STAFF and pupils of a tiny Wimborne school are celebrating after being named one of the best in the country for the teaching of phonics for the second time.

St James’ CE First School in Gaunts Common has been awarded outstanding status by both Ofsted and The Church of England in their most recent inspections.

But there was more good news to come after teachers were told that when it comes to teaching phonics, the building blocks of reading and writing, the school is in the top six per cent of schools nationally.

Headteacher Jacqui Booth said: “This is an incredible achievement for a small school that is universally loved by those who attend but sometimes overlooked by families who don’t realise that it is just a few minutes’ drive from Wimborne.

“Our results across the school are consistently better than schools nationally and this starts with learning the basics at a young age. To think that a little school like ours can compete with the biggest and most highly funded schools in the country is very exciting.” For more information about the school go to