I am delighted to attach the letter from Her Majesty’s Inspectors following our recent OFSTED inspection before the holiday break. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in December 2012. The headline is that the school continues to be good.
Our previous inspection judged the then Berkeley Primary to be a good school. However, since that inspection, OFSTED have introduced their new and more rigorous inspection framework, raising the bar for schools. In the new OFSTED framework, schools that were judged to be good at their previous inspection normally receive a short one day inspection approximately every four years. This is the one day inspection we received in July.
These inspections are designed to focus on the quality of leadership, the capacity of leaders to drive improvement and the safeguarding arrangements. Inspectors also look at leaders’ work to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. When considering pupils’ outcomes, inspectors look at published data and want to see that the pupils currently in school are making at least good progress. There is also a focus on pupils’ confidence and self-assurance as learners, their pride in their achievements and the impact this has on outcomes.
Short inspections are reported by a letter from the HMI to the Headteacher, which may feel a little short to read compared to full inspection reports, but does highlight our strengths and our next steps.
The school’s overall grading cannot be changed under the short inspection framework. However, ‘If there is sufficient evidence of strong practice and improved performance of a good school, and it is reasonable to believe that the school may be judged outstanding if it received a full two-day inspection, the school will receive a report in the form of a letter, setting out its strengths and areas of marked improvement and informing the school that its next inspection will be a full two-day inspection, to take place within one to two years.’ (Short Inspections – a guide for parents)
Therefore, I am thrilled that the Ofsted Inspector has recommended that the school’s next inspection be a full two-day inspection and wrote: ‘The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Based on the evidence gathered during this short inspection, I am of the opinion that the school has demonstrated strong practice and marked improvement in specific areas. This may indicate that the school has improved significantly overall.’
I am delighted that the inspector obviously recognised the tireless hard work, commitment, dedication and diligent professionalism that occur every day across the school. The Inspector was extremely impressed with the educational experience that is a hallmark of our school and everyone at the school will continue to work tirelessly to deliver the very highest quality service for all of our pupils.
Thank you to everyone that took the time to complete the Parent View questionnaires as your support for the school came across very strongly. “One parent’s comment summed up the many positive ones: ‘The school is well run. It both challenges and encourages the children. The staff are professional, friendly and approachable.”
And finally our pupils. The inspector was very impressed with how they conducted themselves in and around the school, which is a considerable testament considering it was the end of the summer term and the day of the school disco. I am very proud of them.
I am sure parents will agree with me that this is a very strong report. The school is driven by the determination to provide the very best possible teaching and learning opportunities for all the pupils without ever losing sight of the caring and supportive ethos that makes our school’s learning environment so rich.