A primary school where pupils learn Mandarin and are building their own Great Wall of China has been rated outstanding for the first time.

Highgate Primary School, in North Hill, is celebrating after Ofsted gave it its highest score in a report published on June 28.

After a 'good' rating in 2013, the education watchdog has now rated it 'outstanding' across the board for its quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

Inspectors, who visited on May 22 and 23, wrote: "Pupils at Highgate Primary are enthusiastic learners who enjoy coming to school each day. They love learning and speak excitedly about their experiences."

They praised pupils' "excellent" behaviour and the "careful consideration" given to their well-being, which includes spending time with the school dog, Horace.

Inspectors were impressed with the "highly ambitious" curriculum, enriched by "exciting" visits - including a Year 3 mudlarking trip as part of a topic on rivers, and older pupils confidently discussing the Benin Bronzes following a visit to the British Museum.

Horace, Highgate Primary School's dog, joins the celebrations at Ofsted's upgrade to 'outstanding' ratingHorace, Highgate Primary School's dog, joins the celebrations at Ofsted's upgrade to 'outstanding' rating (Image: Stuart Nicholls)

Children begin to learn Mandarin from their Reception year, with a qualification by the end of Year 5.

The report praised "exemplary" broader personal development, with older pupils designing and creating their own Great Wall of China, using technology to map their 3D design.

The school, which has 443 pupils, runs a breakfast club and after-school care as well as holiday club facilities.

It shares a site with the Blanche Neville School for Deaf Children. 

Co-headteacher William Dean said: "I could not be more proud of our school. We have all worked exceptionally hard to build a creative curriculum that genuinely excites our children. Having their love of learning and enthusiasm for school recognised by Ofsted is a wonderful validation of everything we set out to achieve."

Co-headteacher Becca Lewis added: "Our children and staff are fantastic and inspectors noted this when they visited.

"Throughout the report, praise is given to them, and quite rightly as they are the ones who make the school such a happy place to learn and work."

Chair of governors Jon Carr-West said the governing body was "delighted".

He added: "The excellent standard of education, the richness of the creative curriculum and the joyful culture all receive the praise they deserve.

"We are very proud of, and grateful to, our fantastic staff team and our wonderful children.”