A Sunderland primary school which puts pupils at the “heart of all decisions” has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Pupils at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, which is part of Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust, “embody the school’s values, including compassion and tolerance”.

Ofsted lead inspector Richard Beadnall said in his report following the inspection of the Ryhope school in March, “In this small, but multicultural school, pupils demonstrate high levels of respect for others. They understand the school’s motto of ‘small but mighty’. A pupil reflected the words of others by saying that ‘everybody together makes us strong through friendships and harmony’.

Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are positive. A purposeful learning environment pervades the school. Pupils are inquisitive and welcoming to visitors. One parent summed up the feelings of many others by saying, ‘The school creates a safe environment where my children are comfortable to be themselves and accept everyone’.

The school leaders’ “high expectations for achievement” were evident in the teachers’ classroom practice and pupils’ understanding of their learning. The curriculum is also tailored to the local area and the inspectors said in their report it was evident how proud the pupils are of Ryhope and its heritage.

Pupils enjoy coming to school – attendance is high – and they find the high-quality curriculum “relevant and exciting”.

The school’s intentions for high-quality personal development are clear,” continued the report.

Leaders plan rich opportunities that extend beyond the academic curriculum. These include pupils performing at Durham Cathedral and visits to a residential home for the elderly. There are opportunities for pupils to develop their awareness of other faiths and religions, including an educational visit to a Sikh place of worship in Sunderland. The school has close links with the neighbouring church. Provision for pupils’ spiritual development is strong.

Leaders at all levels, including governors and trustees, have a clear understanding of the school. They put pupils at the heart of all decisions. Staff are well supported in terms of workload and wellbeing. Leaders have implemented curriculum open mornings and ‘family club’ sessions after school. Parents are very involved with the school. One parent summed up the thoughts of others by saying, ‘St Patrick’s is very much part of the Ryhope community’.”

Executive headteacher Jane Ward said: “The report is a wonderful reflection of the hard work of both staff and pupils but also of the fantastic support that parents and carers give us. The report highlights that we truly are a school family that puts the importance of community at the heart of all we do.

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.