School is simply ‘outstanding’

Morpeth's Abbeyfields First School pupils celebrate their outstanding OFSTED report.'REF 0203157520
Morpeth's Abbeyfields First School pupils celebrate their outstanding OFSTED report.'REF 0203157520

It’s straight As all the way for a Morpeth first school as it is rated ‘outstanding’ in all categories.

Abbeyfields First School is celebrating the astounding success in its latest Ofsted report.

Morpeth's Abbeyfields First School governors, staff and pupils celebrate their outstanding OFSTED report (left to right) Sheelagh Hallford, Coun Robert Arckless, head teacher Sandra Ford, Mairi Gibson and Colin Pearson.'REF 0203157941

Morpeth's Abbeyfields First School governors, staff and pupils celebrate their outstanding OFSTED report (left to right) Sheelagh Hallford, Coun Robert Arckless, head teacher Sandra Ford, Mairi Gibson and Colin Pearson.'REF 0203157941

At its last inspection in 2009 the school achieved a ‘good’ rating.

But this time it has received the ‘outstanding’ mark across all five categories of assessment — leadership and management, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, children’s achievement, and early years provision.

Headteacher Sandra Ford, who was praised for ambition, compassion and creating a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Ofsted has recognised the quality of education and care that the children at Abbeyfields receive.

“The report is a tribute to the staff, parents, children, governors and the wider community who work so hard to make the school such a special place.

The report is a tribute to the staff, parents, children, governors and the wider community.

Sandra Ford Abbeyfields First School Headteacher

“It is a pleasure and a privilege to be part of it.”

The inspection report recognises the school’s work to ensure that every pupil makes the best possible progress, and highlights the high level of teacher and pupil achievement.

Inspectors found that standards at the end of Year 2 are well above the national average in reading, writing and maths, and pupils continue to make excellent progress until they leave at the end of Year 4.

They said there is a “rich, varied and exciting curriculum”, while staff and governors were praised for their relentless approach to raising standards.

The pupils were found to be confident, articulate, polite, eager to learn, hard working and exceptionally well behaved.

The school was also commended for its measures to keep pupils safe and for its early years provision, which offers a wide range of stimulating learning activities to interest and motivate children.

Chairman of Governors Colin Pearson said: “Creating an outstanding school is a major journey that involves a massive team effort.

“Our whole ethos is about putting the children first so that they can achieve the best that they can.

“I am extremely proud of this achievement and want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication over the past few years.”

Morpeth town and county councillor for the area Andrew Tebbutt, who is also Vice-Chairman of Governors at the school, was equally delighted with the report.

“I am thrilled to bits,” he said.

“It is a fantastic achievement and is well deserved. We have a fantastic headteacher in Sandra Ford, a superb teaching team and the governors are very supportive.

“I can’t praise everybody enough, particularly the children. They are so well behaved, active, alive and they do so well. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe how good they are.

“It really is a privilege to be involved in such a fantastic school.”