Sunderland school praised for development of children’s reading as part of Good Ofsted report

Ofsted inspectors have praised Dame Dorothy Primary School for the “high expectations” staff have of all pupils, after grading the school Good in all areas.

By Neil Fatkin
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 4:55 am

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A key focus of the inspection was the views of the children, who described the Monkwearmouth based school as ‘like a home where other pupils are your family’ and said that bullying doesn’t happen.

Pupils told inspectors their emotional well-being is valued, teachers care for them and they would “recommend their school to others”.

Inspectors recognised the pivotal role reading plays in pupils’ academic development at the school.

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The report stated: “Leaders know reading unlocks learning for pupils across the curriculum. They say enabling pupils to develop a love of reading is one of the most important things they do.

"High-quality texts are chosen to engage pupils. By Year 3, most pupils are reading with expression and confidence. Regular checks are made on pupils’ reading. These help teachers to provide support for those at risk of falling behind.”

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Inspectors also highlighted the strength of the school’s music curriculum, the “good” behaviour of children and provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Dame Dorothy Primary School has been judged good following its latest Ofsted inspection.

The report added: “Pupils have positive attitudes to learning and a desire to succeed. These are hallmarks of pupils at Dame Dorothy Primary. Pupils with SEND are identified early and extra support is given. This can include specialist equipment or alternative ways to record work.

"No one misses out on learning or any part of school life.”

Lead inspector Phil Scott was particularly impressed with the caring ethos at the school and commended the extra-curricula provision.

Mr Scott said: “Teachers, teaching assistants and office staff uniformly agree they enjoy working in school. One teacher described it as a ‘home from home’. The experienced headteacher is trusted and respected by staff and parents.

"Pupils’ personal development is supported well through a range of planned activities. They conduct litter picks, beach clean-ups and plant bulbs. Visits to the university raise pupils’ ambition.

"Pupils compete successfully in a range of sports at local and national level.”

Governors were also identified for sharing school leaders’ “passion to see pupils excel in all aspects of school life”.

One area for development identified is to “ensure the curriculum in all subjects includes sufficient detail about what pupils are expected to know”.