Ignore the Ofsted Outstanding Schools

Ignore the Ofsted Outstanding Schools

Why you should ignore an Ofsted Outstanding Rated School....   Ok - it's a bit of a cheek and a headline grabber...apologies from the start.   Don’t get me wrong I do believe we need a guide of some sort and Ofsted is just that.  What I don't want you to do is discount perfectly brilliant schools that haven't had the gold stamp of Oustanding.  More importantly than anything I'd like you to be sure you are aware of all the information before you pay over the odds for a house in the catchment for an outstanding school without considering if that school is right for your child.... There are a few things to know so have a read, pop in your memory bank and consider them before assuming all is rosy with an outstanding school.   Questions to ask before you buy a house in the catchment for an Outstanding School When was the Ofsted inspection carried out (it might be 3 years or more since it had a full inspection).  Have a look at previous reports and focus on the targets set - and then see how the school is working towards those targets. Has there been a headship change or many staff changes since the last report?  It’s worth checking out the staff turnover.  If more than a third of the teachers are leaving annually you might want to ask why.  Is the school perhaps too focused on the results making it a place teachers don’t want to stay? How are they achieving their results and does that fit with your own values and image of education?  Some...

Schools in Devon

  Schools There are many primary schools in the Devon area with outstanding Ofsted reports.  We wouldn’t suggest you discount those who aren't outstanding schools; it’s worth doing your research making use of websites that offer parent to parent feedback, as well as looking at the Ofsted reports.   Secondary schools in the area have limited catchment areas and you would be wise to keep this in mind when house hunting. There are also a good number of excellent independent schools. State Some worthy of a mention include: Beaford Community Primary & Nursery School, Bere Alston Primary School, Black Torrington Church of England Primary School, Broadclyst Community Primary School, Chulmleigh Primary School, East Anstey Primary School, Feniton Church of England Primary School, Highampton Community Primary School, Offwell Church of England Primary School, Seaton Primary School and St Mary's Church of England Primary School. State Secondary schools are a little challenging in Devon but some of those of note are Chumleigh Community College, Devonport High Schools for Girls and for Boys, and Clyst Vale Community College. There are 7 grammar schools in the geographic county of Devon, but there are three different admission authorities involved in the admissions process: Devon County Council, Plymouth & Torbay. There is also a “bilateral” school – Westlands School in Torbay.     Independent Schools  There are many both preparatory and secondary schools, including the well renowned Blundells Independent School and its primary school, which serves pupils from ages 3 to 18. It combines strong academic achievement and excellent facilities. West Buckland, another well respected independent co-ed day and boarding school, is highly rated and sits in its own 100 acre grounds. Bramdean School, Exeter is...
Grammar Schools demystified: Educational Holy Grail or Unrealistic Pipe Dream?

Grammar Schools demystified: Educational Holy Grail or Unrealistic Pipe Dream?

What are Grammar Schools all about? Our thanks to Mel Ingle, the founder of Ingle Education, for this enlightening article to help demystify Grammar School education. Grammar Schools demystified: Educational Holy Grail or Unrealistic Pipe Dream? Firmly entrenched in Mumsnet chitter-chatter and school gate mythology sits the mystical beast known as ‘The Grammar School’. Most of the British public have heard of them, many over the age of 45 will have distinct memories of their own 11+ experience and the extent to which it shaped their educational path. But what are Grammar Schools today and where do they fit in the complex, competitive and hierarchical structure of the UK’s Education System? Do they, as Prime Minister Teresa May, speaking in September 2016 following proposals to overturn the ban on the creation of new Grammar Schools, underpin a “belief in social mobility and making this country a true meritocracy”? Or, as denouncers will claim, are they merely another manifestation of the wealthy few using their affluence to overturn the meritocratic aim of the system and keep it as their own little secret? And in any case, politics aside – how DO you get your child into one? Grammar Schools: Then and Now The term “Grammar School” originates in Medieval Britain, where church-controlled schools, such as The Kings School in Canterbury were established to spread the teaching of Latin amongst prospective new Clergy. These schools saw frequent changes to their purpose and student bodies over the centuries that followed, but the modern concept of Grammar Schools came about as a result of the 1944 Education Act. The Act created a Tripartite...

Independent Schools Show

Fast approaching is the Independent Schools Show in Battersea. Around 160 schools, under one roof, most of them out of London schools - a great opportunity for readers considering Independent Education out of London. Saturday 12 November 10:00-17:00 & Sunday 13 November 10:30-16:30 Battersea Evolution - London, SW11 4NJ  I've been to the show and I'd love to share my thoughts. Step one is pre register  - I'm not sure if they will charge after the end of September. Click Here for tickets A few further thoughts below to help you focus and get the most out of your visit It's very, very daunting when you first walk in but a little bit of preparation before will help you make the best of it Write out a list of schools you are keen to visit and target them.  The prep and senior schools are more often than not mixed in together so keep focused on who you want to talk to. Be aware lots of the schools have sweets at children height so come armed with snacks if you're bringing children and you don't want them high on sugar.   It gets pretty crowded around some schools and you can find yourself waiting around a bit if you want to talk to them so take entertainment for small people. Take a notebook and keep notes.  You will forget however much you think you won't. Schools give out lots of bags and packs with all their information.  Be prepared for information overload.  Don't feel you have to take the pack if you aren't interested. Different schools have different people on the stand....

Country Schools Open Days

Are you looking for a country school? Our school advertisers have shared information about their upcoming open days and activities so that you can get a better look. Schools In Dorset Clayesmore School Iwerne Minster, Dorset Nursery, Pre-Prep, Prep, Senior School and Sixth Form (ages 3 – 18) Co-ed day and boarding The children of Clayesmore, of all ages, share a spectacular, 62-acre campus in Dorset’s beautiful Blackmore Vale. We enjoy outstanding facilities and an reputation for ever-growing excellence, coupled with a genuinely warm, family atmosphere that is wholly geared up to children of all abilities fulfilling their potential. **Open Days: 24th September 2016 (10am – 2pm) **Sixth Form Open Evening: Friday 7th October 2016 (7pm) www.clayesmore.com Tel: 01747 811707 (Pre-Prep & Prep) 01747 812122 (Senior)   Schools in Surrey Cranmore School West Horsley, Surrey Cranmore School is a leading independent prep school educating girls and boys from 2½ - 13. Recent exciting innovations include the extension of co-education throughout the school; a Forest School for younger children to support outdoor education; Mandarin for eight year olds; Spanish, Latin, Greek and Philosophy for Years 7 & 8 in addition to our comprehensive programme for sport, music, drama and a wide selection of extra-curricular activities. ISI inspectors rated the School 'EXCELLENT' in all areas in the most recent school inspection. Our Open Mornings are: Friday 23 & Saturday 24 September 2016 (09.30 -12.00) Please do contact the school (01483-280340) for further details or register on the website. www.cranmoreprep.co.uk    Schools in Hampshire   Brookham School   Liphook, Hampshire Pre-prep & Nursery (Ages 3-7) Day pupils only Our bright and airy purpose-built...