Failure becomes a winner

9th December 2005 at 00:00

High expectations and a wide curriculum are the key to Woodhouse Close junior school being promoted from special measures to outstanding in just three years.

"We offer a range of after-school activities which almost all children do,"

said Anne Collingwood, head of the Bishop Auckland school. "It enhances their self- esteem and they believe they can achieve." Inspectors were impressed with the after-school sports clubs, when they visited in November 2004. "As a result, the school has gone from losing every match two years ago to winning the majority in competitive sports with other schools, much to the delight and surprise of pupils and parents," they said.

Mrs Collingwood was appointed in April 2002, seven months before the school was taken out of special measures. She said the school had refurbished classrooms, and reviewed resources, the currriculum and teaching. "We are here to develop young people so they achieve the best they can, for that we need to aim really high." she said.

And inspectors found that the 116 pupils appreciated the changes. "Pupils are proud of their school," they said. "When asked to name any place in the world they would like to go to, several named this school."

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