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School Success Stories

Evenwood C of E Primary School

Evenwood C of E Primary School is a small rural school in County Durham.  Our numbers fluctuate year-on-year and there is a lot of movement of pupils.  We have always been an Ofsted Good primary school and our results were always around national average.  We started working closely with St. Michael’s Primary School in 2017.  From this point onward, the school has gone from strength to strength. The support and collaboration has not only strengthened leadership but also teaching within the school ensuring we have better outcomes for the pupils.

The help and collaboration from St. Michael’s has enabled us to build on our staff’s strengths.  We have been able to develop staff to use their expertise to provide and guide other schools.  For example, we have two members of staff who support schools within the North East to improve phonics and reading.  They offer advice and practical solutions to ensure the teaching of phonics is of the highest standard (including implementing decodable reading books) and that the school are successful in getting all the children to read fluently.  In addition to this, one of the members of staff is now CPD lead for St. Michael’s English Hub.  She delivers training in phonics, reading and early language to the whole country and beyond.

We have also benefitted from the range of expertise St. Michael’s has to offer.  They have a knowledgeable curriculum lead who supports across both schools ensuring the children receive the best education possible.  The SENDCO from St. Michael’s has provided support to train the successful SENDCO at Evenwood and the EYFS lead (who is an Early Years Champion) has supported our ECT in Early Years with the baseline, planning and the environment.

SLT and middle leaders have worked closely to develop and implement a revised curriculum.  Subject leaders met regularly to develop LTP’s and progression of skills maps.  They mapped out key vocabulary and worked closely with the EYFS teachers to ensure the elements of the new framework were included.  Furthermore, the leads observe their subjects together across both schools.

As a small school, one of the difficulties was that the staff had no one to support with planning or to discuss ideas.  However, working with St. Michael’s has changed this.  Teachers from each year group across the school meet on a regular basis to discuss planning.  They share (where possible) planning and resources. 

Pentland Primary School

Pentland Primary School was one of the founding schools in the One Excellence Trust. Even though the school was judged good at their previous OFSTED (2013), significant work was needed around developing the curriculum, Early Years and the school ethos.

Since joining One Excellence, Pentland has gone from success to success. Our most recent OFSTED (2021, Good) states how ‘Children thrive at Pentland,’ ‘Leaders are passionate about securing the most ambitious outcomes’ and how ‘pupils respond to high expectations.’ The school has been supported with developing the curriculum and establishing a strong early years, by working with the expertise that is shared amongst the Trust.

However, what our school is most proud of is the community and family that we have become. We work closely with our community to ensure that we provide the support our families need. We even have our own hashtag and large social media following - #pentlandfamily. This is one of the main reasons why we know we are in the right Trust with One Excellence. The Trust values their family of schools and encourage collaboration and openness to ensure that all schools succeed to be the best they can for their families.