Tees school named state primary of the year

St Bede’s Catholic Primary School in Marske-by-the-Sea has been named Sunday Times State Primary School of the Year.

The school – part of the Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust – beat off the challenge of the country’s finest primaries to win the prestigious award.

The honour came in Sunday’s edition of Britain’s longest-standing newspaper school guide, The Sunday Times Parent Power, which recognises the country’s top-achieving schools in both the state and independent sectors.

St Bede’s head Joanna Wilson said: “We are delighted that the school’s passion, drive and excellence has been honoured in this way.

“This achievement is testament to the amazing work carried out here at St Bede’s by the staff, its governors and our dedicated parents and pupils.”

Sunday Times Schools Guide editor Alastair McCall said: “St Bede’s is the embodiment of what an outstanding primary school should be.

“Its children achieve excellent results, but the school offers so much more than that. Committed and talented staff tease the best out of the children in a school where moral and spiritual development counts as much as academic achievement.

“The school works hard to build the self-confidence of all the children in its care, allowing everyone to contribute to school life. St Bede’s is a vibrant, happy school family that enhances the lives of the children within in and the wider community that it serves.”

Excellent performance by year 6 pupils in the government’s new key stage 2 Sats last year propelled St Bede’s from 24th in last year’s Sunday Times Parent Power table to joint fourth this year.

Pupils attained an average scaled score of 115 for reading, 113 for grammar and 114 for maths, giving them a combined score of 342 across all three assessments, which has led to St Bede’s being named State Primary School of the Year.

St Bede’s recently joined the newly formed Nicholas Postgate Catholic Academy Trust (NPCAT), a family of 25 schools, a sixth form and two teaching schools. The trust is dedicated to academic excellence and the spiritual and moral development of its 9,000 pupils.

“We are thrilled for one of our schools to receive this accolade so early in the life of our new trust,” said NPCAT chief executive Hugh Hegarty.

“We are extremely proud to have a number of outstanding schools in and around the Middlesbrough area within our trust.

“We are determined to build on the excellent achievements of schools such as St Bede’s so that more and more children who attend Nicholas Postgate Academy schools will receive educational and pastoral care that is as good if not better than anything on offer anywhere in the country.”

St Bede’s is one of four NPCAT primaries named in the Sunday Times top 250. Christ the King in Thornaby is ranked 143, St Edward’s in Linthorpe is at 184 in the list and St Thérèse of Lisieux in Ingleby Barwick is in 195th place.

Praising St Bede’s in its report, the Sunday Times team said: “Collaboration is also important at St Bede’s, part of the Nicholas Postgate Academy Trust, the second biggest of its kind in England.

“Parents are encouraged to share their ideas as well as their children’s successes outside school. The very active Friends of St Bede’s group organises events including Christmas and summer fairs to raise funds for school trips and extra resources.”