DEAN CLOSE RECEIVES EXCELLENT REPORT FROM SCHOOLS’ INSPECTION TEAM
After an inspection in March 2019, Dean Close Pre-preparatory, Preparatory and Senior schools were all highly praised in their reports, receiving ‘excellent’ in all categories following in-depth inspections across all three schools.
The Independent Schools Inspectorate sent a team of inspectors who spent three days scrutinising all aspects of school life including academics, co-curricular activities, life in boarding houses, pastoral care and the arts, judging the schools under two headings of pupils’ academic and other achievements; and pupils’ personal development. Schools are given a judgement of Excellent, Good, Sound or Unsatisfactory for each of two areas: pupils’ academic and other achievements, and their personal development. All three schools received Excellent across the board.
In Pre-Prep, the broad curriculum and ‘irresistible learning’ environment were highlighted by the inspectors as an important part of the pupils’ excellent progress, from the very youngest pupils to Year Two, stating: ‘The pupils develop excellent knowledge, skills and understanding across all areas of the curriculum because of the quality and range of activities on offer, especially the frequent opportunities for exciting and stimulated learning on themed activity days. They exhibit a thirst for knowledge fuelled by highly effective cross-curricular links which relate to their personal and group interests.’ Excellent personal development was recognised, with exemplary behaviour, confidence and maturity celebrated as strengths: ‘The overwhelming majority of parents expressed their support for the care their children receive. They were especially appreciative of the promotion of good behaviour and the development of their children’s social skills and confidence.’
The Prep School was equally delighted with the results where its report clearly recognised the School’s desire to treat each child as an individual, stating ‘pupils have an extremely positive attitude to learning instilled through high expectations and a supportive environment that recognises and celebrates effort as well as success’. Also ‘The effectiveness of the school’s teaching is integral to pupils’ academic success, stretching every child to achieve to the very best of their academic ability and, as they move up the school, encourage them to be responsible for their own learning’ and ‘The quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent’. ‘Pupils achieve highly in all areas of the curriculum through well-paced and challenging lessons that incorporate clear success criteria. Pupils are highly adept at evaluating their own learning as time is allocated for self-assessment and reflection in most lessons.’
At Dean Close Senior School, Headmaster Bradley Salisbury commented: “The highest praise our teachers could receive is summed up in one of the lines in the report: ‘All pupils were seen to make excellent progress’. The use of the word ‘All’ goes right to the heart of the values of Dean Close and our commitment to do our very best for every single pupil and not to focus on one group at the expense of another.
“When it comes to the personal development of the pupils, there is something in the report for us all to take pride in – pupils, teachers, support staff and parents. ‘Pupils are highly disciplined, and their personal development is characterized by excellent standards of behaviour and respect, both for each other and their teachers.’ This is a great credit to all of those responsible for the education and welfare of our pupils.”
Warden, Emma Taylor, commented: “I am delighted that the inspectors found so many areas of excellence but in particular that they appreciated the outstanding personal qualities of our pupils, commenting on their mature, caring, respectful and self-disciplined approach which help to create ‘an extremely harmonious and engaging community’. This is no small part due to the vital combination of our incredibly dedicated staff and supportive parents.”
A full copy of each report can be found below.