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Ofsted report for May 2017

27 May 2017

Dear Parents/Carers

Ofsted visited the Courtyard for a full inspection on 9 & 10 May 2017. We have now received the formal report and I would encourage you to visit the website and read the Inspectors’ findings in detail. See the full report here.

As we were judged Requires Improvement at the last inspection, this Section 5 inspection had to establish whether the school had addressed the areas of development highlighted in the previous report. I am delighted to say that the inspection team agreed that we had and the school is now officially judged as a Good school.

The areas that we were asked to improve are:

• the quality of teaching so that all students make rapid and sustained progress

• the quality of leadership and management s by ensuring that systems for gathering, recording and evaluating achievement information are improved and used effectively to monitor how much progress individuals and groups of students are making

• an external review of governance in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and governance may be improved.

• an external review of the school’s use of the pupil premium in order to assess how this aspect of leadership and governance may be improved.

According to the inspectors ‘the headteacher has acted decisively to address the recommendations from the previous inspection, and is supported well by governors.’

The report notes the professionalism and dedication of the Courtyard staff ‘teachers and teaching assistants are focused on meeting the needs of all pupils, academically and personally. As a result, pupils achieve well, particularly in reading and mathematics.’

As our vision is ‘to offer an outstanding educational and social provision that will equip our students with the skills and experiences needed to discover and live out their potential’, it was especially pleasing that the report notes that ‘the school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.’

Our excellent standards of behaviour were also praised: ‘pupils behave well both inside the classroom and beyond. Individual and group sessions enable pupils to reflect on their learning and behaviour. They grow in confidence and maturity, flourishing into thoughtful and respectful individuals.’ I am extremely pleased that this aspect of our school was recognised. I am hugely proud of our pupils for their maturity, tolerance and respect towards each other and the staff team.

Representatives of the Governing Body also met the inspectors. Our Vice-Chair Deborah Higgins said: ‘The Governors would like to thank all of the team at the Courtyard, including our wonderful pupils and supportive parents, who are a real credit to our school. It is a tremendous achievement. The inspection team were rigorous and exacting. It is good that Ofsted do have such high standards and that, having looked at us very closely, recognised that we had moved forward.’

As always, the school is always looking to move forward and improve and will be focusing on developing many areas of the school, including the recommendations from this Ofsted inspection.

The Courtyard benefits enormously from having such supportive parents and motivated pupils. Thank you for all your support both during the inspection and, most importantly, day after day after day.

Yours sincerely

Deborah Shepherd




Photo of pupils and staff at The Courtyard on a snowy World Book Day

World Book Day The Courtyard turns into a colourful literary festival as students and teachers dress up as their favourite fictional characters in honour of World Book Day