THE welly walkers and puddle jumpers of Leominster Infant School have won praise from education inspectors.

Children and staff at the 284-pupil school love to be outdoors and confess to being a bit obsessed with wellies. All the youngsters have a pair of wellington boots in school and the whole school goes out on a welly walk once a week.

Now the school's love of the great outdoors has charmed Ofsted inspectors. In a report they commented on "a sense of wonder and delight as pupils observe how butterflies emerge from cocoons, watch plants grow or merely splash in puddles."

Senior inspector Rajinder Harrison praised the school's leafy outdoor environment, which provided pupils with a wealth of features for them to explore and enjoy.

"We loved the beautiful spaces in your playground that makes it so nice to play and puddle jump' in," the inspector told pupils in a letter.

Headteacher Meta Philpotts said the school prided itself on its outdoor activities. New sandpits had recently been installed, and the school shared a pond and huge playing fields with the neighbouring junior school, which children explored on a regular basis.

To celebrate the Ofsted report's findings, the school would be further enhancing its grounds, she said. A new seated pergola had been erected on the playground for use as an outside classroom for storytelling, and also provided shade and shelter for the children during playtime.

Ofsted gave top marks for "the rich and creative curriculum" and described Leominster Infants as a good school where pupils achieve well.

"We're all very pleased with the outcome of the inspection," said Mrs Philpotts "The whole staff work together to provide the children with rich and exciting activities to help them develop their understanding of the environment and the world in which they live. It is gratifying to have this acknowledged."