Keswick School - 'This is an outstanding school' (Ofsted, 2014)
27th March 2014

Keswick School was inspected under the new Ofsted framework between 4-5 February 2014. This framework, widely regarded to be the most challenging to date, came into effect in September 2013. Always up for a challenge the school welcomed the inspection team and worked with inspectors to ensure they had access to every aspect of school life. One inspector went straight into a KS3 assembly where students were attempting to break three world records! That set the tone for the next couple of days.


The new Ofsted framework rigorously evaluates school performance, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, and leadership and management. The inspectors met with students, staff and governors, took note of over 220 parent responses and observed 40 lessons. No stone was left unturned. At the end of the inspection the lead inspector described the school as a remarkable  community with exemplary students and academic standards that excel.


Every aspect of the school was graded 1 (outstanding). The overall effectiveness of the school was also graded as outstanding. The inspectors commented:


'The excellent leadership of the Headteacher, first-rate teaching, students' excellent attitudes to learning and knowledgeable governance all combine to make Keswick School outstanding.'


'Keswick School is a place where all students thrive and become mature adults who are extremely well prepared for their future lives.'


'Teachers are highly knowledgeable and have tremendous enthusiasm for their subjects. Their high expectations and use of varied and interesting resources ensure students are challenged to achieve their best whilst really enjoying learning.'


The inspectors also commented on the outstanding character of Keswick School's Sixth Form:


'The sixth form curriculum is excellent. Sixth formers are particularly well prepared for future employment and higher education through the outstanding programme of study they are given. They take full advantage of a myriad of opportunities to take responsibility and consequently make a major contribution to the success of the school.'


Simon Jackson (Headteacher) comments:


'This outstanding Ofsted judgement is a validation of the approach we take to secondary education. We believe learning should be exciting and inspiring. We encourage participation in a wealth of optional courses, visits, enrichment opportunities, clubs and societies. Our students excel because they have ambition, relish challenges and learn through failure how to be successful. They enjoy coming to school and support, mentor, coach each other as well as form life-long friendships. We carefully foster this community spirit - it's part of our unique make-up. This is an outstanding school and it means a lot to everyone; students, staff, parents, governors and the wider community.


'I'm delighted that the Ofsted inspection team engaged in an active dialogue with the school during this inspection. Their conduct was excellent throughout and it was clear that they wanted to get to know how the school operated. They asked the searching questions I would expect in a rigorous inspection and I was impressed with their attention to detail. This makes it all the more pleasing that they drew in the conclusions outlined in this inspection report.'

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