A west Dorset primary school is celebrating after being in the top one per cent in the country for reading.

Burton Bradstock Primary School’s headteacher, Claire Staples, received a letter from the Government’s schools’ minister, Nick Gibb MP, congratulating the school on the standards the children have reached.

In the last set of results, every child achieved the Government’s expected standard and the letter stated: “This means that for achievement in reading, Burton Bradstock Church of England Primary School is in the top one per cent of schools in the country.”

He went on to highlight the importance of every pupil getting a good start with their reading, so they are prepared for secondary education and life beyond the classroom. He finished by congratulating Mrs Staple and her staff for their commitment and their success.

Mrs Staple said: “I am really proud that my team is getting the recognition they deserve. We all work hard to ensure children get the best possible start.

“From the moment they join us in preschool, we try to make sure our children are both settled and stimulated. Getting familiar with books and developing a love of reading from an early stage is vital, and parents have a big role to play in that too. We always want to work in partnership with them to get children reading early.

“It helps that we are a small school, we know every child and family very well and the children thrive in this environment.

“The children work so hard and are so deserving of this praise.”

The pupils at the school were amazed when they received the letter.

Lily, a pupil in year six, said: “I was shocked as there are lots of schools and we’re just a small one.”

When asked why they think that the school excels in reading, Ayla, another year six pupil, said: “Everyone enjoys reading, from our youngest ones up to year six. We are always encouraged, and we have our reading ambassadors and bookworm time, which we love.”

Burton Bradstock is part of the Minerva Learning Trust. Teachers work with those at St Mary’s Primary School and Bridport Primary School to share ideas and expertise.

Mrs Staple added: “Being a member of the trust has really helped us out. We train together and learn from each other. Being a small school in a trust is the best of both worlds.”