'Thrilled' Seaham children and headteacher describe their cheers and tears following good Ofsted judgement
“Thrilled” staff at Westlea Primary School wept tears of joy after the school was judged to be good following its latest ofsted inspection.
Early Years provision and leadership and management were also judged as outstanding at the “welcoming” Seaham school at which inspectors said “pupils thrive”.
The report highlighted how children “love” attending nursery and reception classes and the calm learning environment created by the “high expectations of pupils’ behaviour”.
Lead inspector Ian Dawson was particularly fulsome in his praise of leadership at the school.
He said: “Leadership at all levels of the school is exceptional. Governors and senior leaders ensure that all staff receive high-quality training and advice. Staff are extremely knowledgeable and are proud to work at the school. They share an ambition for all pupils to succeed in the next stage of their education.
"As a result, the provision for pupils is of a high standard and continues to improve.”
After being informed of the judgement, headteacher Debbie Hughes said: “We are thrilled with the report and the fact it recognises how staff at the school are willing to go the extra mile to get the best outcomes for children.
"We often refer to ourselves as the Westlea family and I’m pleased the report reflected that children felt safe and happy, and I’m proud all the pastoral work we do to support the children was also recognised.
"The inspector even said he would be happy to send his children here.
"The staff-room was euphoric when I gave staff the news. There were cheers and some people were crying. A lot of the staff have been here for a long time. They’re very caring and thoughtful and the report is recognition of all their years of hard work.”
The report commended the school on its curriculum and the development of children’s literacy.
Mr Dawson said: “The curriculum is broad. Pupils speak enthusiastically about their learning in subjects such as Spanish and music. Leaders have carefully sequenced the curriculum throughout the school.
"Pupils remember their learning over time. Leaders make regular checks on the quality of education and are quick to bring about necessary improvements.
"Reading is a priority throughout the school. Children in the Nursery class enjoy hearing stories and using new words. They’re ready for phonics lessons when they start in Reception class.
"The school’s phonics programme is well structured. Pupils read books that match the sounds and words they know.”
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The report praised the “strong relationships” established with parents and the provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities which allows them to “play a full part in school life”.
The judgement certainly won the approval of the children.
Nieve Donaldson, 10, said: “I’m really proud of the judgement. Not many schools get outstanding features. The teachers make lessons fun and interesting and when I joined in Year 4 I was made to feel really welcome.
"There’s also lots of after-school clubs.”
Janae Head, 11, said: “I’m very proud of the judgement. The school is a really nice place and the teachers are always there to help you.”
Jacob Coombs, seven, added: “The school deserved to get a good. The best thing is the teachers and how much they care.”
Ms Hughes said the school is now striving for outstanding at its next inspection.