Big improvements in Norfolk schools have been highlighted in the Ofsted annual report published today.

The HMCI annual report shows that Norfolk is the 5th most improved county nationally for the proportion of pupils at good or outstanding secondary schools over the past four years, and the 18th most improved for primary schools.

For secondary schools, Norfolk went up by 32% points to 77% from 2012 to 2016.

For primary schools, Norfolk went up by 27% points to 86% from 2012 to 2016.

One of Norfolk’s primary schools judged as ‘outstanding’ has even received public recognition by being chosen as a case study for excellence in the regional HMCI report. Lionwood Infants and Nursery was praised for its excellent teaching and leadership (see case study below).

The regional report also states that the quality of early years in the East of England is impressive, and that Norfolk is one of the most improved in the region for children at the end of the early years achieving a ‘good level of development’, to now put the county in line with the national level.

Roger Smith, Norfolk County Council’s Chairman of Children’s Services Committee, said:

“It is fantastic that teachers and pupils at Norfolk schools are being recognised for the hard work they have put in over recent years to make these great strides in improvement.

“It is right that we celebrate this, and that we go on with determination in our aim to provide all pupils in Norfolk with a good education.”

County Officers have published a sample report for Lionwood Infant and Nursery School, Norfolk:

Inspected March 2016: outstanding, previously good.

The executive headteacher’s inspirational leadership has created a culture of high ambition. Central to the school’s success is her drive, vision and innovative approach to making the school the best it can be. This includes a commitment to do things differently so that pupils gain the maximum benefit from what is on offer. Nothing is done for the sake of convention. The challenge from the governing body makes a significant contribution to the work of the senior leadership team. The difference that the staff in this school make to the lives of the pupils is remarkable. The influence of senior leaders extends beyond Lionwood. They support school improvement across Norfolk.

Leaders and managers have a highly detailed understanding of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. They have a relentless focus on ensuring that the quality of teaching is never less than good and often it is better. Staff have an excellent understanding of how pupils learn and what works best to help them achieve highly. Teachers skilfully plan learning to interest and challenge individuals of all abilities and backgrounds. Pupils are very well prepared for entry to the junior school because they make rapid progress from individual starting points that are often very low. However, staff’s aspiration for pupils is not only to do well when they go to the junior school but also in their education beyond it.

Pupils’ personal development and welfare are exceptionally well provided for. As a consequence, they have extremely mature and positive attitudes to learning. The outstanding early years provision sets the tone for high-quality, creative and memorable learning that continues into Years 1 and 2.

More information here: