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Inspection, School Development and Aliens!

Having had the anticipation of an ISI inspection for some considerable time, it was actually almost a relief when, following the Bank Holiday weekend, we finally received ‘the call’ and the staff team could swing into action!  Two days of intensive demonstration, discussion and documentation followed, encompassing interviews with staff and pupils, lesson observations across the year groups, examination of curriculum and planning content, breadth and delivery and scrutiny of our safeguarding, health and safety and recruitment procedures; it was a very thorough and comprehensive check of all areas of the school’s operation and offer.  I am delighted to report that the inspection process left the staff in high spirits, as the findings confirmed that the school was fully compliant in all eight areas, meeting several hundred individual regulations.  Read our report published on the ISI and Sherborne House websites.

The timing of the inspection meant that we had two major events at school in the same week, as the day before the team arrived, coincided with the presentation of the School Development Plan.  This was a new entry in the parental calendar, although the writing of a Plan has always been part of the annual documentation cycle.  It was lovely to see so many parents in attendance, and to be able to share with them the four main strands of our work going forward.  Equally enjoyable from my point of view, was the lead-up to the presentation, as staff across the key stages, and subjects, worked together in teams to contribute their ideas and thoughts regarding the priorities for the future, and how they might best be delivered.  At the end of the event, there was also a chance to experiment with ‘Aurasma,’ and parents clearly enjoyed being able to watch the videos linked to the various year group displays. A Sherborne House Development Plan brochure was distributed to those who attended, and if you did not receive one, do drop into the School Office, where a copy is available.  Many thanks to all those parents who joined us for this very successful event, and to the After-School Club staff who kept the children happily entertained, and the catering team who provided a wonderful afternoon tea!

This week has been ‘British Values Week’ at Sherborne House, a very important element of our PSHE and Citizenship programme.  BVW encompasses the topics of ‘Democracy’, the ‘Rule of Law’, ‘Individual Liberty’, ‘Respect’ and ‘Tolerance’.  The week has prompted some very interesting and mature discussions within the classrooms, many, of course, centred on the topic of Democracy, as the General Election campaign gets into full swing.  In a Year 4 class on Monday, I joined in a discussion regarding the main political parties, their leaders and main policies; the children’s interest and knowledge was impressive, as was their ability to explain the democratic process and the importance of taking part.  The children were very surprised to know that one of today’s leaders visited Sherborne House in the early 1990s, when just beginning their political journey; her exotic shoes were a matter of much discussion amongst the children even back then!

I hope that you enjoy reading this week’s Friday Note, and the many exciting classroom activities which it contains.  Life at Sherborne House is always busy, as we endeavour to offer the widest range of experiences we can for all the children, and never dull.  As I write, I have just had a chance meeting with a group of Year 1 aliens, who have apparently just landed on an exciting mission to Earth! 


Heather Hopson-Hill, Head Teac​her


Published on 19/05/2017