Pupils and staff at Goresbrook School are celebrating after being judged ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features by Ofsted.
Goresbrook School, which first opened in 2014 as a brand new school, has been growing year on year and will eventually provide a seamless, all-through education from nursery to sixth form. It currently has a thriving primary phase with pupils from Nursery age to Year 4 and secondary pupils from Year 7 to 9.
After a visit last month, inspectors have praised a range of strengths at the school – judging it ‘Good’ overall but with ‘Outstanding’ ratings given for leadership and management and the behaviour, welfare and personal development of pupils.
In their report, inspectors praised the academy’s ‘highly effective’ leadership team, under the direction of Primary Principal David Ellison and Secondary Principal Megan Harris, for ‘enabling all pupils to achieve well’. With effective support from governors and staff, leaders were said to have established a ‘culture of the highest aspirations and expectations for all’, which is ensuring pupils are all making strong progress in both the primary and secondary phases.
Another aspect singled out for praise in the report was Goresbrook’s inclusive ethos, with pupils reporting they feel happy, safe and valued as individuals. Inspectors were also impressed by the outstanding behaviour of pupils across the school. They were said to be ‘unfailingly polite and courteous’ both to their peers and to staff and to throw themselves ‘wholeheartedly’ into their learning.
Inspectors also highlighted the school’s ‘ambitious curriculum’ which is ‘successful in enabling pupils to achieve well across the range of subjects’ and provides the right level of support and challenge for all pupils, including those with special education needs and/or disabilities. The proportion of pupils in Years 1 and 2 attaining the expected standards in reading and maths is higher than the national average. Similarly, pupils in Years 7 to 9 are making good progress, with attainment in maths and science said to be particularly strong.
As well as highlighting pupils’ academic achievements, staff were praised for putting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development ‘at the heart of everything they do’. This includes providing children with a broad range of opportunities in sport, art and drama, as well as access to trips, speakers and initiatives. This is part of the school’s commitment to providing an ‘Education with Character’ – one that challenges and inspires pupils and helps them nurture key attributes and skills that will help them succeed at school and beyond. For example, inspectors praised the fact that every pupil in Years 7 to 9 is given the chance to learn a musical instrument.
Dave Ellison, Primary Principal of Goresbrook School, said:
“We know how important the first years of education are for children in terms of nurturing a genuine love of learning, securing the foundations in reading, writing and maths and helping them grow as individuals. It is therefore particularly pleasing that the inspectors have recognised how hard our staff work to create a safe and happy environment for pupils as they learn and develop, and our commitment to ensuring each of them is able to achieve their very best. Congratulations to all our pupils and staff on this excellent achievement, which we look forward to building on for the future.”
Megan Harris, Secondary Principal of Goresbrook School, said:
“We are delighted with the inspectors’ comments, which recognise the efforts and determination of pupils and staff alike across our school in creating an environment in which everyone can succeed and thrive. With our first cohort due to begin their GCSE courses in September, this report will provide a boost for us all as we continue to grow and develop as a school. I would like to thank not only pupils and staff, but our whole school community for their ongoing support.”
Dame Sally Coates, Director of Secondary Education at United Learning, said:
“This outcome is very welcome news for the school and demonstrates that firm foundations have been laid for a very successful future at Goresbrook. It is testament to the efforts of everyone at the school – pupils, staff, parents and governors – who have shown continued support and patience over the years. We look forward to continuing to work with leaders and staff as they strive to make Goresbrook a fully Outstanding school in the coming years.”