‘Inspirational’ school celebrates ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report

22nd May 2023

An “inspirational” Thornaby school is celebrating after being judged to be outstanding in all areas by Ofsted – with no areas for improvement highlighted. Congratulations to St Patrick’s Catholic Primary, in Thornaby, which is part of the Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust.

Exemplary Behaviour

Five inspectors visited St Patrick’s Catholic Primary in Westbury Street over two days in March, speaking to staff, parents and governors and some of the school’s 420 pupils. The report says:

“Leaders fulfil their ambition to develop pupils as caring young people, sensitive to the needs of others and proud of the responsibilities they take. The rich curriculum develops pupils both socially and academically. Pupils enjoy learning and are appreciative of the high-quality teaching. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. From the early years, pupils learn a strong moral code and take responsibility for their actions. Relationships between staff, pupils and parents are very positive. Leaders provide a wealth of enrichment activities. Pupils learn to serve their school and local community through their many leadership roles. Pupils flourish in this inspirational school.”

Inspectors praised the way the school’s eco-warriors encourage care for the environment and the school’s charitable fundraising, including supporting children in Ukraine. They said Year 6 children can speak, read and write French with confidence and commended support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. 

Wonderful Report

Responding to the report, Executive Head Teacher Mark Ryan, who also leads Christ the King Catholic Primary in Thornaby and St Thérèse of Lisieux Catholic Primary in Ingleby Barwick, said:

“This is a wonderful acknowledgement of what a special school St Patrick’s is. We are especially proud of our children and appreciate the support we receive from parents and carers. We are also grateful to our governors, who work tirelessly and selflessly to ensure that our school can be the very best it can be. We are indebted to our wonderful staff and for the support we receive from our trust. We feel blessed each day that we can lead and work with dedicated and talented people.  Without them all, this achievement would not have been possible.”

Head of School James Conwell added:

“We are delighted for our school and parish community, from our hardworking children and supportive parents to our dedicated staff and governors. St Patrick’s is an inspirational place for everyone and it’s great to see our children flourish every day. This is a truly wonderful report and one to be immensely proud of. We believe our children get the best possible start in life because of how we work together as part of the St Patrick’s family. Although no areas of development were identified, we will continue to develop and shape the future for our children, so they receive the very best education and learning experiences possible.”

Chair of Governors Gary Wilson said:

“The judgement was no surprise to me. I see it as a vindication of the tremendous amount of hard work carried out over several years by every single member of staff, teaching and non-teaching. St Patrick’s is a wonderful place and everyone associated with the school, including parents, carers and children, should be rightly proud of what they have achieved. The ‘outstanding’ grading is also great news for the people of Thornaby and the local parish community. On behalf of the governors, I would like to thank everyone involved in making this happen, with particular gratitude to head of school Mr Conwell, executive Head Teacher Mr Ryan and the senior leadership team.”

St Patrick’s is one of 38 schools throughout Teesside and North Yorkshire that makes up Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT), including two sixth forms and football academy.

NPCAT CEO Hugh Hegarty added:

“This report is an acknowledgement of the fantastic learning opportunities and experiences realised daily at this wonderful school. All the staff work relentlessly to live out the vision and work collaboratively with parents and parish community in an assured manner that reflects their commitment and highest professionalism. The leadership of Mr Ryan and Mr Conwell is exemplary and their vision and ambition for every child and every staff member is authentic. I have had the privilege of working with the chair of governors Gary Wilson and all the local governing body and value all their support and challenge that is clearly demonstrated in the report. NPCAT have shown since 2018 that we know our schools and that our trust has excellent staff, wonderful governors and supportive parents. Moreover, we have systems and processes in place that ensure NPCAT is recognised nationally as a leading force in primary education provision.”

St Patrick’s was also rated outstanding in its latest Diocese of Middlesbrough inspection.

NPCAT is a Schools North East Partner Trust. If you’d like to find out more about our Partner School Programme click here.

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