The inspection report has now been published, and can be downloaded below. As you will see, the school has been graded ‘Good’. The inspection followed our inspection in 2015, and which identified a number of areas where we needed to improve – greater consistency of challenge and assessment in teaching, and higher expectations of our students.
We are delighted (and relieved) that the inspectors confirmed what we believe – that the school has improved significantly since the last inspection. Our results at GCSE and A level are much improved since 2015 – particularly in terms of progress. The inspectors wanted to be sure that the improvements made will be sustained, and they found much evidence that current students are making very good progress. As you will see from the report, they found much greater levels of challenge in the lessons they observed, and found that our students are rising to that challenge.
The action points give us some very helpful pointers to those things which will bring about further improvement. Our aim must be to be ‘outstanding’ at the next inspection, and this will be achieved if we can make sure the very good practice evident in most places – be it in assessment, appropriate challenge and leadership – becomes universal. We will be publishing our OFSTED Action Plan in the near future, and I hope parents/carers will continue to help us by providing feedback on these plans once they are underway.
The last two years have been a challenge for staff and Governors, but we have tried to bring about improvement without adding pressure to our students – other than from giving them an appropriate level of challenge in their learning. I am delighted that the inspectors continue to praise our high standards of pastoral care, and that they recognised our commitment to providing a broad and balanced education to our students, as well as excellent academic progress.
I would like to thank my colleagues for their hard work, flexibility and support, and Governors for performing their role of ‘critical friend’ so assiduously. We have also been well supported by the Sigma Teaching School and the Borough of Poole, as well as colleagues from other local schools. As ever, progress is a team effort.
A J Baker