INSPECTION day is most schoolteachers' least favourite part of the year.

So imagine the stress at Ewelme CofE Primary School near Wallingford when its latest inspection last month was followed seven days later by – another inspection.

The primary, which claims to be the oldest state-funded school in the country, was still getting over its SIAMS – Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools – on September 26, when it received a surprise visit from the government watchdog Ofsted just a week later.

Tensions were getting just slightly strained until the reports came back – and the school received two glowing reviews.

The SIAMS inspector said 'the distinctiveness and effectiveness of Ewelme as a CofE school are outstanding', while the Ofsted official said the school's 'strong Christian ethos' was 'woven like a golden thread' through its work.

Ewelme governor Tom Lethaby, whose children Harry, George and Jane go to the school, said staff and pupils had been celebrating a fantastic end of the term.

He said: "Inspections really are a stressful time, but to have two back-to-back was twice as bad.

"We were all so delighted to get two reports that were so positive."

Ewelme school was founded by the Duchess of Suffolk, Alice Chaucer, (granddaughter of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer) in 1437 as a place for high-quality education.

It claims to be 'the oldest functioning maintained school building in the country'.

It forms part of a complex of medieval buildings in the centre of the village which includes the historic church and almshouses.

The school's latest SIAMS inspector, Olwyn Davison-Oakley, said the school was still upholding the 'strong Christian ethos' it had kept for nearly 600 years.

She gave the school an overall rating of 'outstanding' – the highest grade possible.

Ofsted inspector Sue Cox also the Christian ethos was 'reflected in pupils’ exemplary behaviour and the way they demonstrate kindness, care and consideration'.

She praised the school's 'rich and vibrant curriculum' and creative environment 'where pupils thrive'.

Overall she said the school had maintained its grade of 'good' – the second-highest Ofsted rating.

In a letter to parents celebrating the success, headteacher Margery Slatter said she had 'great pleasure' in presenting the rating.

She also acknowledged the recommended areas for improvement including children's punctuation and a more rigorous system of logging welfare concerns.

She added: "Since Ofsted’s expectations have changed considerably and are much higher since our last inspection, it is very pleasing to know that the school continues to provide a very high quality, safe educational environment where ‘pupils make good progress, achieve well and develop into confident, caring and responsible young people'.

"Thank you for the part that you play in helping us to achieve the best that we can for your children."