While a debate rages about the possible closure of some of the county’s middle schools, a north Northumberland school has secured a good Ofsted rating.
Glendale Middle School, in Wooler, was inspected on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 3 and 4, and the report was released earlier this week.
The school was ranked as good overall (the second of the four ratings) with behaviour and safety of pupils rated outstanding and leadership and management, quality of teaching, and achievement of pupils all good.
It follows the release of the Key Stage 2 league tables last December, which saw Glendale Middle School rated as one of the highest-performing schools in the county for its SATs results.
Headteacher Mike Deane-Hall said: “The school is very pleased with the outcomes of the recent inspection.
“The inspector who visited the school in early February was very complimentary of the quality of teaching and learning across the school and of the rich curriculum enjoyed by the children throughout their time at Glendale Middle School.
“The report supports the work of the school to provide high-quality education and guidance for our young people and recognises the work of the staff, children, governors, families and volunteers in making Glendale a great place to be.”
The Ofsted report explains that the school is good in terms of teaching and learning because ‘the vast majority of pupils make good progress and achieve well’ and ‘all pupils are eager to learn and work hard in lessons because they are keen to do well’.
The teaching is good as the staff ‘know their pupils well and plan activities that engage their interest and are well matched to their needs. This helps pupils become successful learners and motivates them to work hard’.
“The rich curriculum gives pupils many exciting and memorable learning experiences in and out of school,” it adds.
“This provides excellent support for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”
The school received a top rating of outstanding for the behaviour and safety of pupils. The report says: “Pupils’ excellent behaviour makes this a very happy, welcoming school where everyone feels valued.
“Pupils show high levels of respect for themselves and their teachers. Older pupils are excellent role models for younger ones in the way they take responsibility for helping the school run smoothly, as well as in their caring and friendly conduct around the school.”
Two main points were highlighted as to why the school is not yet outstanding with the first being that ‘the quality and impact of middle leadership is inconsistent’.
There is also a concern that ‘a small number of pupils in each year group do not make enough progress in their reading and writing skills’.