ISI Inspection 2017
The school is regularly inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) who are the body approved by the Secretary of State for Education for schools who are members of the Independent Schools Council (ISC) and ISI is also approved to inspect the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
ISI inspection report – November 2017 Summary of feedback
The BCS Prep School, from Nursery and Early Years (Kindergarten and Reception) through to Year 6, was visited by a team of three inspectors, over a three-day period towards the end of November 2017. The final report can be found on this page as a PDF file. What follows is a very brief and simple summary.
Regulatory Compliance Inspection (RCI): In every single area, the School is compliant and there are no requirements for further action. (See pages 6-7 of the Prep Report.)
Key Comments from Miss Kay Smith, Headteacher are:
The staff and I were delighted to receive the grade of ‘excellent’ in the Independent School Inspection report. This is the highest possible grade and we believe it gives recognition and commendation to the high standards achieved in all aspects of the pupils’ academic and personal development. The inspection team also rigorously inspected all areas of regulatory compliance and found the school to be compliant in all areas.
We recognise that sending your child to BCS is a significant financial investment for parents and the staff and I respect and value the high level of trust you place in us to provide your child with the very best educational opportunities and the highest levels of pastoral care. I hope that this inspection report gives you the confidence and reassurance that your investment is well placed.
I would like to highlight some comments from the Inspection report that I feel acknowledge and celebrate everything we aim to achieve at BCS.
We are committed to maintaining a broad and varied curriculum with a good balance of academic study and creative and physical development. By educating the ‘whole child’ we ensure that they develop as diligent focused learners; enthusiastic and motivated sports players and confident, expressive performers. We aim to ensure that all pupils embrace challenge and strive to reach the highest academic standards and fulfil their potential.
The report acknowledges:-
‘The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent... Attainment above national age related expectations... overall pupils make significant progress in relation to their ability.’
‘Pupils display excellent attitudes to learning. They take pride in their work and know that they should always give of their best if they are to meet the expectations of the school.’
‘Children’s progress in the EYFS is excellent in relation to their starting points.’
‘Pupils’ decision making is excellent. The various options available to pupils within every school day, and every lesson within that day, mean that they become well practiced in making decisions...’
‘Children in EYFS are fully engaged in their learning as teachers successfully incorporate their interests into the curriculum.’
‘Pupils have achieved much academic and non-academic success. They are proud of their victories...’
‘Ambitious learners have GRIT’ has been our philosophy for several years now. We encourage pupils to be active, independent learners and to take ownership of their learning. We encourage them to develop self-awareness and a positive appreciation of their strengths and their areas for development. We encourage them to set high standards for themselves and to have a growth mind-set, embracing challenge and accepting mistakes as part of learning.
The report acknowledges:-
‘Pupils’ self-understanding is excellent, evidenced by their willingness to set high expectations of themselves’
‘Pupils of all ages take ownership of their learning through the ‘chilli challenge’ .... They demonstrate motivation to move through the levels’
‘Pupils’ ability to use higher-order skills is apparent during class discussions’
‘Older pupils understand how to set appropriate goals, using the school learning
expectations which encourage them to challenge themselves well.’
‘From an early age, children are seen to persevere and sustain interest in their learning.’
All year groups take strong pride in the presentation of their work and know that hard work, diligence and attention to detail bring their own rewards.
‘Children across the EYFS embrace learning in the richly resourced areas as part of their school day.’
Success both now and in the future comes from acquiring those transferable skills that can be applied across the curriculum and on into future learning and life. Those skills of confidence, good communication skills, the ability to work with others; the motivation to problem solve and the curiosity to discover.
The inspectors recognised these skills and attributes in our pupils:-
‘The pupils are excellent communicators. From their earliest days in school, they talk with self-confidence and conviction, taking a real pleasure in making contributions to discussions.’
‘Pupils across the whole ability and age range exude confidence in everything they do...’
‘Children in the EYFS are confident whilst interacting in their environment, both with adults and other children.’
‘Pupils decision making is excellent. Children in the EYFS confidently make independent choices in their play and activities. These skills are nurtured as pupil’s progress up the school.’
‘Pupils often display maturity when thinking for themselves... from an early age, children are seen to persevere and sustain interest in their learning.’
‘All year groups ...know that hard work, diligence and attention to detail bring their own rewards.’
We are delighted that the inspection team found the school to be ‘way beyond excellent’ in the area of Personal development as this is something that underpins everything we do and is embedded in our values and our ethos and culture.
'Pupils of all ages work harmoniously together, demonstrating great respect for others’ thoughts and actions.... this is due to leaders and staff ensuring that teamwork is a strong component of much activity at the school.’
‘From an early age they are considerate and demonstrate great sensitivity and compassion towards each other.’
‘They have a great empathy for others’ needs and as a result work passionately to improve the lives of others.’
‘Pupils treat others with respect and accept responsibility for their own behaviour, demonstrating a mature approach to resolving issues.’
‘Pupils’ behaviour is consistently of a high standard and is praiseworthy.’
‘Pupils display an excellent understanding of right and wrong and how to resolve issues.’
‘Pupils’ empathy and actions to aid those less fortunate than themselves are exemplary.’
The inspection process is designed to give a school fair feedback against a given set of criteria. Within that feedback are any recommendations that the inspection team feel would be helpful for school improvement.
We welcomed the two recommendations the team have given and will certainly consider how we can implement them.
Whilst recognising the rich ICT curriculum on offer in the school and the pupils’ good level of skill, the inspection team felt that an increase in the amount of technology available in classes would strengthen the pupils’ ability to apply these skills across different subjects. The school will look into acquiring some additional equipment.
All pupils have individual targets set so that they know what to do to improve and teachers’ marking gives them ’next steps’ guidance on how to improve their work. Inspectors felt that some pupils were unsure of their personal targets and so this is something we need to examine.
I hope the examples I have given will encourage you to read the full report of which we are all extremely proud.
Download the full BCS Prep ISI Inspection Report 2017