On 21 and 22 May 2019 Ofsted inspected The Burgate School and Sixth Form, Fordingbridge.
Three of the inspection judgements are ‘Outstanding’ and the other two are a strong ‘Good’.
Read our full Ofsted report here.
Effectiveness of leadership and management: Outstanding
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment: Good
Personal development, behaviour and welfare: Outstanding
Outcomes for pupils: Good
Sixth Form: Outstanding
Overall effectiveness: Good
The main findings are:
“Leaders’ ambition and determination have brought about substantial improvement in all areas of the school since the last inspection. They have high expectations for the best teaching and learning experiences for all pupils.”
“The school provides pupils with a holistic and well-rounded education, where academic success and personal development are equally valued. Relationships are very strong and pupils’ individual needs are well provided for.”
“Teaching is effective because of strong curricular leadership. Leaders monitor and evaluate the impact of teaching on learning regularly. They are systematic in the support and challenge that they provide and expect the best from teachers.”
“Students in the sixth form make strong progress and make a significant contribution to the school community.”
Ofsted found that, ‘Senior leaders have developed a strong sense of purpose among staff and morale is high.’ Headteacher David Pover said, ‘I am delighted that everyone involved in the school has been given the due recognition that they richly deserve. When I consider the judgement we were given just over two years ago, the journey we have been on since then has been remarkable. In fact, looking back over reports since the early 1990s, I believe this to be the best Ofsted report that the school has ever received.’
Mr Pover added, ‘The quality of teaching has improved since the previous inspection because we have raised expectations of the standards required. Published outcomes show a year-on-year improvement since 2016. In 2018, the overall Progress 8 score was well above the national average and placed us third in Hampshire. Our pupils’ conduct and approach to learning are exceptional and they relish the opportunities we provide.’
Ofsted commented that, ‘Trustees are highly ambitious for the school. While they are rightly pleased with the progress that the school is making, they are eager to improve it further.’
Chair of Trustees Jenny Hair said, ‘Everyone has worked tirelessly over the last two years to ensure that every child at The Burgate receives the best educational experience possible. I am really pleased that this has been acknowledged by Ofsted.’
Pastoral strength was recognised in that, ‘The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding. The tremendous sense that ‘every Burgate child matters’ permeates the school. Pupils are very responsible. They are proud of their school. The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. The school is an orderly and aspirational community, where pupils respond well to the high expectations that staff have of them. Pupils are polite, courteous and show respect for others’ ideas and views. They work hard in lessons and demonstrate very positive attitudes to their learning.’
Parents were overwhelmingly positive about the high quality of education and, particularly, the exceptional level of pastoral care that pupils receive at this school. Parents could not praise the efforts of staff highly enough. One parent wrote to Ofsted, ‘The school as a whole cares about each and every pupil and will do its utmost to ensure every child’s needs are met.’
In the Sixth Form, which was graded ‘Outstanding’ overall, the inspectors identified that, ‘The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is excellent in the sixth form. Teachers have high expectations and know the students very well.’ The influence of the sixth form students as positive and supportive role models cannot be overstated; in the words of one of the inspectors, ‘Their impact on the rest of the school is phenomenal.’