Wyedean School Press Release Nov 2016
Challenge Partners Review of Wyedean School November 2016
The rapid and sustained improvement of standards at Wyedean School over the last couple of years since the OfSTED judgement of “Good” in November 2014 has been validated as “Good” with the recent review of Wyedean School by Challenge Partners. Challenge Partners is a school improvement network group of over 350 of the leading schools in England and was developed from the highly successful “London Challenge” group. Wyedean School joined Challenge Partners earlier this year to access the very best of educational innovation, leadership and teaching & learning development as it continues to be a beacon of educational excellence in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley borders. Wyedean School was invited in 2015 to join National School Commissioner’s, Sir David Carter’s “Race to Outstanding” group of 12 leading schools in the South West as well as being a case study in 2016 “Parliamentary Review” because of the outstanding improvements made at the school.
The Challenge Partners team were led by an experienced senior OfSTED inspector and were in school for several days in November observing lessons, meeting with school leaders, interviewing students as well as analysing school data. The English faculty were accredited as an “Area of Excellence” by the team who said “There is a culture of high expectations within the department to which pupils respond with enthusiasm. All English teachers have a collaborative approach to school improvement, striving for excellence with enthusiasm and determination”
The team were very impressed with the vision of school leadership and governors, the school’s rapid progress and the direction the school is moving to become outstanding.
The report highlighted the positive school culture as key to the school’s success:
“…the new Principal has worked tirelessly to develop a culture of openness, transparency and trust. In particular, leaders have been empowered and are enjoying the freedom to innovate. As a result, the school now has a clear vision and is a harmonious place where everyone feels valued. This is helping to drive school improvement because all stakeholders are pulling in the same direction”
On working with the local community and looking more global the report noted:
“Senior leaders have quickly recognised the importance of re-engaging with the local community…there is a thriving evening adult education programme and an emphasis on looking outwards. The recently introduced global learning programme is helping in this strategy… the school has a number of interesting subjects on offer such as Mandarin, Latin and critical thinking. Numbers of pupils choosing to study modern foreign languages and triple science are increasing…The innovative curriculum offer is helping to attract pupils to the school and to broaden their horizons.”
On teaching and learning for students the report emphasised:
“There is a very positive climate for learning throughout the school… In classrooms, there is an inclusive atmosphere which enables quality learning to take place. Pupils feel safe to express their views and contribute their ideas… There are very strong relationships in the school and this is helping to drive forward school improvement. Staff know their pupils well and have a firm knowledge of the ‘group’ to which they belong. As a result, classroom teachers are able to target work to help their specific needs… Overall, there are high expectations of pupils in lessons. They demonstrate a willingness to learn and they want to do well. Consequently, pupils behave well and engagement is high. The school has come on a long journey and there is a sense of cohesion and moving forward together… Teachers encourage pupils to strive for excellence and pupils enjoy working collaboratively together and rising to this challenge”
Principal, Rob Ford said “This fantastic report highlights the hard work and determination everyone associated with Wyedean School is aspiring to in terms of compelling learning and outstanding education for our community. I couldn’t be more proud of the staff, students and community of Wyedean on how far they have come in two years”
The report is available from the link below and social media.