Thomas Walling Primary Academy, a member of the Laidlaw Schools Trust, has been judged as ‘Good’ following the previous judgement of ‘Inadequate’ in 2019.
The school, which is in Blakelaw, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was described as ‘warm and welcoming’ by Inspectors, who also acknowledged that students rise to the challenge of working hard and being respectful.
Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, the full schedule of graded inspections is not due to begin until Autumn 2021. As such Thomas Walling’s inspection was originally a Monitoring Visit which was upgraded to a full Section 8 inspection when Inspectors saw the extent of improvement across the school.
Inspectors also identified the opportunity pupils have to develop skills as part of their personal development, including teamwork, staying positive, listening, creativity and leadership. Another key aspect which was recognised was the strong focus on reading, describing how ‘pupils talk zealously about their favourite books and authors.’
Head of School, Rebecca Hann, said ‘We were delighted to receive such a positive grade in all areas and particularly pleased to have reading, quite rightly, identified as a strength of the school. This achievement is made all the more remarkable given the extreme disruption caused by the pandemic and is a credit to staff, pupils and parents alike.’
Laidlaw Schools Trust CEO, Ian Simpson, said ‘The outcome of this inspection reflects the hard work and dedication of staff to transform the lives of pupils in their community. That Inspectors deemed the improvements sufficient to upgrade the monitoring visit to a full inspection shows just how far the school has progressed. The whole school community; staff, students, parents and governors, should be proud of this fantastic achievement.’