PUPILS benefit from an “excellent quality of education” at a south Essex school rated “outstanding” in its first inspection for 15 years.

St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, in Coxes Farm Road, Billericay, retained its “outstanding” rating – the highest rating Ofsted can give to schools – after an inspection on February 13 and 14.

Inspectors found the school has “high expectations of pupils” which help them reach their full potential.

This is the first time the school has been rated since 2009, where it was previously rated “outstanding”.

It bucks the trend seen nationally of school’s losing out on the top grading, as four out of five schools dropped from the top grade since 2020.

The report stated: “St Peter’s is a highly inclusive school. Pupils benefit from the excellent quality of education. They achieve exceptionally well. Warm and respectful relationships between staff and pupils are at the heart of the school.

“Pupils are safe and very happy. They are confident to ask for help if they have any worries.

“The school has high expectations of pupils. They rise to meet these expectations and behave incredibly well. Pupils are consistently thoughtful, kind and considerate towards their peers and adults.”

At the time of the inspection, there were 416 pupils at the school, all aged between four and 11.

Katherine Parker, headteacher at St Peters, said “I am immensely proud of our outstanding outcome and that Ofsted agree with our judgements. This is an amazing achievement and huge testament to the hard work of the staff of St Peter’s led by our excellent leaders.

“The children continue to be our trophies and consistently shine, and we are grateful to the exceptional support from parents, families, and the wider community. It continues to be a joy and privilege to lead such a wonderful school.”

Ofsted also noted how the school has created a curriculum of a high quality.

The report added: “It carefully maps out what pupils will learn and do, so they build knowledge over time. From the early years, children learn key skills quickly and effectively.

“Staff have strong subject knowledge to teach each subject well. They adapt learning for pupils where needed. Pupils know and remember in great depth.

“They connect this to new learning successfully. Pupils achieve exceptionally well across the curriculum.”