For parents and students who may have missed it, we have included the article about our recent Ofsted inspection (which appeared in The Leicester Mercury) in the newsletter this week. We would like to give special thanks to those parents and carers who have taken the time to send their good wishes and messages of congratulations and thanks. We very much appreciate it.
ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL IS ‘OUTSTANDING’
An all-girl secondary school has been rated outstanding by Ofsted
Sir Jonathan North, in Knighton, Leicester, was given the watchdog’s highest grade after an inspection over two days last month.
Head teacher Alison Merrills, who has led the school since 2007, said: “This report is fantastic. We’re very pleased with the outcome. It shows the hard work over time by staff, students, parents and governors has been recognised.”
The school was last inspected in 2008 when it was told that it was “good” by Ofsted. Inspectors said the quality of teaching at Sir Jonathan North was now outstanding across all subjects and staff have exceptionally high expectations for what students can achieve. They said since the last inspection the proportion of students achieving five good GCSE passes, including English and maths, had risen strongly.
This summer, 68 per cent of pupils reached the benchmark, making it Leicester’s second best-performing school. In addition, inspectors said teachers provided activities that challenged students and their behaviour and attitudes to learning were exemplary.
There was praise for Mrs Merrills’ “relentless pursuit of excellence” and that of senior leaders and governors. Inspectors praised teachers’ rigorous collection and analysis of performance data, enabling them to focus their planning on individual needs. The school’s rich programme of after-school activities was highlighted as providing an excellent base for students’ spiritual, moral and social development.
Mrs Merrills said: “This isn’t just about achievement, but about the development every student makes to become a fulfilled member of society. I strongly believe every child has the potential to achieve well and that the quality of the whole experience they receive at school makes a difference to this.”
Year 11 student Ruby Kelman said: “There’s so much support available in our school from peer mentors when you start in year 7, through to assertive mentors in year 11. I’ve always felt at home here and I’ll always be proud to say I’m a student at Sir Jonathan North.”
Mia Loyal said: “I love that our school listens to students and gives the student council lots of responsibility, which makes it our school.”
To improve further, inspectors said the school’s marking policy should be refined.
Councillor Vi Dempster, assistant city mayor for schools, said: “This is excellent news and well-deserved. I would like to congratulate Alison Merrills and her team and thank them for their hard work and dedication. I would also like to thank the pupils, parents and governors for their contribution to the school’s success, as it takes a whole school community to work together to achieve this, as well as outstanding leadership.”