Ethos and Vision

Ponteland Middle School is the first middle school in Northumberland to sustain two ‘outstanding’ judgements from Ofsted, in 2008/9 and 2013/14. It was the second time PCMS was judged outstanding in every category [achievement of pupils; quality of teaching; behaviour and safety of pupils; and leadership and management]. Only 3% of schools nationally sustain their Ofsted ‘outstanding’ rating. Ofsted [December 2013] reported ‘that the progress of Year 5 children accelerates rapidly so that they are well above average by the time they leave the school at the end of Year 8’. The 600plus pupils who attend the school mostly come from two feeder first schools at Stamfordham and Darras Hall. They transfer to the Middle School at 9+ and follow a four-year course of study; and at 13+ pupils transfer to Ponteland High School to continue their education. ‘Pupils are proud ambassadors for their school. They have an extremely positive attitude to learning and work hard at all times. High levels of mutual respect pervade the school so that incidents of poor behaviour, bullying or racism are rare.’ [Ofsted 2013]

April 2016. PCMS granted Academy Order to convert in Autumn 2016.

September 2014 Ponteland Middle School appointed as a Teaching School. PCMS formed The Ponteland Partnership Teaching Alliance with Berwick Middle School; Holy Trinity First School, Berwick; Amble First School; Stobhill Gate First School; Cleaswell Hill Special School; Collingwood First School; and the Royal Grammar School. The alliance is supported by strategic partners: Northumbria University, Newcastle University, Schools NorthEast, Royal Grammar School, Capita, Newcastle United Foundation, Viagenco Kenya, Wild Dog Outdoors. The purpose of a teaching school alliance is to raise standards through school to school support, continual professional development, engage in research and development and ensure that the most talented schools leaders are supported as successful headteachers.

PCMS was awarded the Full International School status in September 2014 in recognition of the outstanding work bringing the world into the classroom and curriculum. This is a prestigious badge of honour and one in which we recognise the enormous support and commitment of international colleagues and staff, past and present, in their commitment to opening our eyes and hearts to become true global citizens and help prepare the pupils for successful future careers in an increasingly global economy.

The school is accommodated in a relatively modern, 40 years old, building with facilities grouped around two internal courtyards as follows: 17 classrooms with interactive whiteboards, some with specialist features as, for example, the music room; two small instrumental practice rooms; a well equipped ICT suite; library; dining room; sports hall with three additional classrooms; design and technology; art; food and textiles; humanities; drama and two science laboratories. Outdoors, we have 9v9 3G pitch, extensive games fields, a hard play area with tennis courts. The 9v9 all-weather artificial turf pitch was completed in Summer 2014. We are a ‘Healthy School’, a ‘Sports Mark’ school and have anti-bullying accreditation. We are committed to maintaining our organizational health through improvement, commitment and consistency.

All staff here aim to: foster each child’s intellectual, physical, aesthetic, spiritual, emotional, moral and social development; help each child to learn how to learn; help each child enjoy the experience of learning and find satisfaction and a sense of achievement; enable each child to realise his or her potential through the development of the necessary skills, concepts and knowledge; develop the child’s ability to reason;help the child to pose questions and devise investigations to answer them and critically to interpret the results obtained.

The aims of Ponteland Community Middle School clearly state our intention to assess pupils’ learning for the purposes of recording their achievements and of diagnosing problems and difficulties. We totally endorse the best practice in assessment which has the following features:

It matches the method of assessment to the nature of the learning;

It involves the learners themselves in the process and improves their learning;

It helps to ensure continuity of learning;

It communicates information about progress to pupils, parents and the community of education professionals.

Teachers and teaching assistants are allocated classes for subjects and curriculum areas. ‘The quality of teaching is rated outstanding. Staff have high expectations and set challenging work. Teachers have an excellent knowledge of their respective subjects and use their enthusiasm and love of learning to plan interesting lessons that motivate pupils to do well. The curriculum is outstanding. Achievement is also outstanding in English, Mathematics, Science, Music, Modern Foreign Languages and Physical Education. A large number of pupils participate in an extremely wide variety of extra-curricular activities and this makes an excellent contribution to their achievement, particularly in music and sport.’ [Ofsted 2013]

‘The Headteacher leads a strong team of senior and middle leaders who share her dynamic vision and determination to provide enriched teaching and learning. Leaders, including governors, have the highest expectations of themselves and the staff they lead. Their enthusiasm and drive is shared by all who work in the school’ [Ofsted 12013] We have high achieving pupils, proud parents, highly knowledgeable staff, committed governors and supportive friends and family’. The Chair of Governors reported that ‘we have an excellent understanding of the school and have clear roles which we execute thoroughly. The Ofsted report is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of all staff and pupils of which the community will be proud.’