A SOUTH Tyneside school has won praise for getting its youngest pupils off to a flying start.
Children start nursery at SS Peter and Paul RC Primary with below-average social and language skills, knowledge and understanding.
But by the time they leave Year 6, they have above-average standards in reading, writing and maths.
The achievements were noted by Ofsted inspectors after a visit to the school, which teaches 250 pupils, aged from three to 11, in December.
In his report, lead inspector Peter Evea said: “In the nursery and reception classes, teaching is good and staff are experienced at providing imaginative activities for this age range.
“As a result, children enjoy their learning and get off to a good start.”
The school, in Olive Street, Tyne Dock, was judged to be good overall, with some exemplary teaching and rising standards.
It’s an improvement on the school’s satisfactory rating from its last inspection in 2009.
Headteacher Ken Devlin said: “Everyone is delighted with the outcome of the inspection, which reflects the hard work and dedication of all the staff and governors working together in partnership with the parents.
“We all know that SS Peter and Paul Primary is a good school and the report underlines and reinforces the achievements of all our pupils, who benefit from the experience of belonging to our caring parish school.”
The report added that standards have risen in the last two years because of improvements in teaching.
Mr Evea said: “Teachers’ enthusiasm and strong subject knowledge make pupils eager to learn and do their best.”
The inspection team singled out pupils’ ability in maths, describing many as “confident mathematicians who eagerly tackle mathematical problems related to real life”.
Pupils were also described as well-behaved in lessons and around the school and welcoming to visitors. Disabled pupils and those with special educational needs make particularly good progress.
Mr Evea added: “Leaders and managers work relentlessly to create a caring community. Pupils say they feel safe and happy in school.”
To become an outstanding school, staff have been advised to share good practice in teaching and set harder work for the more able pupils.
Pupils should also practice their writing skills in all subjects, not just literacy, and their progress should be better measured.
Governors’ chairman Tom Fennelly said: “The Ofsted judgements are well deserved and the whole school community can be proud of their achievements.
“The staff in particular deserve every credit for the way they have responded to the challenges and our pupils and their parents can be very proud.”