Teachers at Caedmon Primary have tackled the challenge of engaging the community and banishing racial prejudice with vigour and determination.
The school serves a deprived area near Middlesbrough that is almost exclusively white. In the past, families from other ethnic groups have been hounded out. Caedmon Primary responded by setting up international school partnerships and giving every part of the curriculum an international dimension.
The school tries to celebrate cultural diversity. It regularly organises exchange visits with a partner school in the Auvergne, in southern France. It did an exchange with African schools for teachers and pupils. In addition, teachers, Year 6 children and pupils from local secondaries visited Krakow and went on a study tour of Auschwitz.
School trips help to broaden pupils' horizons. Last year, Caedmon Primary worked with the British Museum to organise a trip for 96 children, teachers and some parents to the Tutankhamun exhibition at the O2 dome in London.
Parents who used to keep their distance now play an active part. A father has started a cub scout group and a mother a beaver group. Three mothers work as teaching assistants and are studying for the qualifications they need.
Judges' verdict: Caedmon Primary is "a truly community-based school with great achievements. It has an impressive range of partnerships, including an international dimension. The fact that it has become such an outstanding school following the amalgamation of two schools is a tremendous achievement. The development of school-parent-local community relations as part of the extended school has been first rate."
They also praised its "very impressive work and achievement against very difficult targets in challenging circumstances" and its efforts to tackle prejudice in the local community.
Special mention: Whitehill Junior School, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Judges' verdict: "This school is developing on so many fronts and making a huge drive forward in all of them. So many initiatives are all followed through to ensure an impact on student achievement." The judges also spoke of "fantastic involvement of staff in all areas. A really exciting school taking risks and making a difference."
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