Church inspectors praise school after rigorous assessment

Church inspectors praise school after rigorous assessment

28th September 2015


SCHOOL children are celebrating an outstanding start to the new term after securing a glowing report from church inspectors.

The newly named St Mary’s Cockerton C of E School, Darlington, has been graded outstanding after a rigorous inspection.

Earlier this year Ofsetd rated the school as good with outstanding features. Now the National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) body has gone one better in recognising how it meets the needs of all pupils.

Inspectors highlighted:
• The head teacher, senior leaders and governors for providing strong leadership and ensuring Christian ethos pervades decision making

• High-quality relationships at all levels, resulting in outstanding pastoral support, allowing pupils to feel safe, valued and to rise to the challenge of learning

• Integral, relevant and engaging worship and with the help of the vicar and chaplain a sustained spiritual life

• RE for contributing greatly to the character of the school and challenging pupils’ thinking about diversity within different faiths

• Mutually beneficial partnerships which serve the local community well and promote a sense of belonging and responsibility.

Inspectors said: “Everyone is inspired, driven and well supported in a calm, peaceful, learning environment.”

Head teacher Wendy Aitken joined the school in April and also continues to be head at High Coniscliffe, another outstanding C of E primary school.

She said: “It was a very intense inspection and our chaplain Sarah McTimoney spent the day with inspectors showing them our unique features. Children were interviewed and gave a tremendous account of themselves and the school.”

The school opened its gates at the start of term with a new name – St Mary’s Cockerton – and logo designed by the children themselves. The image of St Mary’s Church next door is supported by a hand, flanked by hearts, symbolising friendship and love.

Foundation governor Chloe Tadros said: “The new logo sums up the school beautifully and I am sure was an important element in helping the inspectors understand us perfectly. It really does mean something to the children who are very proud.”

Pupils were also celebrating another first, the laying of eggs by Mary and Sunny, two chickens reared from eggs by High Coniscliffe children.

News in September