ONE of West Dorset’s smallest schools has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for the quality of its leadership, its pupils’ behaviour, the quality of teach-ing and the achievements of students.

Powerstock School received an overall ‘good’ rating.

Failure to reach the top ‘outstanding’ grade will just spur the school to greater efforts, said headteacher John-Paul Draper.

Mr Draper, who oversaw rebuilding the school after a catastrophic fire in 2011, said parents, pupils, governors and staff were delighted with the overall good rating as well as ‘good’ ratings for all other sub-sections of the report.

He said: “This report is a wonderful achievement and goes a long way to reward everyone’s hard work and efforts on our incredible journey, since our terrible fire in October 2011 and rebuilding.

“Everyone who is connected with our school has every right to feel very proud of our achievements.

“The areas needed to improve on to become outstanding in the report, we had already identified in our development planning and have begun to focus on.

“We are really keen to use this report as the springboard to become even better.”

Inspector Richard Blackmore praised Mr Draper, saying he gave clear and purposeful leadership.

He said: “Teachers are set challenging targets to improve their performance. The curri-culum is broad and balanced, offering pupils a wide range of topics and experiences.

“A real strength of the school is the pupils’ spiritual develop-ment. This is because the headteacher and staff encourage and support pupils at a very high level to reflect on their exper-iences at home and at school.”

Mr Blackmore also praised the pupils, saying they were polite, courteous and respectful.

He added that the quality of teaching throughout the school was good and consequently pupils’ achievements are above average in national tests when they leave.

To become an outstanding school teachers need to set appropriate challenges for the most able pupils and to bring their maths up to the standard of their reading and writing.

Teachers also need to ensure pupils act on the advice and marking to help them learn faster.

Mr Blackmore added: “Pupils were unanimous in their praise of the school. One pupil’s comment was typical of many: ‘Everything is brilliant’.”