‘Inspirational head’ leads Stevenage school to outstanding Ofsted report as North Hertfordshire College gets good rating

PUBLISHED: 18:09 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:25 04 December 2017

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage has achieved an outstanding Ofsted report. Picture: Nikki Hendry Photography and Design.

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage has achieved an outstanding Ofsted report. Picture: Nikki Hendry Photography and Design.

Archant

A school with an inspirational headteacher “who has a compelling vision to ensure all pupils achieve well” has been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Staff and students of North Herts College gather to celebrate their good Ofsted inspection. Picture: Danny LooStaff and students of North Herts College gather to celebrate their good Ofsted inspection. Picture: Danny Loo

Ofsted’s inspection report for Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage was published last week and shows the school has propelled itself from a good rating in its last inspection in 2013 to the top ranking.

The report says: “The inspirational headteacher has a compelling vision to ensure all pupils achieve well. Pupils of all abilities thrive and make excellent and sustained progress.

“The curriculum provides rich and memorable experiences that fire pupils’ imaginations and help to develop their understanding of the world.”

Inspectors also found pupils’ behaviour to be exemplary, with children showing a real joy in learning.

Headteacher Usha Dhorajiwala said: “We know there is always more to do to make pupil outcomes even better.

“We are looking forward to future opportunities, linking with partner schools to maximise the opportunities we offer, to give our children the best start in their learning journey.”

North Herts College principal Kit Davies and students gather to celebrate their good Ofsted inspection. Picture: Danny LooNorth Herts College principal Kit Davies and students gather to celebrate their good Ofsted inspection. Picture: Danny Loo

Ofsted has also published an inspection report for North Hertfordshire College and Hart Learning and Development – part of the Hart Learning Group – which found provision to be good with outstanding features. This marks significant progress since a ‘requires improvement’ rating in June 2016.

Overall effectiveness was rated as good, as was the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare, outcomes for learners, study programme, adult learning and apprenticeship provision.

Provision for learners with high needs, and traineeship provision, was rated as outstanding – the only general further education college that has achieved this.

Inspectors said that students were polite, well behaved and motivated to learn because of the inclusive, friendly atmosphere at the college. As a result they improve their self-confidence, resilience and general life skills.

The report says: “As a result of inspirational leadership, there has been a substantial and positive impact on the culture of the college and a rapid improvement in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes for learners since the previous inspection.”

Inspectors did say too few learners improve their English and maths by acheiving grades A*-C at GCSE, and the proportion of apprentices who complete their programme within their planned timescales, while improving, remains too low.

North Herts College principal Kit Davies. Picture: Danny LooNorth Herts College principal Kit Davies. Picture: Danny Loo

NHC principal Kit Davies said: “Ofsted’s judgement is a fair, balanced one that reflects our own assessment of the quality of our provision. I am pleased that the inspectors recognised the way in which we monitor the quality of our provision – and that they could see the significant improvements we have made since our last inspection.

“I am particularly delighted with the report’s commentary on the quality of our teaching, learning and assessment, our support for learners’ personal development – and on our outstanding traineeship and high needs provision.”

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