‘Excellent’ School Passes Inspection With Flying Colours

2nd February 2023

Highfield and Brookham have been deemed ‘excellent’ in all areas.

The perfect praise follows a thorough review by the Independent Schools Inspectorate, with the school passing regulatory compliance and educational quality inspections with flying colours.

The inspectors drilled deep into the workings of the pre-prep and prep schools, including early years provision; observing lessons, talking to pupils and teachers, examining examples of children’s work, and sampling the school’s extra-curricular offerings. The inspection team also surveyed parents, staff and pupils via pre-inspection questionnaires.

The compliance element of the inspection focused on adhering to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools 2022, and the relevant requirements of the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage in areas such as quality of education, pupil welfare, suitability of staff, quality of leadership, and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. The judgment for these standards is either “met” or “not met” and Highfield and Brookham met the standards in all areas.

For the educational quality inspection, schools are graded ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘sound’ or ‘unsatisfactory’ for the quality of pupils’ academic and other achievement and the quality of the pupils’ personal development, with Highfield and Brookham again impressing the inspectors.

They found that pre-prep children “demonstrate positive attitudes” toward their learning, are “confident learners who are willing to take risks”, are “enormously considerate, caring, courteous and respectful” and “display outstanding compassion and understanding of the needs of others”.

The inspectors added that the overall achievement of the pupils was excellent and “represents successful fulfilment of the school’s aims to provide an all-round education, nurturing a love of learning and equipping them well for whatever life throws at them”.

At the prep school, the inspectors highlighted that pupils have “excellent communication and collaborative skills”, “achieve success in a wide range of academic, sporting and cultural activities”, are “keen and confident decision makers” and exhibit an “extremely strong sense of inclusivity and acceptance of diversity”.

Both schools were praised for their support and encouragement of children with special educational needs and disabilities and those with English as an additional language.

Highfield Head Suzannah Cryer said: “We are all incredibly proud of this glowing report from the inspectors. Our pupils and staff work hard each and every day to make our school such an incredible place to live, learn and work and the findings of the inspectors really are testament to that.” And Sophie Baber, Head of Pre-Prep, added: “It’s a wonderful report but the hard work doesn’t stop here. We are always challenging ourselves to find ways in which we can improve to make the educational journey for our children as rich and rewarding as possible and we will continue to do exactly that.”