STAFF and governors at a primary school where 'happy children are greeted with a warm smile' are celebrating after a recent Ofsted inspection.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Middlewich was visited by the education watchdog in January, where it retained its 'Good' rating, issued in 2013.

In its first inspection since 2018, the Manor Lane school was praised for its 'broad and ambitious' curriculum and its efforts supporting its staff.

Head teacher Janet McKinlay was delighted with the rating as everyone at the school continues to work towards 'outstanding'.

She said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the outcome of the report, which reflects the ethos of the school and what is important to us.

“It shows the school in a very positive light and celebrates all the good work all members of staff, even Charlie our pet therapy dog, do to ensure our pupils have a good experience when they come to St Mary’s.

“We all work together to make sure the children thrive and this is reflected in the report as we continue our journey towards ‘outstanding’.

Northwich Guardian: Even the school's pet therapy dog Charlie got into the World Book Day spirit!Even the school's pet therapy dog Charlie got into the World Book Day spirit! (Image: St Mary's Catholic Primary School)

“The inspector was very professional and there was a massive focus on the well-being of staff and myself. Regularly I was asked if I was happy with their approach and if I had any concerns.”

In their report, the inspector said: "Staff, along with the school’s dog, greet pupils with a warm smile each morning.

"Children know staff look after them and help with any problems that they may have. They enjoy their learning.

"The school has high aspirations for pupils’ achievements. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, work hard to rise to these aspirations. Typically, they achieve well.

"The school has designed a broad and ambitious curriculum. This sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils should learn and the order that this should happen.

"This helps pupils, including those with SEND, to learn well. They are well prepared for the next stages of their education.

"Staff benefit from a well-designed programme of training and support. They are knowledgeable about the subjects that they teach and are adept at bringing lessons to life.

"Staff also feel valued, and their morale is high. They are highly appreciative of the school’s efforts to support their well-being and to reduce workload."

By way of improvements, the inspector suggested the school ensure staff help the children to remember the content they have been taught.