STAFF and pupils at Wharfedale Montessori are celebrating a "triumph" after the school was judged to be outstanding in all areas.

The Ofsted results are being described as "almost unheard of" for establishments offering alternative types of education.

The school, which is based at Bolton Abbey, works on the principle that the interests and wishes of pupils should lead their learning and that they should be taught in an unpressurised way.

The school's principal and founder Jane Lord said: "Wharfedale Montessori School is happy and proud to announce we have achieved outstanding in all areas of practice in the inspection carried out on 6 to 8 June. This is a huge triumph for us as it is almost unheard of for settings offering alternative approaches to education to get this grade. It is important to note that we did not compromise our practice in any way to achieve this result. No testing until the last three or four terms, no homework unless requested by the children and no pressure.

"A huge thank you to my wonderful staff team and our very supportive parent community."

Mrs Lord said the main emphasis of Montessori was to build the whole personality of the child.

"All schools will say that they cater for the individual needs of the child but because of the way the main stream system works the children are still, to a large extent, expected to do the same things at the same time," she said.

But she said the Montessori system looked at the strengths of each child and worked with them without pressure - and with no exams until the last few months.

The inspector's report says: "An inspirational principal leads a team of staff who are as passionate as she is to ensure that pupils not only enjoy their education but fulfil their potential."

It adds: "Pupils interests and wishes lead their learning. This core principle and stimulating resources mean that pupils have excellent learning behaviours and they want to learn."

The report notes that pupils from the school reach higher standards than the national average by the time they leave.

It adds: "The school's work to promote personal development and welfare is outstanding. Pupils are confident, mature and highly motivated individuals by the time they leave the school."

Visit to see the full report.

The school will be holding open days on September 18 and September 27, from 10am to 12 noon and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.