Ofsted Report - December 2019
In December 2019 we were inspected by Ofsted and subsequently rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. The full 2019 report can be downloaded here as a PDF file. The report states that pupils “are fiercely proud of their school and of their own achievements” and in terms of leadership, Mrs Smith is “passionate about pupils’ entitlement to a well-rounded education… with the governing body and her senior leadership team, she has transformed the curriculum'.”
The new Ofsted framework has been in place since September 2019 and prioritises the depth and effectiveness of the curriculum provision rather than the raw data and results of the previous framework; many say this makes it harder to achieve an outstanding rating. The five focus areas of this new framework are Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Sixth Form Provision and Leadership and Management.
I am incredibly proud of the remarkable learning community that makes up Beaconsfield High School and all of the hard work that teachers and support staff put in to broaden and deepen the curriculum in order that it is memorable for students. - Mrs Smith
She is also delighted to read the public acknowledgement of the additional time that all students and staff give to projects that are not just based in the classroom but are designed to develop remarkable citizens who have empathy and show kindness; “Through volunteering, performances and charitable work, pupils support the local community....pupils make a difference in school through the school council or eco-prefects, confident that teachers will listen to and act on their views”.
A team of five very positive and professional inspectors spent two days with us the week before the Christmas holidays and carried our ‘deep dives’ in mathematics, English, geography, modern foreign languages, drama and art. Whilst learning is a priority, inspectors noted that “leaders and governors rightly give a high priority to pupils’ mental health.” Mrs Smith said that this had been and continued to be a clear priority for the future plans of the school and its students; much has already been put in place to help build students’ resilience and ability to cope in such a pressured life.
Dr Lorraine Couves, Chair of Governors said that the focus of the governing body was to ensure that the school promoted the ambitious vision to be a:
happy, high achieving learning community; discovering and developing individual potential”.
She felt the observation from the inspectors saying “Pupils throw themselves into their learning and into the remarkable range of extra-curricular opportunities…in one pupil’s words, there is something for everyone" genuinely reflected that vision entirely.
Download the 2007 report here as a PDF file.
Exceptional Schools Award
Beaconsfield High is one of only 45 schools nationwide to be recognised as an Exceptional School by the national body Best Practice Network. The Exceptional Schools Award exemplifies the excellence and uniqueness of outstanding schools, including the quality and consistency of teaching that Ofsted now expects, and is based on the attributes and practice of the best schools nationally. You can download a copy of our report here.
Heather Clements, Senior Consultant for Best Practice Network, commented on the school after her review last academic year:
The accreditation process has shown not only that Beaconsfield High School is an ‘Exceptional School’, but that it is also highly ambitious, forward looking and puts the attainment and wellbeing of students at the heart of all it does. The findings of the review demonstrate that it is held in high regard by all its stakeholders and the students themselves are its best ambassadors.
Below are some of the comments made by the assessors of the award:
- Standards of attainment and progress are excellent, but the school continues to strive for even further improvements through forensic analysis of the needs of individuals and providing appropriate support and intervention to ensure every girl achieves their potential.
- The head teacher is a force of nature bringing a fresh perspective to the school, talent spotting to get excellent staff and increasingly looking outward to work with other schools.
- The teachers have excellent subject knowledge and demonstrate a real pleasure in and passion for sharing their knowledge with the students. They know the students very well and go the extra mile to support them.
- GLR help students see that life is not just about exams. They are engaged with it because they identify with it and see it as relevant.
- Parents are universally positive about all that the school has to offer their daughters. They not only value the school’s very high aspirations but feel that the school offers much more than academic opportunities and provides a rounded education.
- The students are a credit to the school. They thrive in the supportive environment, challenge themselves and each other, are appropriately respectful to adults and strive to achieve the best possible outcomes.
- Teachers’ strong subject knowledge leads to high levels of challenge in lessons and a creative approach to designing lessons.
Beaconsfield High School- Area of Excellence- Getting Life Ready
We are very proud to have been awarded an Area of Excellence in the school by Challenge Partners. We had a virtual inspection of our Getting Life ready whole school learning programme, GLR curriculum and how we use this as our praise and reward system.
Challenge Partners work with schools across the country, sharing excellent practice and facilitating peer reviews. The peer review is a robust process, our reviewer was a Senior Leader and a former Ofsted Inspector. The inspector collects documents for scrutiny prior to the visit and then visits the school for a day (virtually), speaking to all stakeholders. Key members of the Senior team and Middle Leaders were interviewed and questioned about our practice and most importantly its impact on our students. We are delighted that we presented enough evidence to receive a designated ‘Area of Excellence’. Please read more in the report: Beaconsfield High School Area of Excellence Report
When life returns to normal we hope to offer other schools training on developing a learning culture through their school’, like our GLR, and aligning their praise systems to the values, ethos and ambitions of the school learning culture. Through this work we hope to support children in other schools and allow our staff the leadership development that comes from offering external professional development.
Challenge Partners have very high standards and work with many of the top performing schools in the county so to receive this badge of honour is a perfect addition to our Ofsted Outstanding grading.
Last year, our Governing Body were awarded the prestigious Governor Mark, a national award supported by the Department for Education and a recognised kite mark of good practice. It provides external evaluation of the quality of governance in a school and is an opportunity to demonstrate how a governing body strives for excellence.
The work involved in gaining the award supports ongoing board evaluation and continuous improvement, and this was a key reason why the school’s governing body, then led by Chair of Governors Sarah Kucera, decided to apply for the award.