A SPECIAL School in Thornbury has been given praise of the highest calibre after being rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.

New Siblands School, which works with 116 pupils that have a range of physical and mental disabilities, was given the highest possible grade in all categories following the inspection between November 9-10.

This marks an impressive step up for the school, which was rated “good” in its last inspection in July 2013.

Offering praise across the board, the report said that head teacher Andrew Buckton, his leadership team and the governing body “work with steely determination to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils”, with all staff “united in their drive to deliver the school vision”.

With the curriculum being highly personalised and organised to meet each individual’s needs, the report says “there is no one-size-fits-all” with pupils across the school make very strong progress from their starting points.

Behaviour is described in the report as “exemplary”, with staff demonstrating high expectations of behaviour at all times and achievements being widely celebrated among the school community.

Also described as “exemplary” is the teamwork between staff in the school, which reflects in positive feedback highlighted from parents, including that “the school is a dream” and “nothing is too much trouble.”

Mr Buckton said: “New Siblands is a very special place. Our vision of achievement, belonging and celebration gives our whole school community a focus that is all about ensuring our amazing children flourish and thrive.

“Their achievements are numerous and our pupils overcome many barriers in their resilient learning journeys. I am delighted that the work of the team here and the children’s progress has been recognised as being outstanding.

“We count it a privilege to work with our children and are grateful for the unswerving support of parents and carers and our governors.”

Dave Tubb, chair of the school’s governors added that they were thrilled by the outstanding report and offered a huge well done to all the pupils and staff for their hard work.

Cllr Toby Savage, South Gloucestershire Council’s education cabinet member, congratulated the school for their “fantastic” rating, saying it was encouraging to see that it had performed so well across all aspects of the inspection.

“There are so many positives in this report but one of the highlights is the approach to learning which is described as fun and very much about what pupils can do rather than what they can’t.

“As a result, inspectors say that pupils enjoy their lessons and are eager to learn more. No wonder the children are thriving at this Thornbury school with such commitment, passion and enthusiasm from the staff.”