PUPILS and teachers at a York primary school have been praised by inspectors from Ofsted.

The watchdog has ranked St Barnabas CE School in Leeman Road as 'good', less than two years after it said the school was only 'satisfactory.'

A report published following an inspection earlier this year said the quality of teaching is good overall, with some of it outstanding.

"Lessons are planned well to meet pupils’ needs and interests and to motivate them to learn," it said.

"Pupils’ behaviour is good. They feel safe, respect and get on well with one another. They have good attitudes to learning. "

Ofsted said pupils' good attitude reflects the school’s religious ethos, which underpins all that it does and which successfully fosters pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

It said parents and pupils had reported that a real strength of the school was the strong family ethos, which was carefully nurtured and permeated all aspects of the school’s work.

The report said: "This was exemplified by one parent who said: ‘It’s a very friendly school where everyone is encouraged to look out for each other.’ This view was backed up by one pupil who said, ‘It’s a sharing school. We share smiles. They’re free and we always receive one back.’ "

Ofsted said pupils with special educational needs or were entitled to the 'pupil premium' made good, and sometimes outstanding, progress.

However, it said St Barnabas was not yet an outstanding school because in a few lessons, activities did not always provide enough challenge, there were gaps in pupils’ understanding of punctuation and grammar, and pupils did not have enough opportunities to write extended pieces of work in a wide range of subjects. "Consequently, standards in writing are below those in reading and mathematics."

The school's head teacher, Karen Boardman, said she was delighted with the outcome of the inspection. "It's the result of a lot of focussed hard work by all the staff," she said.