Chiswick School rated ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ for students’ personal development

Chiswick School has been rated ‘Good’ in a recent Ofsted inspection, with a rating of ‘Outstanding’ for students’ personal development.

This comes as very welcome news for head teacher Laura Ellener, who’s been in post just over a year and was appointed after the school had been through a turbulent period, having had five head teachers in as many years.

The last two Ofsted inspections, in November 2015 and October 2017 pronounced the school ‘Requires Improvement’, prompting a follow-up Monitoring report in November 2018 which found that although the temporary head Jane Mills was doing a good job, putting in measures to improve behaviour and teaching and learning, the school needed to take further action.

New head teacher Laura Ellener has taken that action and her efforts have been recognised by the inspectors.

“I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised how far Chiswick School has come” she said. “At Chiswick School, we take each child’s education personally. We expect excellence from our students and the staff supporting and teaching them. Our vision is that we do whatever it takes to ensure every student achieves their full potential, and over the last year we have made rapid progress towards this goal. Over the next four years we are aiming to become one of the finest schools in London and the school of choice for Chiswick parents.”

The report highlights “ambitious” leaders who have contributed to the school’s success over the last year. It says pupils are respectful towards each other, and sixth form students provide excellent role models for younger students.

Photographs above: Pupils at Chsiwick School; headteacher Laura Ellener

Ofsted inspected Chiswick School on 22 and 23 January 2020, with both Chiswick School and Chiswick School Sixth Form receiving a ‘Good’ rating. Inspectors evaluated the school against a number of factors, giving students’ personal development an ‘Outstanding’ rating which has been recognised as a real strength at the school. This measures the school’s curriculum beyond the academic and the wider work that is done to support learners to develop their character – how the school prepares learners for future success in their next steps and for life in modern Britain.

Ofsted judged that the way the school goes about developing a pupil’s character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others. The inspection report reflects the school’s noticeable development over the last year, and praises leaders’ unwavering focus and teachers’ consistent approach.

Among Chiswick School’s key strengths recognised in the report were:

  • Leaders are ambitious for pupils to do well
  • Opportunities for pupils’ personal development are exceptional
  • Sixth form students are great role models for younger pupils
  • Pupils behaviour is good, pupils are respectful towards others in lessons and as they move around the school site. This supports a calm and positive atmosphere in which pupils feel safe.
  • Staff praise leaders for the improvements that have been made, and staff morale is high.

This success was summarised by a parent quote in the report:

“Empowering students to be ambitious and proud isn’t just a mantra here; it’s lived and breathed every day.”

Chiswick School offers a broad curriculum that is far-reaching and offers something for every student. As well as traditional subjects, students can study Latin, learn to row, and enter debating competitions. A new Elite sports programme was also launched in September 2019 to support students’ development outside of the classroom.

Rachel Jerrome, Chair of Governors said:

“We are delighted with the outcome of our recent inspection and particularly proud of the recognition we’ve received for providing our students with ‘exceptional’ opportunities for personal development. Ms Ellener and her team have worked hard to make such rapid progress and work is already underway to build what will be a very bright future for Chiswick School and its pupils.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Profile interview with Chsiwick School’s headteacher Laura Ellener

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