04 December 2023

Glowing Ofsted Report

Glowing Ofsted Report

Ofsted report recognises outstanding personal development at The Swanage School 

The Swanage School has been judged ‘outstanding’ for ‘personal development’ following a recent Ofsted inspection. The School’s excellence across the board was recognised with ‘good’ judgements for all other criteria (‘the quality of education’, ‘behaviour and attitudes’, and ‘leadership and management’) and with a ‘good’ grading for overall effectiveness.  

Impressive curriculum and teaching practices

The inspectors were impressed with the ‘innovative curriculum’ which they described as ‘ambitious and carefully planned'. They praised skilled teaching practices and the focus on subject work that links to personal, local, national and global challenges.

Strong ethos and relationships

The report also describes the strong ethos, positive relationships and inclusiveness found at the school, saying that 'positive relationships between staff and pupils underpin life at the school', along with the enrichment achieved through extra-curricular opportunities afforded to students

Outstanding personal development

The ‘outstanding’ grading for ‘personal development’ recognises the passion within the school for raising aspirations, driving skills development, and for developing talents and interests. The report also highlights that students are 'prepared for their futures', that ‘careers education and guidance is prioritised’ and that there is a ‘strong focus on digital literacy’

Headteacher Jenny Maraspin said:

The inspectors were particularly impressed with our integrated and impactful curriculum, students’ motivation and positive attitude to learning, and with our teachers for their high expectations, tailored questioning, and subject expertise. We are incredibly proud that the report gives recognition to the excellent education and opportunities The Swanage School provides for students. In turn, this recognises the tremendous efforts of our staff on behalf of students. They really are relentless in their dedication to continually drive the school forward. To receive particular recognition for the positive role the School plays in the personal development of students is very pleasing given the importance of the school experience for preparing young people for their next steps and in helping them grow the confidence and skills to build successful lives.

Chair of Governors Tim Marcus said:

On behalf of the Board of Governors, I congratulate the entire staff team in having their hard work and commitment to providing a broad education for every student so extensively recognised and praised. It is incredibly rewarding to have the school’s unique ethos shine through so clearly to the inspectors during their visit. They picked up on the strong sense of pride in the school felt by both staff and students, and this is a pride that the Board of Governors share.

In looking at all aspects of the School’s work during their visit on 7-8th November 2023, the inspectors met with academic and pastoral leaders, students and governors, and received feedback from parents via the Parent View survey.  They visited lessons and looked at samples of students’ work. The areas chosen for a ‘deep-dive’ review were mathematics, science, humanities (including project based learning) and physical education. They observed behaviour as students moved around the school and at break times and visited Crews (tutor time). 

Of the 19 mainstream secondary schools in the Dorset Council area, The Swanage School is one of only 5 to have achieved an outstanding judgement against one or more of the criteria.  

Read the full OFSTED REPORT.

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