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Students celebrate top inspection

ByCharley Williams

Jan 27, 2017

PUPILS and staff are celebrating after securing a glowing report from inspectors.

Gurney Pease Academy, Darlington, won high praise from Ofsted after pupils told inspectors how much they enjoyed their primary school.

For principal Alison Sinclair the ‘good’ rating is official recognition for staff, governors, pupils and their families of their continuous efforts to raise standards.

Mrs Sinclair said: “The report is so positive about our children, their attitude to learning and their behaviour, which is really good.

“It also recognises how well staff know the children and that every child is catered for, whether they have special educational needs or are very able and constantly challenged.”

Children were chosen at random to talk to the lead inspector and show her their work in English and maths and other subjects. “One boy brought in a massive Second World War Anderson shelter he had just completed as a homework project and was very proud of,” Mrs Sinclair said.

“It is lovely to know that the efforts of everyone connected with the school have been officially recognised. Pupils did us proud on the day, but then they do so every day.”

The report on Gurney Pease, which is part of the Education Village Academy Trust, said:

  • The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection in 2013.
  • The head teacher has ensured that the school remains good and continues to tackle weaknesses effectively.
  • Liaison with other schools in the trust has made the monitoring of teaching and learning more effective. It has also enlisted support from outstanding schools so that it can focus on improvements.
  • Following the last inspection, the school was asked to improve the quality of teaching with particular regard to inconsistencies in behaviour management, matching learning tasks to pupils’ needs and ensuring that feedback helps pupils improve their work. This has been done well.
  • Staff have retained the very caring and nurturing culture evidenced at the last inspection and all take the time to get to know pupils extremely well.
  • Pupils are well behaved and their behaviour is consistently managed by staff. They move around school with little adult supervision and quickly settle into learning after breaks and at the start of the school day. They are polite and courteous and talk with pride about their school.
  • They have positive attitudes and this supports learning well. Pupils say that they enjoy coming to school and attendance is an improving picture.
  • Teaching pupils to read well and enjoy reading continues to take a high priority in the school. A new library and book corners in classrooms demonstrate how important reading is to school leaders and how all adults have a driving ambition to foster a love of reading.