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Monday, 17 May 2010
"Excellent" and "outstanding" - these were the words that repeated themselves throughout the Independent Schools Inspectorate's report after their inspection of Bolton School Girls' Division, which comprises a co-educational nursery and infant school, single-sex junior and senior schools and Kidzone, an out of school club.
Throughout the whole school pupils' personal development was found to be exceptional. The culture was described as one in which pupils have a desire to learn and make progress and that this permeates the whole school. Children of all ages were seen to be involved and to learn cooperatively with their teachers and with each other.
The inspection found students were achieving highly at all educational stages and were making good progress in relation to their abilities. In Senior School, reading and writing skills were found to be well developed and girls to be highly articulate. Academically, results at A level have been high and at GCSE have been excellent, when compared with the national averages.
The report found that pupils were given excellent opportunities through an outstanding range of interesting and stimulating extra-curricular activities, which develop their knowledge, skills and talents and girls have, consequently, enjoyed success on a national stage in a wide range of activities. Besides being offered an "exciting array" of subjects beyond the national curriculum, pupils' cultural development was also furthered through a range of local visits and travel overseas. The pupils were also found to work hard for charity and to be involved in many worthwhile community links.
The inspectors reported "at all educational stages, pupils demonstrate excellent personal qualities" and pupils of all ages were found to be proud of their school, its history and its values. The ethos was described as "distinctive and inclusive" and one where every member of the community was valued. The report commented that pupils were eager to take up the many positions of responsibility that were open to them. Throughout the age groups, pupils' social development was found to be excellent and that they exhibited a highly developed sense of right and wrong.
Relationships amongst pupils and between pupils and staff were praised as being "extremely strong" and the quality of pastoral care throughout the whole school was found to be excellent, which allowed pupils to become confident and self reliant. The report found that children were comfortable talking to staff and to older pupils, known as peer mentors, if they had any problems.
Throughout the school the quality of links with parents was praised as excellent and it was noted that the active parents' associations included all parents.
The school was commended for its excellent quality of governance, leadership and management. Mrs Gill Richards, Headmistress, said: "I am delighted with this report. Much of the success of pupils, at all stages, can be put down to the positive atmosphere in the school - generated amongst the children themselves and between them and staff. Pupils are willing to learn and teachers are willing to listen and help. Strong links with parents ensure we are all pulling in the same direction. I was pleased that the report highlighted how all pupils achieve highly - both academically and personally - and make good progress in relation to their abilities."
The Early Years Foundation Stage (0-5 years old) was described as outstanding on every level - the quality of provision, how well the school meets the needs of children and the effectiveness of the leadership team. It praised the school for offering highly effective teaching in an outstanding setting, where the welfare of the children is of "extreme importance".
Issues relating to the last report in 2004 were found to have been addressed, including the provision of more spacious accommodation in the newly built Beech House (Infants) and, the almost completed, new purpose-built Junior Girls' School.
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