath Academy Trust, Justine Horn, said: “This is well deserved recognition for Clare and her staff and of course the wonderful pupils of Sixpenny Handley.”