Inspection report

INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE INTEGRATED INSPECTION October 2014

EXCELLENT AND EXCEPTIONAL

The Inspectors classified College as 'excellent' in every category, with the rarely-awarded category of 'exceptional' for the quality of the pupils’ achievements and learning.

The Quality of Academic and Other Achievements

The quality of pupils’ achievements and learning is exceptional. The school is highly successful in meeting its aims to encourage intellectual curiosity and a love of learning through the development of self-­motivated, enthusiastic, successful young women.

Pupils have highly developed critical thinking, reasoning and decision-­making skills. They are meticulous in the presentation and organisation of their work, and are lively and articulate during class discussion. A large number of pupils display exceptional flair in aesthetic or creative areas, and musical and dramatic skills are often outstanding. They develop a high level of skill in a wide range of team or individual sports.

The school’s aim that every girl should have access to an intellectually challenging and coherent curriculum is met extremely well. The programme of extra­curricular activities is outstanding.

The contribution of teaching is excellent. Teachers are extremely ambitious for their pupils and, at the same time, they are supportive and encouraging.

The Quality of the Pupils’ Personal Development

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils is excellent. The degree of personal development is remarkable, arising from a culture in the school which promotes self-­reliance, independence, initiative and collaboration.

This strength is validated by the parental and pupil questionnaire responses, which praise the school’s internationalism, social awareness, its secure and caring environment, as well as the development of a self­determining and resilient character.

The quality of pastoral care is excellent. The relationships between all pupils, regardless of nationality, culture or faith, are harmonious, supportive and mutually encouraging. Pupils around the school are courteous, well­mannered and often joyful. Boarders show confidence, maturity, independence and tolerance. They stated that they feel happy, comfortable, safe and secure at the school.

The Effectiveness of Governance, Leadership and Management

The quality of governance is excellent. Governors provide an excellent oversight of the life and work of the school. The Governing body benefits from the wide range of experience and high level of expertise of its members. Governors play an integral role in shaping the clear vision and strategy that are in place.

The quality of leadership and management is excellent. Leaders inspire others to adopt a whole­hearted commitment to the highest standards and to meeting the academic and pastoral needs of the pupils. They have established a culture and ethos in which every girl matters and where their progress and well­being are paramount.

Priorities and targets to guide the further development of the school are thoughtful, far­sighted and clearly set out and justified in the comprehensive development plan.

Links between the school and parents are excellent. Responses to the pre-­inspection questionnaire show that parents are overwhelmingly pleased with the education and support provided.

Recommendations

There was one recommendation for further improvement. The school is advised to take further steps to involve pupils in decision-making processes and to explain the rationale behind new initiatives and changes to the school’s procedures.

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