Success at the double for town school

The new Headteacher at St Robert's First School, Vivien Cunningham.
The new Headteacher at St Robert's First School, Vivien Cunningham.
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A MORPETH school has achieved inspection success at the double.

And its recently-appointed Headteacher is aiming to build on the excellent features identified in reports from Ofsted and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

Vivien Cunningham was given the job at St Robert’s First School on a permanent basis having been the Acting Head since February last year.

Both inspections were carried out within the space of a few weeks and Ofsted said the school was at least good in all sections, with four areas specifically noted as outstanding.

These are the effectiveness of care, guidance and support, extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community, extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles and extent to which pupils feel safe.

It also says that St Robert’s is improving strongly thanks to the new leadership team and the children, staff, parents and carers are very positive about all aspects of the school.

The religious education inspection from the diocese praised the staff and governors for being totally committed to the ethos of Catholic education.

Its report says: “Excellent relationships and communication are a key strength of the school which foster the development of a community in which inclusion is given a high priority.

“Pupils have positive attitudes to learning and are happy to come to school.”

Mrs Cunningham said she was delighted that both inspections identified similar outstanding and good areas.

“This school enjoys a very good reputation in the community and its success has been recognised and celebrated in these reports,” she added.

“All credit should go to the whole staff, governors, children, parents and carers as well as the support of the parish community.

“We can now concentrate on moving forward from good to outstanding in the areas the inspectors have identified.”

The new Headteacher has been at the school in Oldgate for 11 years, initially as a teacher and latterly as Deputy Head before taking on the Acting Head role.

She will be aiming to maintain the strong collaborations with the wider community and other Catholic schools in the local partnership and diocese.

And among other initiatives, Mrs Cunningham will look to further develop its international links – including its partnership with five other European schools through the Comenius Project – and with schools and groups across the UK to give the children a better understanding of cultural and socio-economic issues.

She said: “I’ve had many happy years here as a teacher and consider it a great privilege to be given the opportunity to serve St Robert’s school and parish community as Headteacher.

“St Robert’s offers a vibrant and challenging education to children of all faiths and denominations.”