Inspectors rate Berwick school as outstanding

Inspectors have given a Berwick school top marks and praised its strong leadership and high levels of achievement.

Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 09:40 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th April 2016, 09:44 am
Holy Trinity CofE aided first school

Holy Trinity First School was judged to be Outstanding in every category by inspectors from SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools), who visited last month.

In achieving an overall Outstanding grade, the school – which was also judged to be Outstanding in 2011 – continued to maintain the highest standard despite more rigorous inspection criteria, which have seen many other institutions being downgraded. Only eight of the 46 schools in the Newcastle diocese have attained Outstanding under the new framework.

Headteacher Dawn Groves said: “I am delighted with the report which is an excellent reflection on the way in which staff, parents and governors work together at Holy Trinity. I am particularly pleased that the inspector recognised the self-confidence and sense of responsibility that the children have and that we develop and nurture their interests and talents.”

In the report, inspector Lesley-Anne Craig made reference to the school’s ‘strong leadership and Christian ethos which shapes decision-making and informs all actions’ and also commended its strong relationship with the local community.

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She said: “At Holy Trinity, every child and every adult is valued for their gifts and talents. This is reflected in the high levels of achievement for all children.

“The school is a peaceful, calm environment in which to work, learn and achieve. Parents spoke fondly of the school’s extensive knowledge of each and every child, and the nurturing and care children receive from the adults.

“Children at the school are filled with confidence and self-belief, driven by the deeply embedded Christian values.

“Parents also praised the way children and they are welcomed into the school and encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities together. Special events bring the community into the life of the school, such as the Circle of Peace and general events where the values from the school permeate the wider community.”

The principal objective of a SIAMS inspection is to evaluate the distinctiveness and effectiveness of the school as a church school using evidence from lesson observations, data analysis and interviews with parents, pupils, teachers and governors. It focuses on how well the school meets the needs of all learners; the impact of collective worship; the effectiveness of RE and the effectivenes of leadership and management.

Ms Craig noted the school’s efforts to explore other faiths and cultures but this should be developed making use of modern technology to overcome difficulties in forging links with other religions, given the school’s location.