‘Highly inclusive’ school in Wingate retains ‘Good’ Ofsted rating

Jun 14, 2024

A primary school in County Durham has been praised by Ofsted for its “highly inclusive” environment, a strong curriculum and the positive behaviour of its pupils.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, has retained its ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted following a recent visit by inspectors.

Ofsted lead inspector Alison Stephenson said of the Wingate school in her report: “The school is highly inclusive. The mission that ‘each person is unique, talented and loved by God’ applies to everybody within this small school community. Pupils are safe and well cared for.

“Staff have high expectations for pupils. They expect them to behave well, work hard and do their very best. Pupils respond positively to these expectations. Pupils are well supported within their mixed-age classrooms. As a result, they achieve well. This is particularly the case in reading and mathematics.”

Pupils’ behaviour is also praised in the report with inspectors observing children moving around the school sensibly and sitting and chatting together calmly in the dining room. The inspectors also noted that pupils are “keen and demonstrate positive attitudes towards their learning” and treat each other with respect.

“Leaders, together with the support of the Trust, have worked with determination to strengthen the curriculum,” continues Ms Stephenson in her report.

“The teaching of reading is a high priority. The school has invested heavily in training and resources to support the successful implementation of the new phonics programme. This approach is helping pupils to become confident, fluent readers. Pupils who struggle with reading are successfully supported to catch up quickly. Pupils read regularly. They talk with excitement about the books that they enjoy, demonstrating their love of reading.”

St Mary’s uses assessments “effectively” in subjects such as English and mathematics to check pupils’ understanding of the curriculum with any gaps in knowledge “quickly identified” and additional help is provided.

As a “highly inclusive” school, St Mary’s is also quick to identify pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and staff make use of a range of resources to meet the individual needs of pupils.

Executive headteacher Julie Hill said: “The inspection was a lovely celebration of our small nurturing school and captures all that is wonderful about our school community. We all feel very proud.”

During the Ofsted visit, inspectors carried out deep dives in early reading, mathematics and history.

There are some places for Reception in September and a few places in other cohorts. Pupils of all faiths and no faiths are welcome at St Mary’s.

To find out more information about the school and applying for places, please visit www.stmaryswingate.org

For more information about BCCET, please visit www.bccet.org.uk

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