A SCHOOL in County Durham that is the first in the county to achieve ‘World-Class Schools’ status is opening its doors for parents and students in years 5 and 6 to visit and see for themselves.

Parkside Academy, at Willington, has joined an elite group of schools that have been awarded the World Class Schools Quality Mark (WCSQM) for consistently being rated ‘Outstanding’ in Ofsted inspections, over a number of years.

With only 60 schools in the country being awarded this prestigious status, Parkside firmly believes that success is built on a foundation of treating every child as an individual.

Headteacher, Kelvin Simpson said: “I am very proud indeed of the school and everyone involved in helping us to achieve this accolade. The staff see it as a vocation, not a job, and, as such, put in an inordinate amount of time to assist the students. They go above and beyond what would be expected of a teacher’s role.”

As part of the rigorous application process, students completed an audit covering all aspects of the school’s provision, and produced a video entitled ‘A Week in the Life of Our World Class School’ which showcased Parkside’s teaching, learning and extra-curricular activities. Director of WCSQM, Miranda Perry, said that she was “extraordinarily impressed with the way the students represented the school.

The academy has also been recognised as number one for progress in the country for 2017/18, with every student in every subject being at least one-third of a grade higher than the national average.

Headteacher Kelvin Simpson attributes their success to two major principles:

  • ‘Your child is our child,’ using the premise that the school challenges itself that what they are doing for each child, would be good enough for their own child.
  • Marginal gains, whereby they consistently strive to make that 1 per cent difference that adds up to make a huge difference.

The school operates an intensive intervention programme for all ability ranges with the aim of achieving one grade higher.

Parents and students are being invited to the school’s Open Day on Thursday, September 20, between 6pm and 8pm, to see for themselves how they have achieved this remarkable double award. Kelvin will be welcoming visitors at 6pm and 7pm in the Lecture Theatre

It’s not only at Open Days that the school is happy to accommodate parents. Parkside Academy has an ‘open door’ policy whereby any parent can come in during the school day to see the school at work. “We’re proud to let them see our working day.”

Parkside Academy, Hall Lane Estate, Willington, Crook DL15 0QF

Telephone: 01388 746396