Ofsted inspectors praise ‘nurturing’ South Tyneside school with ‘happy’ pupils after good inspection

Lord Blyton Primary School headteacher Jo Atherton is “very pleased” after the school was judged good following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors described the Simonside school as “nurturing” and a place where pupils are “happy and feel safe” and where behaviour in classrooms is good.

Jo said: “The governors and myself are very pleased with the report due to the past two years and the unprecedented disruption of Covid.

“Our governors, staff, pupils and parents have all worked with us to provide the best possible outcomes we can for the children.”

A key feature of the report was the school’s place at the heart of the community.

The report stated: “One parent quoted, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child.’ This is very much the case. Staff work tirelessly to support pupils and their families. Pupils describe the school as one big family, where everyone feels valued.

"Leaders understand the needs of the community they serve well. They know it is important to raise pupils’ aspirations to ensure the best possible life chances for all. Pupils are ambitious and want to succeed.”

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Lord Blyton Primary School has been judged as a good school following its latest Ofsted inspection. Photograph: Google Maps

Lead inspector Andy Jones identified the development of reading at the school as having a pivotal role in children’s progress.

He said: “Leaders have prioritised reading since the last inspection. They have introduced a new phonics scheme and staff are well trained and pupils make good progress.

"Learning is carefully sequenced so pupils can build on what they already know. Pupils love to read and school leaders promote this well. The school has taken part in the ‘Changing the Story Reading Programme’ which has provided staff training and helped parents support their child’s reading at home.

"Pupils in Year 6 talk enthusiastically about the class novels they have studied.”

The report also commended the school on its extra-curricula provision with an “extensive variety of after-school clubs”, residential visits to Thurston Outdoor Education Centre in the Lake District and regular guest speakers.

The report identified some areas for development ahead of the school’s next inspection including the sequencing of the curriculum in History and Geography and checking understanding in Mathematics to “ensure all pupils can access the curriculum”.

Jo added: “We will incorporate their recommendations into our School Improvement Plan as we constantly strive to provide the best we can for pupils.”