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Head's Blog

Ofsted Validate our 'Journey to Excellence'

At Steyning Grammar School our aspirational ‘journey to excellence’ is based on our belief that students should have a fully-rounded holistic as well as academic education - this equips our students with the skills to ‘flourish’. I was delighted that Ofsted validated this journey in their recent inspection of our school, and confirmed we have the right school development plan in place. They understood us as a school, confirming we are rapidly improving with an aspirational culture, clear leadership and vision. They were impressed by how teachers plan to support student progress, use questioning and discussion to develop student understanding and give helpful feedback and guidance.

 

I am pleased that the inspection team confirmed that our previous Ofsted judgements remain in place – this means we are a ‘Good’ school with outstanding features. This is under the new and tougher framework introduced since our previous inspection, and sits alongside our recent ‘Outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted for Boarding, and our ‘Outstanding’ SIAMS (Church of England) inspection. We are a reflective school, always determined to improve; the targets Ofsted set us for further improvement were already in our school development plan and Ofsted acknowledged the ‘green shoots’ in these areas, also noting "parents, pupils and sixth formers are rightly proud of Steyning Grammar School and all that it achieves...parents recognise and value the well-rounded education that the school provides".

 

It does not surprise me that Ofsted were impressed by our students - visitors to the school regularly comment on the calm, happy and aspirational atmosphere and the confidence and pride of our students. Our recent Challenge Partner quality assurance review commented that "teachers promote an exceptionally strong learning culture...the school's aim to inculcate a 'thirst for learning' is successful". Whilst this validation of our ethos and journey is great to hear, we will continue to look at how we can improve our school further to enable every student to 'be the best they can be'.

 

Pausing to reflect is one of the most important parts of the learning process - stopping to consider what has gone well, and what we could do better, if we are to meet our full potential. This applies equally to me as a Headteacher as it does to each of our students. A reflective school is one that constantly strives to improve, confident in its ethos and values. This newsletter reflects on the huge variety of ways our students have shown their learning character so far this year, in their academic studies and in their commitment to the vibrant life of our school. I am proud of each of their endeavours and achievements and thank students, colleagues and home for the support that guides this success.