Watch as headteacher describes how staff are ‘over the moon’ after good Ofsted judgement at Sunderland school ‘where children flourish’

Staff at St Leonard’s Catholic Primary School are “over the moon” after Ofsted judged the school to be good following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors judged the school, which is located in Silksworth, to be good in all areas, and highlighted how pupils are proud of their school, where they “learn, grow and shine together harmoniously”.

The inspectors also recognised the “warm relationships between staff and pupils” and described how children “flourish” at the school.

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A key feature of the report is the “transformation” at the school since new headteacher Dionne Dunn was appointed in May last year (2022). The report highlighted how one pupil told an inspector “the new headteacher has sorted the whole school out”.”

Following the judgement Mrs Dunn said: “The staff were absolutely delighted and over the moon with the outcome and when they were informed there were tears of both joy and relief at being acknowledged as a good school.

"I was most pleased the report recognised the ‘excellent behaviour’ of the pupils, the kind and caring ethos, and how well we are preparing the pupils for the next stage in their lives.”

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Watch as headteacher describes how ‘thrilled’ staff wept tears of joy after good...

Lead inspector Mark Dent was fulsome in his praise of the school’s curriculum and focus on developing children’s literacy.

St Leonard's Catholic Primary School headteacher, Dionne Dunn, celebrating the school's good Ofsted inspection with the children.

He said: “Staff nurture pupils while they experience a well designed curriculum. Lessons build learning in a logical order and pupils are already benefiting from the more structured teaching approaches and detailed curriculum content.

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"Reading across the school is a strength. Pupils talk with excitement about the new books they have to read and how their reading is improving. Staff are well trained in delivering the school’s chosen phonics programme, which means they deliver lessons with confidence and skill.

"Teachers quickly identify pupils falling behind with learning their sounds in phonics lessons and provide additional help so that pupils catch-up.”

Inspectors also praised staff at the school for developing a “calm and peaceful” learning environment and a culture of high aspirations for pupils.

St Leonard's Catholic Primary School headteacher, Dionne Dunn, said staff were "over the moon" following the school's good Ofsted judgement.
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Mr Dent also recognised that spirituality is “at the heart of the school”, which is evident in the CAFOD and Mini Vinnies after-school clubs which give children the chance take part in projects to “make the world a better place”.

The judgement certainly has the approval of the school’s pupils.

Head Boy Finley Waterson, 10, said: “I’m really proud of the judgement. The inspectors came into my lesson and asked what is my favourite subject and I told them Maths. The best thing about this school is how friendly everyone is and the clubs which help people who are less fortunate.”

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Classmate Mia Barlow, 10, said: “Everyone is really proud to get a good and there was a big cheer in my classroom when we were told. The teachers always make the lessons fun.”

Daniel Alapa, 10, who joined the school in December, added: “Everyone at the school is really friendly and they have made me feel welcome.”

The school is part of the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust and Mrs Dunn is now striving to achieve an outstanding in the their next inspection.

She said: “My dream is we will be a full school with a nursery and we will be an outstanding school – I won’t settle for anything less.”