Headmaster’s Newsletter – 23 February 2018

Dear Parents,

The report following the Ofsted inspection that took place earlier this term has now been published and I am pleased to share it with you.

All visits by outside inspectors are to be welcomed because they throw new light on existing practices and often provide fruitful ideas on which to build further progress in our common goal of seeking to enrich the lives of all our pupils. I am glad that the inspectors have acknowledged the breadth and richness of the educational experience that we provide for your children. The core curriculum is referred to variously as stimulating, innovative and imaginative. The special character of a Hill House education is the great range of opportunities we offer all our pupils in the array of sports we teach, the vibrant musical life of the school, the quite remarkable Art work of the children (which can be seen on display in all the school buildings) and the inspiring drama productions in Founders’ Hall. These are not “extras” but part of the daily life of our school.

The school has had these four principles since it was founded.

  1. Safety of the child
  2. Happiness at work and games
  3. Good manners and discipline
  4. Preparation for the next school

The first three of these we can perhaps group under the Ofsted heading of “Personal development, behaviour and welfare”. It is gratifying to see the inspectors have acknowledged this to be an outstanding aspect of the school. The section on Safeguarding is of course integral to this too and again here the report talks of the “school’s caring, nurturing and family ethos”.

There is one point raised by the report that may provoke questioning; the perceived lack of sufficient challenge to the most able pupils. It would appear that a lack of “centrally stored data” in our new assessment system has counted against us. At the same time the inspectors acknowledge that the pupils are well taught, the teachers know their pupils well and have secure subject knowledge resulting in good progress. The impressive number of academic scholarships and awards that our candidates have won to leading Public Schools so far this year is also testament to the outstanding work done in our classrooms where we are always stretching our pupils to achieve and reach ambitious targets.

Above all our pupils are safe and happy to be at school. Our tutors are inspiring them with a love of learning and a desire to succeed and to achieve their ambitions. Some of these things the inspectors failed to notice or acknowledge but you will know, from your own daily experience, that they are there and that we have a team of excellent, devoted staff who are totally dedicated to the care and enrichment of your children’s lives.

I would also like to thank you for your tremendous support, which is rightly noted in the report and was commented on by the inspectors during their visit. As always, our primary duty is to provide your children with the best and broadest education we possibly can.

Richard Townend

Download a copy of the Ofsted report via this link