Thursday 30th November 2006 by C. Freeman
Government Inspectors have awarded Brooke Weston the highest possible grade, praising management, staff and students after a recent Ofsted inspection.
The College was deemed 'outstanding' and its 'can-do' attitude and the commitment of management and staff were highlighted in the 11-page report which opened with 'Brooke Weston is an outstandingly successful College that seeks excellence in all that it does … Students make excellent progress in all years because of the consistently high quality of the teaching.'
Inspectors looked at five key areas: Overall Effectiveness, Achievements and Standards, Personal Development and Well being, Quality of Provision and Leadership and Management and gave each a Grade 1 mark which equates to 'outstanding'. In each category Inspectors heaped praise on the College's working practices and positive approach.
'Brooke Weston is an outstandingly successful College that seeks excellence in all that it does … Students make excellent progress in all years because of the consistently high quality of the teaching.'
The College, which has one of the largest Sixth Forms in the county was praised for the 'outstanding quality of education' in the Sixth Form where students 'make first rate progress in Years 12 and 13 and their achievement is outstanding.' They noted that the levels of support given to those studying further education courses was 'exceptional, going well beyond the taught curriculum and the College day.'
However, the support and achievement noted in the Sixth Form can be found throughout the whole College. Inspectors reported: 'The College's outstanding provision and ethos ensure that students' personal development and well being are excellent. Confident, lively and enthusiastic, students clearly enjoy being in the College and their behaviour is exemplary.'
The Principal and senior management team were also highlighted for providing 'clear educational direction and inspiration … with a strong focus on continual improvement, innovation and extending [Brooke Weston's] involvement in the wider community.'
'The College's outstanding provision and ethos ensure that students' personal development and well being are excellent.'
The broad range of opportunities that the college offers to its students was also commented upon: 'The College has gone further than most schools to tailor the curriculum to individual students and to broaden the opportunities available to them.'
But it is not just the academic achievers that are well catered for at Brooke Weston, Inspectors found 'all groups of students do well, with the lower attaining students and the small number with learning difficulties and disabilities doing particularly well.'
The Inspection report pinpointed many reasons for the College's success which included the 'outstanding leadership' of the Principal and the 'very effective senior leadership team', the
'outstanding quality of the relationships between students themselves and with staff.' Other factors included the extended college day, tailoring of the curriculum to meet individual needs, the focus on ICT and the fostering of independent learning skills.
It is not just the Inspectors who have a high regard for the College as the students also think it is an excellent place to study. The report says: 'Students are unstinting in their praise of the high quality of the care, guidance and support they receive. "We are all considered equal in this school" was a view shared by many students and several gave examples of how individual teachers had helped them personally and academically. Staff see themselves and students as 'a group of learners moving forward together,' a view that is reinforced by the daily use of shared working spaces and eating areas.'
The excellent Inspection report comes at the end of a highly successful year for the College where 100 per cent of students have achieved 5 or more GCSEs at Grades A* to C for the third year running and the College has celebrated its best ever A-level results. Additionally Principal, Peter Simpson has been awarded the OBE for services to education.
He said: 'I and the staff are absolutely delighted at this most positive report, which rounds off a remarkably successful year in Brooke Weston's 15-year history. The fact that the Inspectors' high opinion of Brooke Weston is shared by the students themselves is the highest accolade of all.'