Minister praises committed staff of ‘outstanding’ Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon

Education Minister John O'Dowd with pupils from Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon, which is celebrating an 'outstanding' inspection report
Education Minister John O'Dowd with pupils from Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon, which is celebrating an 'outstanding' inspection report

An ‘outstanding’ inspection report for Sperrinview Special School in Dungannon is a clear indication of the commitment of teachers and staff, according to the Education Minister, John O’Dowd, who visited the school on Wednesday.

Mr O’Dowd met with Principal, Paula Jordan, Vice Principal, Ruth Walker, as well as pupils, teachers, classroom assistants and staff. at the school, which achieved the highest accolade in the categories of Achievements and Outcomes, Provision for Learning, and Leadership and Management.

In the inspection report, the school - which has also been awarded an Eco Schools green flag award - was praised for the level of support and care shown by staff to the children.

Other areas highlighted for excellence were numeracy and literacy, with inspectors reporting: “The school has a broad range of mathematical resources, including information and communication technology (ICT), which is used effectively to support, stimulate and consolidate the pupils’ learning. There are regular whole staff discussions of effective practice in numeracy, and appropriate professional development opportunities for staff. The processes for self-evaluation leading to improvement in the provision for mathematics are embedded well, highly effective and lead to improvement.”

The development of a school-based phonics programme, meanwhile, was praised for its efforts in effectively meeting the needs of pupils, while “a broad range of imaginative resources” benefit pupils with sensory needs.

Sperrinview was described as providing a “highly inclusive, caring and respectful” environment, with the report authors stating: “The staff are highly committed to the welfare of all pupils and to promoting high standards in behaviour and work; the very effective contribution of the support staff enhances greatly the development of each pupil. The school maintains very effective and purposeful communication with parents and

relevant agencies. The pupils spoke enthusiastically about their school, and about the subjects they enjoy and the progress they make towards independence through, for example, operating a cafe within the local further

education college, and their contribution to recycling.”