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School at the top of national class

Dickleburgh, Norfolk. Dickleburgh Primary school which has acheived level 4B for all of its pupils at the school which is one of 159 schools in the UK pictured is headteacher James Richards

Dickleburgh, Norfolk. Dickleburgh Primary school which has acheived level 4B for all of its pupils at the school which is one of 159 schools in the UK pictured is headteacher James Richards

Dickleburgh Primary School can lay claim to being one of the best in the country.

The school has received a letter from Minister for Schools, David Laws, congratulating them on being just one of 159 schools in the country hitting benchmark learning targets.

The school, led by headteacher James Richards, saw every single pupil hit the level 4 grade or above in core subjects of reading, writing and maths following key stage level 2 tests.

Mr Richards, who is in his eleventh year as head, said: “Success doesn’t happen by accident, we do have very high expectations in Dickleburgh; we believe that every child has the right to do as well as they possibly can and it is our responsibility to ensure that they have every opportunity to do so.

“We are very fortunate to have the support of many wonderful parents in helping us achieve this aim.”

Its status as a high achieving school - it was also the first in Norfolk to achieve Ofsted’s highest ‘outstanding’ rating since a new inspection framework was introduced - has led to a big increase in popularity.

At the start of the September term the school is expected to have 50 per cent more pupils than in 2010 - a rise from 90 to 136 pupils.

This will move it to a six-class school with Norfolk County Council conducting a feasibility survey for a possible new teaching base including two classrooms and cloakroom areas.

In his letter to the school Mr Laws said high achievement at primary school was “critical to success at secondary school and beyond.”

Mr Richards believes success lies with quality teaching and constantly monitoring teaching and planning.

Using the teaching potential of parents is also a factor and they are encouraged to help progress their child’s maths and spelling, for example. Mr Richards said that his 10-year tenure leading the school has also been a factor.

“Developing and growing a good school is a slow process - making sure you get the right team and can firmly establish standards you believe should be there for all,” he said.

“Being an outstanding school is not something that can happen overnight.”

Given the school’s success, the Diss Express asked if Mr Richards had ever been headhunted for another post.

He said he has not had any other job offers and said he enjoyed working at Dickleburgh

 

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