ENTHUSIASM and zeal by pupils helped Almondsbury Primary earn a good rating from education inspectors.

The school, with nearly 300 children on roll, also scored well in the four key areas of achievement, leadership and management, teaching and the behaviour and safety of pupils.

Inspectors from Government watchdog Ofsted spent two days at the school and in their report praised its standards.

Lead inspector John Eadie said pupils made good progress in all year groups.

He said: "Pupils are achieving very well. Standards have been significantly above average for several years in reading, writing and mathematics.

"Children have a very good start to their schooling in well-organised reception classes and make rapid progress.

"Teaching observed during the inspection was almost always at least good, with a good number of examples of outstanding practice.

"Pupils say that teachers make learning fun and interesting and this ensures that they are focused and attentive."

Mr Eadie said skilled teaching assistants made a valuable contribution to children's learning. Youngsters were well behaved, polite and well-mannered, as well as being keen to do well in lessons.

He said: "There is an almost tangible sense of teamwork in the school, very purposefully led by the head teacher. Governors support leadership very well and provide very good levels of challenge and expertise.

"The drive for improvement has been successful and a close eye is kept on the quality of teaching to ensure improvements are sustained."

The inspectors said head teacher Paul Smith led by example and had high expectations. Governors were effective and gave strong support in the drive to improve.

Steps now had to be taken to improve further and become an outstanding school.

They said there needed to be more top quality teaching and the most able pupils should be routinely provided with work that stretched them.

They also said a new marking policy was not yet being used consistently and did not routinely show pupils what they needed to do to improve.

Mr Smith said: "‘I am very proud to be the head teacher of such a great school. The inspection team recognised the many strengths we have. The outstanding teamwork and teaching of the staff were highlighted, along with the impeccable manners of the children.

"The children at Almondsbury have a love of learning and work hard to achieve very high standards of attainment and progress. It was also good that they recognised how broad and enriching our curriculum is, including our numerous extra-curricular opportunities."