A school that has been described as having pupils that have a "love for learning" has been handed an 'outstanding' Ofsted rating.

Inspectors gave Oakdene Primary Academy, in Billingham, the highest possible ranking after the school received its second outstanding inspection in all areas after inspectors visited on January 30 and 31 this year. 

The report said: “Pupils flourish and thrive at Oakdene Primary Academy. Pupils are inquisitive and demonstrate a love of learning. Pupils make impressive progress during their time in school and achieve high standards.

“Staff feel incredibly well supported and valued. This is a school where both pupils and staff are nurtured with exceptional levels of care.”

The Northern Echo: Pupils at Oakdene Primary AcademyPupils at Oakdene Primary Academy (Image: OAKDENE)

The Billingham-based school's early years provision was noted as the bedrock of the school, judged by inspectors to be outstanding, adding: "Exceptional learning habits are established from the very start in the early years."

Inspectors described the school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development as “exemplary".

The report highlighted the school's exceptionally well-designed curriculum - noting: “Leaders have sequenced knowledge and skills to enable pupils to revisit, embed and build on prior learning.”

“Parents appreciate the rich and creative curriculum that the school offers.”

Inspectors found that “there is a culture of ambition and high aspiration that permeates throughout the school. All pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils, achieve well”.

Liz Bramley, principal of the school, said: "This is such a huge achievement and I believe this is truly deserved recognition for each member of staff who go above and beyond for our pupils.

"To maintain our outstanding grade we have had to continue to drive initiatives forward and champion our curriculum – it is such an exciting place to work. 

The Northern Echo: The Oakdene Primary Academy buildingThe Oakdene Primary Academy building (Image: OAKDENE)

"The inspectors recognised everything unique and special about our school, sharing that it was a joy to observe the purposeful and positive relationships between staff and pupils and the focus that we have on individuals' well-being. The full Ofsted report  does reflect this.”

“I was incredibly proud of our pupils throughout the inspection.  They spoke to inspectors so passionately about the school, the clubs on offer and all the opportunities they love, sharing that the best thing about school is all the teachers."

Mrs Bramley added: “We were overwhelmed by the positive comments and support from our families during the Inspection and even more grateful for responses we have received after the Outstanding grade has been shared.” 

Darren Holmes, CEO of the Enquire Learning Trust, said: "This is an amazing outcome for the school, the Trust, the Billingham community, and - most importantly - the children who attend Oakdene.

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"It reflects the skill and dedication of every member of the school staff and a school-wide commitment to excellence for every child.

"It marks the exceptional teamwork that exists between school and home which makes a difference to pupils’ achievements and progress.

"When Oakdene was inspected in 2013 it was labelled as outstanding. In the decade that has passed, the inspection process has changed significantly and the bar for an outstanding judgement has been set at a much higher level.

"The report that has been published this year represents a significant and sustained improvement over ten years."