OUTSTANDING REPORT FOR ‘WARM, WELCOMING, INCLUSIVE’ SCHOOL

An NPCAT school described as “a haven where pupils flourish” is celebrating after being rated Outstanding in all areas in a glowing diocesan inspection report.

Inspectors said Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, on Cargo Fleet Lane in Middlesbrough, lives out its mission to “Love one another as I have loved you”.

“Corpus Christi is a warm, welcoming, inclusive school where all are valued, well respected and very well cared for,” the report says.

Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School pupils


“The welcome from pupils, staff, and governors is warm and friendly and is a true sign of the excellent relationships which are a key strength of the school.

“The behaviour of the pupils is very good. Pupils and staff, parents and governors are all rightly very proud of their vibrant and inclusive school. Pupils speak of a deep sense of belonging.

“Staff strive to lead by example and have very high expectations of the pupils’ behaviour. As a result, the pupils’ behaviour is very good; they are polite, happy and very keen to share their love of learning and school.”

Corpus Christi headteacher, Carolyn Baker

Headteacher Carolyn Baker said everyone at the school is delighted with the report, which affirms the hard work and commitment of staff, parents and pupils.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled, it’s amazing,” she said. “The first line about us being a warm, welcoming, inclusive school is really important. We want to be a real strength in the community.”

Asked what makes the school so special, Mrs Baker said: “Every member of the team goes above and beyond what they’re asked to do and we’re a real community school.

“We have excellent behaviour and that’s all down to strong relationships, dedication, perseverance and wanting the very best for our children – we have the highest ambitions for every one of them.

“We’re very well supported by our families and that support is reciprocal. We look at what we can do for the whole family as well as for the children.

“We run parenting courses, an eco-shop and a credit union, and our parents are involved all the way through. We also help them with interviews, CVs and benefit advice.

“The parents help the children and also improve their own life chances in terms of qualifications and experiences and signposting them to further education, voluntary work and employment.

“The parish is also a massive part of our school. We’ve been so supported by Canon John Lumley, who really values our school and the part it plays in the community.”  

Corpus Christi, which is located in one of the most deprived wards in England, currently has 280 pupils and also offers a nursery and facilities for two-year-olds.

Mrs Baker has been headteacher for 19 years and previously worked at fellow NPCAT schools St Edward’s, St Alphonsus’ and St Joseph’s, Middlesbrough.

The report says pupils enthusiastically live out their faith, taking a leading role in fundraising activities such as the CAUSE Christmas hamper campaign and a gardening club that grows food for isolated members of the community.

It says: “Staff are supported through continuing professional development on Catholic life and a staff retreat. A dedicated prayer room displays the school’s commitment to the further development and enrichment of its Catholic life.

“Leaders on all levels are passionately committed to the mission of the Church. The parents have a clear understanding of the school mission and are highly supportive of it.

“The parish priest is highly involved in school life and is proud of the strong links between the parish and the school.

“Trust and leaders are ambitious for the school. The school is proactive in its response to all diocesan matters and actively promotes the Bishop’s vision in all that they do.

“Religious Education is outstanding because it is given such high importance within the school and enables pupils to make outstanding progress. Pupils achieve very well, they enjoy their learning and they show understanding of deep religious thinking.”