Headteacher Lindsay Phelps with St Gabriel’s Catholic Primary School pupils

St Gabriel’s Catholic Primary School, where “polite and respectful” pupils work hard and feel happy and safe has been rated Good in all areas by Ofsted. 

Inspectors who visited the school in March 2022 praised staff for organising memorable experiences linked to the curriculum, including trips to Boro’s Riverside Stadium.

The report said: “Staff make sure that everyone is included on visits. They make special arrangements for pupils who might find the trips, including residentials, difficult.

“Staff expect pupils to behave well, and they do. Pupils work hard and are proud of their work. Relationships between adults and pupils are highly positive.

“Pupils are excited by the new library and the wide range of books they can borrow. The librarians relish their role in helping others choose books.”

The school offers a breakfast club for anybody who would like to attend and there are after-school clubs on offer, including a SATs club to help Year 6 pupils with their maths studies.

Parents and carers are encouraged to come into school for special events and the school makes good use of social media to keep them informed and let them see how their children are enjoying school life.

“The curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND),” the report says.

“Activities are chosen carefully to match pupils’ needs. Teachers check to make sure that pupils understand new learning. Any pupil who is struggling is spotted quickly. They then receive support such as a daily reading session or additional teaching.”

Senior leaders are “effective” and have built a team of staff who are “determined to provide a high-quality education”.

Reading is prioritised and a new phonics programme has recently been introduced to help pupils learn to read.

The report also praises the school for the quality of online teaching and communication on offer during the lockdown.

“The school kept in touch with all the families,” the report adds. “Considerable thought was given to pupils returning to school. Leaders focused on pupils’ mental health needs and catch-up in basic skills.

The local governing body provides challenge and support to the school and strengthens links with the church and wider community.

NPCAT is also praised for providing high-quality challenge and support, especially for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, while inspectors say the school has a strong culture of safeguarding.

Headteacher Lindsay Phelps said she was delighted with the report and how it reflects the inclusive environment she and her team had worked hard to create at St Gabriel’s.

“The inspectors talked about how we provide a rich, aspirational curriculum for our children, which is so important to us because we want them to achieve amazing things in their lives,” she said.

“I’m also pleased they recognised that children with special needs and disabilities are fully integrated into the school and how we work hard to ensure they also reach their potential.”

Lindsay said the leadership team, staff, governors and families have all played a role in St Gabriel’s success. 

“We’ve always had a team ethos and we’re all in this together – I always say we are Team St Gabriel’s!” she said.

“The report reflects how everyone plays a really important role and without all those parts, the school wouldn’t run as effectively as it does.

“The children are also a huge part of that team. It’s their voice that really comes through in this report, and that’s very important for me.”

To view the full report, click here.