Top Class! Boldon nursery school leads the way in UK eduducation

OUTSTANDING...Boldon Nursery School headteacher Sue Stokoe.
OUTSTANDING...Boldon Nursery School headteacher Sue Stokoe.
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A SUCCESSFUL nursery is being held up nationally as an example of how to drive up standards.

Boldon Nursery School, in Reginald Street, Boldon Colliery, is one of 10 schools featured in a new report aimed at helping schools move up the Ofsted rankings.

It went from satisfactory to outstanding in five and a half years, under the guidance of headteacher Sue Stokoe.

The report, Getting It Right First Time, published by Ofsted, aims to help other providers replicate its success.

It said of the nursery: “The leadership of the headteacher has transformed the quality of teaching and as a result, children make outstanding progress.”

Mrs Stokoe said the school was asked to take part as a result of her leadership being praised in Ofsted inspections.

She added: “We are quite an innovative school as well.”

An Ofsted inspector visited the school in February to compile a report, which is now available on the watchdog’s website and will be distributed to schools.

Effective training, strong partnerships, action research and reflective practice are highlighted as keys to its success.

The report said: “A well-qualified and highly trained staff team has been developed through training targeted on individual as well as team needs. Sue’s approach is to spend lots of time in the classroom alongside staff. She models good teaching and coaches staff individually.”

The nursery has links with other outstanding nursery schools, a national training organisation and a national early years charity, as well as the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme. The report adds: “Staff are learning together about what makes a difference to children’s learning and progress.

“They have improved how they listen to children and use children’s interests as a basis for planning learning and teaching.

“Children are outdoors most of the time and are enthusiastic, independent learners.”

Staff were also praised for supporting, questioning and challenging one another.

Mrs Stokoe said: “I feel so proud of the team we have got at Boldon Nursery School.

“To be selected was an honour, and to be held in such high esteem by Her Majesty’s Inspector is just an accolade to the hard work we have done as a team.

“We feel so proud of what we have achieved.”

Although the proportion of good or better providers has risen from 64 per cent in 2008 to 74 per cent in 2012, two fifths of early years settings are not improving fast enough to give children the best start in life.