Top marks for Jarrow primary school

Simonside Primary School head, Julie Parnaby with pupils
Simonside Primary School head, Julie Parnaby with pupils

A new South Tyneside headteacher has been praised for the ‘seamless’ leadership which has maintained impressive standards at her school.

Ofsted said Julie Parnaby has maintained existing leadership strengths at Simonside Primary and commended her approachability and openness with staff after the latest inspection.

Giving the school, in Glasgow Road, Jarrow, a “good” rating, inspectorate also praised her deputy head, Lisa Pegman.

The rating followed an inspection earlier this month and matched a standard achieved during a full inspection in March 2014.

Mrs Parnaby, who arrived from a school in Durham for her first post as a headteacher in January, said: “We are very pleased with our recent grading.

“It is a testament to the hardworking and dedicated staff who put the children at the heart of everything we do here.

“It was especially pleasing to have our immersive curriculum recognised. This approach is proving successful at raising our children’s aspirations and broadening their experiences which will have an impact on raising standards in the future.”

Of Mrs Parnaby’s work with her deputy, the inspector said: “Together, you form a strong and determined team, driven by the desire to secure additional improvements and further enhance teaching and learning.”

“You have worked hard to ensure that all pupils make strong and sustained progress in their learning, including disadvantaged pupils.

“There is a tangible commitment to the all-round development and well-being of every single pupil, enabling them to flourish academically and socially.”

He also found evidence of a continuing drive to ensure all pupils reached their full potential by making the maximum possible progress from their starting points.

He noted that the whole school team worked hard to raise expectations of what all pupils could achieve and to establish a culture in which they could excel.

Of note was the school’s work to introduce a new approach to teaching creative and foundation subjects.

This, he said, had played a key part in ensuring pupils had opportunities to tackle open-ended problems and to conduct their own research.