School is making good progress

NICE WORK ... Simonside Primary School headteacher Harriet Bland celebrates Ofsted report with pupils.

NICE WORK ... Simonside Primary School headteacher Harriet Bland celebrates Ofsted report with pupils.


A PRIMARY school in South Tyneside has bounced back after being given a good review by Government inspectors.

Simonside Primary School in Glasgow Road, Jarrow, was rated as good by Ofsted after the education watchdog’s latest inspection.

The school, which was rated as satisfactory at its last review in 2012, is now said to be making “good progress” in Key Stage 1 and 2.

Pupils are making “at least good and outstanding progress” in Year 6, with reading, writing and mathematics well-above average by they time they leave school.

Headteacher Harriet Bland, who took charge at the beginning of the new school year, said the improvements are down to a team effort.

“As the new headteacher, I was struck by the hard work and positive attitude of all of the staff and pupils,” she said.

“This has now been reflected in our Ofsted report.”

Pupils’ achievements, behaviour, quality of teaching, leadership and management were all rated as good in the report.

Inspectors reported “pupils’ behaviour is good” and they “enjoy coming to school and have good attitudes to learning”.

Other comments included “they work and play together well and have a good understanding of how to keep safe,” and “they say they feel safe and secure in school”.

The school, which has a large percentage of pupils with special educational needs among the 170 on the register, received praise for tending to their requirements.

Inspectors said pupils who attend the hearing impaired unit made “outstanding progress”, as their learning needs are well understood by staff.

The report also noted “they are fully involved in lessons and school life”.

Mrs Bland said: “We are absolutely thrilled. This is a huge improvement since the last report. It’s down to everybody’s hard work.

“Everybody works as a team – teachers, parents, children and governors – and that’s the biggest thing for me.”

Despite the good report, inspectors still say the school has room for improvement, as not enough teaching is rated as outstanding to secure rapid progress for all pupils.

They watched 27 lessons, or parts of lessons, groups of pupils and individuals.

The report said “teachers’ marking does not always help pupils improve their work,” and “sometimes pupils’ weak handwriting skills limit their progress”.

Mrs Bland, who took over running of the school from Jim Purvis, who had been headteacher at the school since 1997, says she is pleased with the result and will work on the inspectors’ observations.

“We are all very proud,” she said. “I’m very proud of everybody.

“We will continue to build on this new report and being graded as outstanding in the near future.”

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull




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