Village continues to be a good school and is rated within the top 200 schools in the country for the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check.

Congratulations to Village Primary School in Stockton-on-Tees on achieving a rating of ‘good’ following their most recent Ofsted inspection in March 2023. The school, which is part of the Prince Regent Street Trust, was highly praised by the inspector. Particular attention was paid to the quality of education the school provides, with the inspection report highlighting that ‘leaders have designed an interesting and exciting curriculum’, and that ‘children make a fast start to learning in the early years’. The effectiveness of the school’s reading curriculum and phonics programme were celebrated: ‘leaders have a clear focus on reading to help pupils access all areas of the curriculum’, ‘children in the two-year old provision love sharing a book and listening to stories every day’ and ‘books match their phonic knowledge, so pupils quickly become confident, fluent readers’.

The inspection report includes many references to how effectively the school supports pupils’ personal development, for example, ‘pupils engage in tasks positively without letting any fear of making a mistake get in the way’. The school has a clear vision for all of its pupils which underpins many aspects of school life. This was recognised during the inspection with the report stating that, ‘pupils are motivated to ‘explore, dream and discover’ (the school’s motto). Staff and leaders at Village Primary School are passionate about preparing pupils for later life and to contribute positively to society; the inspection report expresses that, ‘leaders develop positive attitudes in pupils to  help them to be successful in their next steps in life.’

The headteacher of Village Primary School, Robert Birtwhistle said, “I am absolutely delighted with this report. The most pleasing aspect is that the inspection represents years of hard work, dedication and a commitment to improving teaching practice. Our focus on evidence-based pedagogy has really paid off and has been recognised as a key strength in school. The staff here are our greatest resource because they nurture the whole child, valuing the moral, spiritual, educational, sporting, musical and cultural talents equally. Another extremely pleasing aspect of the Ofsted process is that the parental surveys highlighted that ‘100% of parents would recommend this school to family members or friends’. This shows the support and community environment that exists at Village Primary School. The Ofsted inspector also recognised the key work that had been carried out with regards to workload and wellbeing. This approach has refined work life balance and ensured staff morale is high, which was praised highly in the report and further highlighted through staff questionnaires and staff voice. The inspection praised our whole-school curriculum for its tailored and bespoke arrangements for our children and our community. This has had a great impact with regards to children knowing more, their attainment and progress, and most importantly, their happiness.”

The school’s Chair of Governors, Lisa Davies, stated,” As Chair of Governors and as a parent, I could not be prouder and happier with the recent Ofsted experience. The inspector got to see a true reflection of what we see at Village on a daily basis; how amazing the school and staff are, and how they embrace and encourage our children to be the best they can. We were delighted to share our experiences with the Ofsted inspector, about how the school provides an engaging curriculum, has the wellbeing of the children at its heart and how the children feel happy and safe at school. Speaking on behalf of the Board of Governors, as we go forward, we will continue to work diligently to maintain and improve the excellent standards of our school. We would like to thank the wonderful staff, children and parents, for their ongoing support in making Village Primary School a great place for our children to learn.”

The inspector recognised that the school has high expectations for pupils’ behaviour and how leaders and staff promote positive attitudes to, and an appreciation for, learning: ‘pupils behave well and demonstrate good manners’ and ‘pupils enjoy being in school and love learning’.

Jaime Irvine said, “As the Vice-chair of Prince Regent Street Trust and the previous Chair of Governors for Village, I am immensely proud of this latest Ofsted report. As a Governor for the last 15+ years I can see that the school just keeps getting better and better. It was a hard decision to join a trust, however the support the trust has given the school, coupled with the autonomy and freedom to develop its own curriculum that meets the needs of the school’s particular cohort, has meant that the school has retained its own identity. This latest Ofsted encapsulates exactly what Village Primary stands for: a safe place, where children are loved and cared for while they are offered a rich and varied curriculum which has built a real love of learning. As well as a great Ofsted outcome, the school has recently received a letter from the Schools Minister congratulating the school on becoming one of the top 200 schools in the country for the multiplication tables check. This really highlights how the fantastic leaders and staff in school, supported by the governors and the trust, have instilled exceptionally high aspirations for their children. Well done Village Primary and Prince Regent Street Trust.”

It is highlighted in the report that arrangements for safeguarding are effective, and how ‘leaders make certain staff are well trained to spot any safeguarding concern’ and that ‘leaders take swift, appropriate action to help pupils and families’.

Leaders at all levels work tirelessly to ensure pupils at the school receive the best possible start to their educational and life journey. The report highly praises leaders’ efforts and achievements, stating that, ‘trustees receive good quality information from the local governing board’, that ‘school leaders are kept on their toes while being supported’, and that ‘leaders treat staff with trust and respect’.

