STAFF and pupils are celebrating after Sandhurst School received an improved Ofsted report.
The secondary school, in Owlsmoor Road, was rated 'good’ – a level higher than its previous 'satisfactory’ grade.
Headteacher Debbie Smith said she was “very proud” of the positive feedback given by inspectors and paid tribute to the teachers.
She said: “So much is dependent on what Ofsted says about schools and for us the recognition that our hard work is paying off and the boost to staff has really ignited staff spirits.
“They came back to school after the summer full of ideas and in full support of me and in what we are trying to achieve.
“We have gained a momentum that is moving us forward at pace. I am very grateful to all the staff for their support and enthusiasm.” Inspectors found all four of the areas they looked at – achievement of pupils; quality of teaching; behaviour and safety of pupils; and leadership and management – were good. The report, which was published last Wednesday, said that some of the teaching is outstanding and pupils behaved maturely.
Mrs Smith, who was promoted from deputy head to headteacher last month, said: “I feel the inspectors saw much of what is at the heart of our school and I was very proud as I listened to the verbal feedback given to the senior leadership team, governing body and the local authority. They recognised the excellent relationships within the school. In the verbal feedback, the inspectors commented on the positive climate for learning and fantastic culture within the school which is a caring community where students rise to the high expectations of staff.
“They made special mention of our support staff, particularly those in reception who had been singled out by parents for praise and also the team of staff who work for Cucina, especially Steve Bridle our chef.” Inspectors said the school must improve in two main areas to be rated 'outstanding’ – the quality of teaching is inconsistent in some subjects, and there is some variation in the achievement of students in the sixth form, particularly in mathematics.
Mrs Smith added: “We do in fact have an extensive programme for developing teaching and learning – our lead practitioners run fortnightly staff development sessions. We have a small and diverse sixth form and our aim is to offer sixth form opportunities to all our Year 11 students and also welcome new students from other schools, other parts of the country and from abroad.” Inspectors viewed 34 lessons during last month’s visit and also spoke to staff, pupils and parents.