A Newcastle primary has won praise from Ofsted, with inspectors highlighting the school’s “broad and well balanced” curriculum and the “exemplary” behaviour of its pupils, as well as its “exceptional” community. St Oswald’s Catholic Primary School in Gosforth, which became part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust in 2021, received a ‘Good’ rating in the Ofsted report, which also rated Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, and Early Years Provision at the school as ‘Outstanding’.
“Pupils at St Oswald’s are caring, resilient and eager to learn,” says the report. “Positive relationships, excellent behaviour and leaders’ commitment to pupils’ personal development have created an exceptional school community. Pupils respect those who are different from themselves, and exemplify the school ethos of ‘living, learning, loving together in Christ’.”
The inspectors carried out ‘deep dives’ into early reading, mathematics, history and geography at St Oswald’s, speaking with curriculum leaders, visiting lessons, looking at class work, and speaking to both staff and children. They noted that the school’s “broad and well balanced” curriculum enabled pupils to study a “carefully chosen range of topics in each subject” with “many opportunities for pupils to make links between their learning in school and the wider world”.
St Oswald’s headteacher, Paul Marley, commented: “At St Oswald’s, we are particularly proud of the positive relationships that exist between children, staff and families. We feel that our school community is a very special one, and the fact that this has been acknowledged in our latest Ofsted inspection report as being ‘exceptional’ is particularly pleasing. All stakeholders are committed to creating a culture of high expectations where children consistently achieve well and have a desire to be the best they can be in all areas of school life, so we were delighted that Ofsted identified pupils’ personal development as being ‘Outstanding’.”
He continued: “The response from the Ofsted Parent View survey at the time of the inspection showed that parents felt that 100 per cent of children were happy at the school, 100 per cent felt safe at school, and 100 per cent would recommend the school to others. This, along with the many positive areas of recognition within the report, rightly highlights what a fantastic place St Oswald’s is to both work and learn.”
Staff were praised in the report for ensuring “every opportunity is provided for pupils to thrive”.
“Leaders have developed a curriculum that meets the needs of the children well,” the report said. “It is ambitious [with] planned opportunities to improve children’s physical development, reading and mathematical knowledge.”
The inspectors were also impressed with the “many opportunities for pupils to learn outside the classroom”, with the school’s “educational visits, residential trips and wide range of after-school clubs” receiving honourable mention. “Pupils’ behaviour inside and outside of lessons is exemplary,” they reported. “Older pupils are role models for those just starting out in school. Pupils are proud of their school [and] enthusiastically undertake a range of leadership roles, such as being school councillors, art ambassadors and Sports Crew members. Leaders make sure that all pupils have access to new experiences beyond the classroom that educate and inspire them.”
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