Julia Armstrong, CEO of the Prince Regent Street Trust said, “This is our second successful Ofsted inspection this term and I am totally thrilled with the outcome. I’m so proud of all the staff, parents and other stakeholders of the school and all that they do to support our children; a very well-deserved outcome for an exceptional team! The trust schools are going from strength to strength, and Village Primary’s recent recognition from Nick Gibb for their exceptional multiplication tables check results that put them in the top 200 schools in the country, is a true reflection of that. Well done Village Primary: you are making such a difference to the lives of so many children!”

Village Primary School actively promotes Prince Regent Street Trust’s core values of excellence, opportunity and partnership, with the role, and positive impact of the trust recognised during the inspection process. The report states that, ‘the trust provides good support leaders and teachers’ and ‘trust-wide network meetings allow teachers and subject leaders to share ideas with colleagues’. This confirms that Prince Regent Street Trust appreciates, values and invests in its staff, and provides an appropriate balance of robust challenge and targeted, timely support.

Keith Morrison, the trust’s Director of School Improvement reinforced that, “Village Primary is a unique and highly effective school. Leaders recognise that pupils at the school need and deserve the best start in life and this is achieved through the tireless commitment and professionalism shown by all staff. Leaders have implemented an exciting and inspiring curriculum that has been specifically designed for, and is adapted to meet the needs of, all pupils. School leaders have high expectations and aspirations for all pupils; as a result, they achieve highly and are prepared for the next stages of their educational

journey. Having had the privilege to visit the school on many occasions, I am always struck by the warm, nurturing atmosphere that leaders and staff have created. There is a line in the inspection report which states that ‘teachers talk of being in a ‘school you want to be at’ and for me, this speaks volumes. All members of the Village community should be so proud of their achievements and of their pupils; the children at Village Primary are a credit to the school and to their community!’

The school’s recent Ofsted inspection and the subsequent report recognised many of the unique qualities of Village Primary School. The statements: ‘pupils aspire to be ‘the best they can be’, ‘relationships are warm and caring’, ‘staff celebrate pupils’ achievements’, and ‘pupils aspire to be voted to a position of responsibility’ encapsulate the school, its vision, its culture and its success, which is so richly deserved.

In addition, the school recently received a letter from The Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP and Minister for Schools, celebrating Village Primary School’s achievements in the 2022 multiplication tables check: “Your average pupil score of 24.4 out of 25 makes Village Primary School one of the top 200 performing schools in England …’. He goes on to say that, “The excellent achievement of your pupils is something the Government hopes to see replicated in schools across the country. Knowing times tables is vital for school and day-to-day life. Recalling multiplication and division facts up to 12×12 is important for progression in maths. That is why we recently introduced these checks, as a helpful tool for teachers to identify those pupils who need extra support. I would like both to congratulate your staff and pupils for their hard work and success and to thank you for your leadership in continuing to promote the important subject of mathematics.”

Mathematics Leader, Jordan Mansell said, “We are very proud of our children because they have worked incredibly hard at home and in school on their multiplication skills.”

The school’s Chair of Governors, Lisa Davies, stated, “Not only did the school achieve an amazing Ofsted report, but Mr Birtwistle received an email from Nick Gibb (Minister of State for Schools) congratulating the school for being in  the top 200 performing schools across England for the multiplication tables check. As a parent I know how much pride and effort is put into teaching our children their times tables and understand how important this is in developing their maths skills.”

Headteacher Robert Birtwhistle said, “This really is wonderful news. I am such a proud headteacher and it is an honour to lead this fantastic school community. I am proud of the children’s hard work, resilience and independent learning. Their self-motivation and desire to succeed is a key part of this success. I am also equally proud of the staff here. They mentor the children on a daily basis to be the best they can be. This does not involve stress, pressure or studying. Instead, staff facilitate learning, model problem solving and provide fascinating lessons that inspire young people. Equally, the support from the Thornaby community is fantastic. All of our parents and carers value learning, especially maths, as a much-needed skill in modern Britain.”

Director of School Improvement, Keith Morrison commented that, “This really is a remarkable achievement and is testament to the dedication of all staff and pupils at Village. The school’s mathematics lead has a strong vision for the subject, has high expectations of pupils and staff and has worked tirelessly to ensure the school’s mathematics curriculum is effective and that pupils achieve the highest of standards.”

Trust CEO, Julia Armstrong said, “Huge congratulations to Village Primary School! To be one of the top 200 schools in the country is just an amazing achievement! I could not be prouder of our staff and leaders. Another brilliant success story for our Trust!”

Village Primary School - OFSTED Report
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