A Harpenden school has been described as excellent across the board by Ofsted.

St Hilda’s School in Douglas Road impressed inspectors who said it “effectively meets its aim to provide a first-class education”.

Headteacher Carolyn Godlee said: “We were thrilled to receive the affirmation that we’re on course and providing an excellent education for our girls.

“The parents have been hugely supportive.”

A team of inspectors visited the school for four days in February, during which time they observed lessons and extracurricular activities, interviewed pupils and examined samples of work.

They also spoke with senior staff and looked at responses from parents, gathered through a questionnaire.

In the report, inspector Bridget Windley said: “Pupils of all abilities are highly successful in their learning and personal development.

“Teaching is excellent overall and some stimulating practice was observed during the inspection.

“The pupils’ personal development is supported by excellent pastoral care. Incidents of unkind behaviour are rare and pupils feel safe and valued.

“Pupils develop well spiritually, have an excellent sense of morality and an outstanding social awareness. They understand fully how cultural and religious diversity enriches life.”

St Hilda’s, which educates girls between the ages of three and 11, was previously graded good and Mrs Godlee puts their improvement down to the hard work of all staff.

She said: “We’ve worked incredibly hard over the past five years.

“I’ve got a wonderful team of teachers who are totally dedicated to the children in their care, and we have invested in a major extension to the building, which has just opened.”