A Christmas carol service rounded off a shining year for Ditchling primary school, which has received an Ofsted report to be proud of.
Pupils and teachers at St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School delighted in the true meaning of Christmas at a Carols by Candlelight service in the parish church, accompanied by family members.
The church was lit by tea-lights in jars that the children had decorated themselves and, in such a magical setting, they sang carols and listened to a performance from the school’s young violinists.
Monday’s service completed a year of hard work for the school, which has been recognised as ‘good’ in all areas by Ofsted.
The report states that: “Teaching is consistently good and occasionally outstanding.”
The inspector also states: “Pupils make good progress across the school and reach standards which are above average.”
Progress in reading is described as “outstanding”.
Head Teacher David Simon said: “This is a fantastic result, especially in view of the fact that Ofsted’s judgements have become more demanding.
“However, we recognise there’s always room for improvement and Ofsted also affirmed that our already planned developments will help to move us towards outstanding.”
Ofsted would like the school to accelerate the positive progress that pupils already make in writing.
The new Chair of Governors, Vicci Lewis, said: “The head and deputy, together with a team of exceptionally motivated teachers, have had a major impact on the standards of the school, as well as the quality of teaching.”
The children’s enthusiasm for learning shone through at the carol service when each class gave a presentation on the many symbols of Christmas from bows to poinsettias.
As if to illustrate Ofsted’s “outstanding” assessment of the school’s reading abilities, year six pupils told the Christmas story through a series of readings to the congregation.
In preparation for the Christmas season, the altar was decorated to represent the empty stable awaiting the arrival of baby Jesus.
Reverend David Wallace finished the service with a blessing and pupils left with spirits high for a well earned festive break.