A COUNTY Durham school has achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating from Ofsted – making it the 26th year of receiving the accolade after inspectors called the school a “remarkably rich and stimulating learning environment”.

Wingate Community Nursery School once again received the impressive accolade after inspectors from the education agency made it the first institution in County Durham to receive the rating under the new inspection framework

In their report, Ofsted said: "Leaders and governors at Wingate Community Nursery School have a very clear vision. Their ambitious leadership inspires staff, parents and the wider community for the good of the children.

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“The curriculum offered is built into the remarkably rich and stimulating learning environments.

“There are abundant opportunities to develop mathematical, scientific or artistic knowledge. Members of staff skilfully help children to make sense of the curriculum around them. Adults allow children to play, while taking every opportunity to engage them in rich conversation."

Having been influenced by visits to pre-schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy and those in Denmark, Wingate have developed their own way of working with young children.

The Northern Echo: Wingate School has a 'holistic' approach to education, which inspectors liked. Picture: WINGATE.Wingate School has a 'holistic' approach to education, which inspectors liked. Picture: WINGATE.

After achieving the ‘Outstanding’ award, Becky Wood, headteacher of the school, expressed her “privilege” at leading the school to the achievement.

She said: "Clearly, holding on tight to our beliefs and values around respecting and protecting children and their childhood has been acknowledged and valued."

“I couldn't be prouder of my school, staff, children, families and the community.”

As well as praising sections of vital subjects, Ofsted inspectors also reported: "The children's understanding of the world is impressive. Children who have spent time at the cottage in the woods or at the allotment have detailed knowledge about plants and animals.

Read more: Middlesbrough school rated 'Good' by Ofsted

"Staff continually help children to understand potential risks. However, they do not mollycoddle children. They allow playfulness, encouraging children to develop a healthy awareness of the great outdoors. This approach helps children to play safely, with a spirit of adventure"

Wingate is based on the philosophy traditional, linear, adult-led teaching does not necessarily lead to learning and certainly not learning that sticks.

After the ‘Outstanding’ rating for the school, Durham County Council have also praised the parents, staff and children at Wingate.  

Councillor Ted Henderson, portfolio holder for Children and Young Peoples Services at the council, said: "We are delighted Wingate Nursery School continues to maintain its long-term status as an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school.

“This is a continued brilliant reflection on leaders and staff within the school and fantastic for the children. The parents, carers and the community of Wingate can be confident of the very best educational provision in this area of Durham.”

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