A Washington catholic primary school has been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted, following its most recent inspection. St John Boste Catholic Primary School in Oxclose, Washington, was praised for commitment to high standards for its 172 students and its staff, with inspectors noting how pupils thrive thanks to its ambitious and stimulating curriculum.

Following February’s inspection, the report found young children joining the school benefitted from a warm and nurturing environment thanks to a culture of respect. Pupils in all years are polite, confident and well behaved, kind and happy to help each other.

Youngsters were described as ‘mature and articulate’ when meeting visitors, are accepting of those different to themselves and benefit from a no bullying culture, with one pupil describing the school as ‘like a family’.

Inspectors highlighted a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities available to all pupils, praising the school’s netball, dance and gymnastics clubs along with the availability for enhanced learning opportunities and the chance to learn musical instruments.

Also highlighted was the school’s commitment to reading, which in turn ensures pupils achieve well. Regular staff training allows teachers to deliver lessons confidently and consistently and as a result, ‘pupils have developed a love of reading and talk enthusiastically about the books they choose’.

The report praised the school’s bold move to introduce a unique and rigorous curriculum, which features ambitious vocabulary which pupils respond to well. This curriculum is meticulously constructed to allow pupils to make links between all subjects.

The school added its own nursery in September 2023, which also received praise; inspectors highlighting how children have settled in well and made fast progress through a tailored early years curriculum which ensures three-year-olds are well-prepared for starting Reception.

Denise Cushlow, headteacher at St John Boste Catholic Primary School, welcomed the report, which also brought attention to the teaching staff’s strong subject knowledge, made possible by high quality networks and subject support groups.

She said, “This is a fabulous recognition of the efforts of pupils and staff as a community working hard to make this an excellent school. We were particularly pleased with how the ethos of the school has made it a place where children want to come and learn. It is clear that we are passionate about giving our staff the tools and skills to deliver the very best education. Our training and consistent internal development has helped our teachers educate the next generation to the highest of standards.

This inspection is the first undertaken at the school since it opened as an academy in 2019. It had previously been rated as ‘Good’ back in 2012, when it was then known as St John Boste Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School.

St John Boste Catholic Primary School is part of the Bishop Wikinson Catholic Education Trust (BWCET) which consists of 48 schools across the north east.

Following the rating, Nick Hurn, CEO at BWCET praised the team, “The Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust is proud to see St John Boste Catholic Primary School receive an ‘outstanding’ rating in the latest Ofsted report,” he said.

This highlights the hard work and dedication that is put in by all the staff members at the school. St John Boste is built upon an ethos and culture which allows children and staff to maximise their potential and we are delighted this has now been recognised by Ofsted.

About Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust is a leading Trust covering the West of the Newcastle and Hexham Diocesan region. The Trust supports and partners with five secondary schools, one middle school, one first school and forty-one primary schools in the west of the Diocese.

If you would like to know more please visit: bwcet.com.