☰ Mr Jowett's Blog

Mr Jowett's Blog

Posted on: June 22nd 2017

During the week of the 12th June Norfolk House was inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). ISI is an independent, government approved body that provides objective inspections for independent schools against the framework agreed with the DfE.

The inspection framework has recently changed and schools will receive either a Regulatory Compliance Inspection or the combined inspection which includes a Focused Compliance Inspection and an Educational Quality Inspection; Norfolk House received the latter. This is a crucial time for a school as it will be judged not just on whether it meets regulations, but on the quality of the service it provides for its pupils. The most significant change in the inspections is how the judgements for educational quality are made. The focus for inspections are now purely based on the outcomes for the pupils and everything else is seen as a contributory factor to these outcomes. So as you may have heard, the inspection team observed a large number of lessons, interviewed many children and surveyed children about their experience at school. As educators, this is how we should be judged we see this change as an incredibly positive one.

As you can imagine it was a busy few days and with only 24 hours notice it meant that when the inspectors arrived, they saw what I would consider a typical week at Norfolk House; with the only exception being the small changes needed to release children and staff to be interviewed at different times. The whole process was completed by Thursday afternoon when I received some verbal feedback about the inspection team’s experience. Even though the final report with the judgements takes around a month to be released, I would like to share some of the highlights from the feedback:

The team really enjoyed talking with our highly articulate children who communicate very well

Children have positive attitudes to learning and are confident in all areas of school life

Children have developed higher order research skills from a young age and are researching and presenting in lots of ways

Children collaborate well together and are open-minded, respect diversity and are aware of the needs of others

They have a deep spiritual understanding and know themselves very well

They are excellent at problem solving and can apply ICT effectively throughout the curriculum

The report will judge the school in two areas: Quality of Pupils’ Achievements and Pupils’ Personal Development. There are four possible gradings - Unsatisfactory, Sound, Good and Excellent. In their time at Norfolk House the inspection team gathered an impressive amount of evidence and I know that as a school we found it to be both a very rigorous and positive experience. We look forward to the report being released in a few weeks and hope that we receive it before we break for summer.

I want to finish by thanking the staff for all their hard work leading up to and during the inspection, the children for welcoming our visitors and being their usual wonderful selves and all the parents who responded to the ISI survey.  

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