A primary school in South Shields has been praised by Ofsted for its “ambitious” curriculum and its promotion of pupils’ personal development. SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, was inspected by Ofsted and has retained its ‘Good’ rating.

Ofsted lead inspector Jessica McKay said in her report, “Pupils enjoy attending this welcoming school. Staff and pupils say that the school community is like a family. This is underpinned by the school’s Catholic ethos.

The school has high expectations for both pupils’ achievement and behaviour. Overall, an ambitious curriculum helps to ensure that pupils achieve well academically. Staff have fostered positive relationships with pupils and know them well. Pupils show positive attitudes to learning. They are keen to participate in lessons and behave well. Any pupils who find it difficult to regulate their own behaviour are given effective support.

The Olive Street school was also praised for providing “many opportunities” to pupils to take on leadership opportunities including house leaders, sports leaders and the school council. The “proud” pupils use these roles to contribute to community work and to lead assemblies.

The children also have access to a wide range of extra-curricular activities with choir being “very popular”, as well as clubs in sports, computing and games.

Ms McKay, who listened to pupils in Reception and Years 1 and 2 read to an adult and visited story time in Nursery during her visit, added, “Reading is a high priority across the school. There is, rightly, a strong focus on developing children’s speech and language skills. Opportunities to develop these skills, along with early reading, writing and mathematics are all skilfully woven into day-to-day activities. Any pupils who find reading difficult get the right help to catch up and keep up.

The inspection also found that the school promotes pupils’ personal development well and is “ambitious that pupils’ horizons are broadened” through learning about different faiths and beliefs and school trips that link directly to the curriculum. They also learn about British values and protected characteristics and know to be “tolerant and respectful”.

Headteacher Maria Butt said, “This report is a celebration of the hard work and support of our whole school community; staff, pupils, governors, parents and carers. It highlights the many strengths of our wonderful, welcoming family school. Our inspector, Jessica McKay, said that our ‘pupils should be very proud as they are a credit to themselves and SS Peter and Paul School’. I am very proud of them all!

During the Ofsted inspection, the inspector carried out deep dives in reading, mathematics and art.

SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School has nursery places available in September. The school takes three cohorts a year in September, January and April. For more information, please visit www.sspeterpaul.co.uk/contact-us.

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

Press release issued by SASS media on behalf of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust. For more information, contact Sarah Dale on 07814 976582.