‘Excellent’ Inspection Report for Malvern St James Girls’ School

‘Excellent’ Inspection Report for Malvern St James Girls’ School

15 May 2017

There are two outcomes assessed by the ISI in its Educational Quality Inspection: ‘the quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements’, and ‘the quality of pupils’ personal development’ and each achieved an ‘excellent’ in the inspectorate’s headline judgement.

Key Findings, which summarise the report, state that ‘pupils develop excellent levels of knowledge, understanding and skills … (They) communicate fluently and persuasively and have highly developed levels of numeracy, literacy and ICT skills … (and they) excel in sport, performing and other arts, and a range of extra-curricular activities’. The inspectors also observed that ‘a sense of fun and laughter is rarely far away’.

Headmistress Mrs Olivera Raraty commented: “This report is an endorsement of the quality of learning and life at MSJ and recognises the school’s many strengths in academic attainment, academic enrichment and extra-curricular activities. Teaching at its most effective was observed as ‘adventurous, and models the need to take risks … (pupils) make rapid progress as a result’. Girls were seen to ‘relish’ an academic challenge and to ‘acquit themselves with distinction’. I am pleased that the inspectors noted that our girls go on to study science and mathematics at A Level ‘in large numbers’, that they are well prepared for universities with the most demanding entry requirements, and refer to our ‘carefully tailored programme making available subjects such as Greek, Mandarin, BTEC P.E. and the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) for all’. Also noted is the encouragement and support they receive from staff which allows them to ‘excel in teamwork and problem solving, encouraged by abundant opportunities in the classroom and an attitude of positivity’.”

“The ‘excellent’ rating in pupils’ personal development demonstrates how girls benefit from the pastoral support they receive, and the culture of the school and its community ethos. There are many references in the report to the spirit of collaboration, teamwork and a sense of belonging that imbues the school, and I’m delighted that the inspectors saw the sense of fun which is such a big part of who we are. They also observed that ‘even the youngest pupils are willing to offer a partially correct answer in class rather than remain silent. They are not afraid to make mistakes … teachers establish pupils’ perseverance and resilience through their gentle but firm encouragement’.”

The ISI report went on to remark that pupils are ‘self-confident’ but also have a ‘highly developed capacity for constructive self-criticism’; they ‘contribute to the school and wider community’ and show ‘highly developed social awareness’. It was noted that girls have an excellent sense of personal and moral responsibility, and preparation for life beyond school is good because ‘although guidance is always available, the choices are always theirs’. Mrs Raraty comments, “All of this is really important in developing young women who are ready to take their place in the world and can do so with confidence but not arrogance.”

She continues, “I am very pleased with the report’s overall findings but no ‘excellent’ school can afford to stand still. There is always something that can be done better. The one recommendation from the report, for teachers to share best practice from the inspirational and excellent teaching found in the school, supports my vision and ambitions for us to be an exceptional place for teaching and learning.”

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