Best Practice

Case study: From good to outstanding

After a recent inspection, Sugar Hill Primary converted from a good school to outstanding across all categories. Emma Lee-Potter finds out what secrets lie behind the school’s success

When Ofsted inspectors visited Sugar Hill Primary School last year (2017) they were unequivocal in their praise. They remarked on the school’s “calm and joyful” atmosphere, described the children’s work books as “immaculate” and praised the head’s “aspirational vision” for her pupils.

The inspectors judged Sugar Hill, a large primary school in Newton Aycliffe, to be outstanding across the board – the first school in Country Durham to convert from good to outstanding in all areas under the last Ofsted framework.

This achievement was followed soon afterwards by a letter from school standards minister Nick Gibb, congratulating the school on being among the top two per cent of schools in England for the progress made by pupils between key stage 1 and key stage 2.

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