I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to share with you the letter I have received from Ofsted following our inspection earlier this month (link here). For clarity, this was a Section 8 Short Inspection, which means that the inspectors would only be present for a single day with the objective of assessing the school in comparison to our previous inspection rating of “Good” in 2015. There were three of Her Majesty’s Inspectors, led by Dr Michael Wardle.
I am very pleased to inform you that the school remains a “Good” school with many features of excellence that are discussed in the letter. The letter is a very fair and accurate reflection of Kings Priory School. I will provide a brief summary below of the key findings; however, if you have time I would strongly encourage you to read it in full and share with your son or daughter.
The inspectors commented that the “pupils are happy to be at school and your staff are proud to be part of this community”. We were particularly delighted it was noted in the letter the inspectors confirmed the consistent and exceptional engagement, politeness and friendliness across all phases of the school. This was exemplified by the comment “Students in the sixth form are fine ambassadors for your school and model the behaviour that you expect from all of your pupils”.
The inspectors reinforced the high level of attainment that we pride ourselves on at Kings Priory School. The letter states that “One striking feature of your school is the high level of attainment that pupils reach at every key stage. The proportion of pupils who pass both English and mathematics at grade 4 and grade 5 by the end of key stage 4 is well above the national average”.
Similarly, our commitment to pastoral care and welfare was also recognised by the inspection team. They confirmed “Pastoral care is at the heart of your school. A variety of opportunities are used to develop pupils’ character, wider skills and relationships with each other”.
It was fantastic to hear that our curriculum is fully fit for purpose to meet the aspirations of our pupils. It was also delightful to hear that the inspection team found that our pupils are also very committed to their education: “Pupils are very focused in lessons and work hard at school. They know the importance of a good education”.
As everyone knows our vision is “to nurture individual talent, to inspire pupils to work hard and respect others as they prepare to lead a full and successful life”. And clearly, even though the inspectors were only here for a day (well, eleven hours!), they obviously recognised our whole school vision and ethos. They commented that: “You and your staff are highly effective in this regard. Pupils focus well on their studies, care for each other and are well prepared for the next stages in their education, employment or training”.
The inspectors were also impressed with the unusually high parental engagement. They said: “although many parents made individual suggestions on how to make your school even better, there was an overwhelming agreement that yours is a good school with many strengths. The vast majority would recommend it to parents moving into the area. The comment of one parent typified the views of many, saying, ‘I feel that the staff genuinely care about my children’s education and also their well-being. As a parent, I feel listened to, and I would not hesitate in recommending this school to others’ ”. I am exceptionally grateful for this. Not only am I thankful for the specific purpose of inspection, but also for your continued support as a community of parents and pupils. Once again, sincerely, thank you to all.
Finally: In addition to thanking yourselves I would also like to congratulate and deeply thank both our pupils and our staff. The pupils were, and continue to be, highly responsive and the staff do what they do every day, which demonstrates their unreserved commitment. Finally, I appreciate that although an Ofsted inspection can represent a dreaded day for anyone working in a school, I am grateful for the sharpness and professionalism of the inspection team who took the time to understand our unique school.