We are delighted to share with you our ESTYN Inspection Report, which has been published today:
Gowerton is graded ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ – the two top grades – in all five of the inspection areas, reflecting the school’s high academic and pastoral standards: we aim to give all our pupils the opportunity to achieve their personal best. The Inspectors echo this ambition in their findings and recommendations.
“Leadership has successfully established an extremely supportive and caring ethos in which pupils are nurtured in a secure and happy environment. Recent changes to leadership and management have been managed effectively to maintain the smooth running of the school. Overall, the school provides excellent care, support and guidance, which prepares pupils very well to become active citizens and take on the responsibilities of adult life. Nearly all teachers establish strong, positive and productive working relationships with their pupils. In most lessons, pupils participate actively and in many they make sound progress. The standard of pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Standards of wellbeing are exceptional and contribute significantly to the high standards that pupils achieve by the end of key stage four.” [ESTYN, March 2017, published 12th May 2017].
The overall ESTYN judgements are:
We are exceptionally proud of all our staff and pupils. Gowerton school is ranked by the Welsh Government as a Green 1A school – that is, defined as “a highly effective school, well run, has strong leadership, clear about its priorities to improve”. We are one of only a few schools across Wales to have maintained this status for three consecutive years.
ESTYN has invited the school to prepare a written case study, describing the best practice identified during the inspection.
The inspection usefully picked up on some aspects that we can tighten up. In particular, they recommend raising standards in Welsh, and in the use of ICT across the curriculum, and more generally they suggest streamlining lines of leadership accountability and the way the school plans and evaluates pupil progress.
The recommendations chime with work that is already in hand. In your visits to school you will have noticed this year a raising of Welsh-English bilingualism and ‘Welshness’ in school signs and notices and in daily conversation. We are recruiting new teachers for the Welsh language department, to support its revival and refreshment. The school is pioneering the Welsh Government’s Digital Competency Framework, through which pupils use and develop digital skills in every subject they study. The Inspectors’ planning and accountability suggestions will inform our behind-the-scenes management and governance.
All of this will help shape the overall performance of the school and, crucially, your children’s results and opportunities. If you have any questions about this letter, or about any other aspect of your child’s schooling, please contact us. Our priority is to provide the best possible education for the young people in our care. With your help and support the school, and your children, will continue to go from strength to strength.
Nigel Jones, Headteacher
Deborah Lloyd, Chair of Governors
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