In a recent communication, three schools within Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust (BWCET), have been recognised for their outstanding performance in phonics education, placing them in the top 4% of schools nationwide. The commendation comes in the form of letters from the Education Minister, Damian Hinds, who lauded each school’s dedication to phonics instruction.

BWCET is a multi-academy trust that spans Northumberland, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham and includes 48 schools.

The three schools commended include St Agnes’ Catholic Primary School, St John Boste Primary School and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School. The schools are located in Crawcrook, Washington and Stanley respectively.

Phonics, a systematic approach to teaching reading, focuses on imparting essential skills to children, laying a robust foundation for literacy development.

The schools have demonstrated exceptional proficiency in phonics, securing their places in the top 4% of schools across the country, with St John Boste securing its place in the top 1%. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of each school’s approaches to phonics education.

The recognition was acknowledged by Education Minister Damian Hinds who extended his appreciation to the three schools through a formal letter. The letter specifically commends the school’s efforts, dedication, and the noteworthy contributions of both teachers and pupils. He added: “Your particular success in teaching phonics and early reading so effectively means your pupils are developing a firm foundation, from which they can become increasingly fluent and develop a lifelong love of reading.

The school’s commitment to high-quality phonics instruction aligns with a broader mission to improve overall literacy levels among its students. By imparting essential phonetic skills, the schools ensure that children possess a solid foundation for continuous academic progress.

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust’s CEO, Nick Hurn OBE, is proud of the schools performance and recognition, “To have three of our schools placed in the top 4% in the country for Phonics Education highlights the dedication and skill of our teachers. We are extremely proud to be recognised by the Education Minister, Damian Hinds who praised the effectiveness of our teachers and how they deliver outstanding results.

About Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust

Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust supports and partners with five secondary schools, one middle school, forty-one Primary and one first school in the west of our Diocese.

Our designated schools are located in four different Local Authorities: Northumberland, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham. Within our Trust we have a Centre For Teaching, a National Computing Hub, a National MFL Hub and a national accredited NPQ (National Professional Qualification for Headship and Leadership) provider.

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