‘Outstanding’ special school dubbed ‘best in Sunderland’

Head teacher at Sunningdale School, Celia Wright (left), joined staff parents and pupils who were pleased with the news that the school has been deemed oustanding in every aspecy by Ofsted inspectors.
Head teacher at Sunningdale School, Celia Wright (left), joined staff parents and pupils who were pleased with the news that the school has been deemed oustanding in every aspecy by Ofsted inspectors.
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STAFF at a Sunderland school are bursting with pride after being dubbed among the best in the city.

Ofsted chiefs have showered praise on Sunningdale School, grading it outstanding in every aspect.

The Shaftoe Road school, which caters for primary age youngsters with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, impressed the inspectors with its unique curriculum, excellent pupil progress, highly skilled staff and outstanding leadership.

Headteacher Celia Wright said everyone involved with the school is elated by the report.

“You always hope you will get a good report,” she told the Echo. “But I never in my wildest dreams imagined it would be outstanding in all areas.

“To get this under the current framework is absolutely brilliant.

“I am so, so proud of what we have all achieved and the staff are all absolutely delighted.”

Mrs Wright said it is fantastic to see the dedication, commitment and hard work of all the staff being recognised, and she also praised the partnership working of the school. “Our aim is to provide the very best education and opportunities we can for our pupils, and we do that in whatever way is best for each individual child.”

In the report, the inspectors said: “Pupils start school with skills that are well below those typically expected for their age.

“Taking account of their individual starting points, their disability or special educational needs, pupils make significant progress in developing their communication and mathematical skills and also in their physical and personal development.

“From the Early Years Foundation Stage through to the end of Year 6, pupils’ progress is excellent. This is because pupils benefit from high quality teaching, a bespoke curriculum and an extensive range of additional learning opportunities.

“The school promotes equality of opportunity exceptionally well. Regardless of pupils’ disability or special educational needs, all pupils are included in all activities in every class.

“All lessons are highly personalised, very well-planned, with activities that are imaginative and interesting to ensure pupils’ excellent all-round development.”

Inspectors said the quality of teaching by highly skilled and knowledgeable staff is outstanding.