The Headteacher at the Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, Martin Henton has expressed how proud he is of the school, following the recent positive Ofsted report from a recent inspection in March. 

The inspection was a short monitoring visit from inspectors, carried out remotely to discuss the actions that have been taken to provide education to all students during the current circumstances. Although the inspection report will not change our current Ofsted status, it is a great validation of our continuing improvement and will be a helpful progress indicator leading in to our next full inspection.    

The last twelve months have placed a huge amount of pressure on schools to adapt teaching and learning methodologies to be all online with very little notice. We have all been learners in using new ways of delivering the curriculum so that is it accessible and engaging.  

The inspection report recognised the hard work that has been carried out by the school to successfully achieve this in staff training, new posts to support students and leaders developing and refining remote education provision.  

Mr Henton said that he was really pleased to see so many positive comments, which showed the school has been achieving high standards under challenging circumstances. This was endorsed in comments from students, who said that they have enjoyed the work set for them and reported it was at the right level. In addition, parents praised the quality of work provided. Parents also said that they valued the communication from the school to support them with their child’s learning and well-being.  

Key priorities for the school have been:  • Ensuring that Year 11 students have been supported, this was reported positively in that “Pupils in year 11 are well prepared for the next stage in their education”, “as a result, most pupils in Year 11 have an appropriate plan in place for September 2021”.  • Implementing additional support for students where needed, the inspectors reported that this is being achieved in several ways using extra funding. Examples cited were a new pastoral mentor to support students with special educational needs and a counsellor for targeted pupils.  • Raising the profile of reading, the inspectors reported that all pupils are expected to read in form time and additional funding has been used expand a reading programme so that it includes all pupils in Key Stage 3.  

The school Governors have been an integral part of our improvement journey and should be recognised for their valuable contribution. The inspectors reported that Governors were committed to the school and that they provide leaders with an appropriate balance of support and challenge. 

Mr Henton said, “since the last Ofsted inspection in 2019, there had been a huge amount of positive change at Bishop’s and that the experience of the pandemic had brought the school community closer together with the aim of providing the best learning experience possible for all of our students”. “The inspection report was really encouraging to read in that, this aim was reflected in comments from both our students and parents”.