Top marks for Hartlepool primary school after raising standards in latest Ofsted inspection

A Hartlepool primary school has reason to celebrate after a positive inspection by schools watchdog Ofsted.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 14:35 pm
Ward Jackson primary School headteacher David Akers with pupils (rear) Ryan Varney and Diana Jahani (front) Ebrima Jawo and Leah Petersen. Picture by FRANK REID

Ward Jackson Church of England Primary School, in Clark Street, has gone from requiring improvement after its last inspection in September 2016 to a rating of good overall now.

Every area of the school from its leadership and quality of teaching to pupils’ personal development and early years received the second highest rating.

Ward Jackson Primary School teaching assistant Sharon Constantine working with pupil Ava Nolan. Picture by FRANK REID

Headteacher David Akers said he was delighted with the report.

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“It’s testament to the hard work of the children and staff of the school,” he said.

“I think the school’s vision and ethos of being inclusive has been key to what we have achieved.

“And we have good support from the community and our governors.”
Another reason for their success is their priority towards reading as shown when pupils achieved the highest progress score in the country in last year’s tests.

Ward Jackson was also among the top 3% of schools in England for the progress pupils made in the three Rs’ of reading, writing and maths between the ages of seven and 11.

Mr Akers added: “We have developed a culture of high expectations and ambitions for all pupils.

“Regardless of what obstacles there are we say change your mindset and you can achieve more than you can imagine.”

The inspectors’ report described Ward Jackson as a caring and inclusive school where pupils are tolerant and respectful and every child is important.

They said: “The school is a calm and harmonious environment, where a smile is commonplace.”

Inspectors added Mr Akers provides strong and compassionate leadership, and he other leaders and governors have worked together to raise standards.

The work of support staff was also found to be highly effective so that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well over time.

The curriculum was described as broad and varied although work is being done so that pupils have more opportunities to be challenged to deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills.