School celebrates after getting top marks for third time

Headteacher Lesley Mavin, front, with staff and students at Columbia Grange School.
Headteacher Lesley Mavin, front, with staff and students at Columbia Grange School.
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A Wearside special school is celebrating after making it a hat-trick of outstanding reports.

Columbia Grange School in Washington, which caters for primary aged pupils with autism, has been given an outstanding report from Ofsted for the third time in a row.

Lesley Mavin, headteacher at the Oxclose Road school, said they are thrilled with the latest feedback following a recent visit from inspectors.

She said: “To get outstanding for the third time we must be doing something well.

“I think they see the individual nature of our pupils and how they are taught. It is about preparing them for learning.”

The headteacher said the parents are also very supportive of the staff and the school.

In their report following the visit, inspectors said: “The core of the school’s success is the strong relationships between adults, pupils and parents, and the detailed knowledge and understanding of each pupil’s specific needs.

“A good balance is struck between caring for pupils and meeting their welfare needs, and enabling them to learn and achieve the best they can. Consequently, pupils continue to thrive and develop in response to the excellent nurturing environment that the school has created.”

The inspectors said expectations of pupils’ progress are generally very sharp and there are high expectations for them.

They added: “Pupils arrive promptly and in uniform. Their day starts smoothly and calmly because of the warm welcome they get. Staff know pupils well and are

attuned to their feelings as they walk through the door.”