School praised for consistently high results
Pupils and staff at Hardenhuish School are celebrating after receiving an excellent Ofsted report. A team of five inspectors visited the school at the end of April and, after watching dozens of lessons and quizzing the staff, they declared it good in all areas. It was Hardenhuish’s first inspection since converting to an academy three years ago and the first since the government raised the bar in the way schools are rated.
The inspectors praised many of the school’s strengths including the fact that the percentage of students achieving five or more A*-C GCSEs including English and Maths is consistently above average. They also noted: “The quality of teaching in the sixth form is at least good with much being outstanding. As a consequence, students achieve results at AS and A level much higher than the national average.”
Headteacher Jan Hatherell said: “At Hardenhuish we know what we are doing well and are delighted this was recognised by Ofsted. Our whole community of parents, students and staff are working to achieve the very best academic outcomes alongside our wider programme of enrichment and personal development.” The report noted: “The headteacher, other senior leaders and the governing body have a clear vision for the school and high ambitions for the students. They have implemented effective initiatives to improve the quality of teaching which are already having a positive impact on students’ learning.”
The inspectors added: “Teachers plan lessons that enable students to become actively engaged in their learning, encouraging high levels of independence and challenge. Students’ behaviour, both in lessons and around the large school site, is good and students feel safe. Staff and students treat each other with respect and are proud of their school community.” The team also looked at the parents’ views of the 1600 pupil school. Mrs Hatherell said: “It is very satisfying Ofsted recognised our parents are pleased with the progress their children make at our school, and with the quality of teaching.
“Our team of pastoral managers were highlighted for praise for being highly regarded by pupils in their interventions, zero tolerance approach to bullying and the use of restorative justice to rebuild relationships quickly and efficiently. “The involvement of young people in decision making at Hardenhuish through the School Parliament was also commended, including the students’ achievement of the Eco Schools pinnacle award – the Green Flag, which was received just in time to fly on the flagpole throughout the inspection.”
Mrs Hatherell said there were a few improvements suggested by the inspection team: “There are always things to work at, and at Hardenhuish we have never been complacent. Ofsted recognise we’ve significantly reduced the gap in attainment for a very small group of students eligible for the pupil premium and their peers but have set us the target of closing it further. This is a challenge we embrace
“There are very many positives we’ve taken from the report and we’re all really thrilled that the Ofsted team recognised the tremendous improvement in our school since 2008.”