School celebrates "outstanding" report

An independent school is celebrating after being judged as outstanding across the board in a government inspection.

Friday, 9th March 2018, 3:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th March 2018, 9:00 pm
Oakhill School, Whalley has been rated outstanding in a Government inspection.
Oakhill School, Whalley has been rated outstanding in a Government inspection.

Inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, which is an organisation responsible for the inspection of independent schools in England, said that Oakhill School in Whalley had met all requirements and was rated outstanding across the board.

Established in 1978, Oakhill has 317 pupils and children can attend from the age of six weeks to 16.

The report pointed out that since the last inspection the school has increased its provision within the early years by adding an extra room to cater for pre-school children with playground facilities refurbished to include an all weather sports pitch.

But inspectors have recommended that the school improve facilities to its provision for children in the early years by increasing opportunities for the youngest children to explore and develop their physical skills in the outdoor environment.

Inspectors said that the overall effectiveness of the early years provision was outstanding with a team of enthusiastic staff and committed managers who place a high priority on the children's well being. This results in the pupils forging excellent relationships with staff, they feel happy and secure and. as a result, their progress is rapid.

Since the last inspection there have been significant changes in the setting with the baby and toddler rooms re-located so they are now linked. The newly appointed management team was praised for targetting specific areas for improvement which has resulted in positive changes in the setting especially in the planning of activities for children.

The effectiveness of leadership and management was described as outstanding and the team were praised for being successful in achieving their vision for the school by delivering high quality care and education to children, focused on their needs and supported by a team of dedicated staff.

In the areas of teaching, learning and assessment managers and staff were praised for leading by example and also setting high expectations of what each child can achieve. Staff were praised for being highly skilled at working with young children and inspectors said parents were given the opportunity to contribute to their child''s baseline assessment on entry and staff use this to plan children's next steps.

The staff's communication with the children and each other was seen as a real strength of the school and inspectors said they frequently heard staff sharing relevant information about the children with each other. The report said this allowed all staff to be aware of children's next steps and day to day care.

Managers and staff were praised for supporting and encouraging children to develop their independence and follow their interests. They were also praised for creating a secure and happy environment which enables children to be highly successful learners.

Outcomes for children at Oakhill were described as outstanding and at GCSE level in the years 2015 to 2017 performance has been above the national average for maintained schools.

Inspectors pointed out that children were making good or excellent progress in relation to their starting points and staff and managers carefully tracked children to ensure support and intervention is given to those who need it.