April 2011

Dear Parents

Last week I received a letter from Ofsted. Heads generally do not look forward to receiving letters from Ofsted (!) but this one contained good news. Because the School was graded Outstanding in June 2008 it is not automatically scheduled for another inspection. Instead Ofsted carries out an "interim assessment" by looking at our results and any other information they have. Following this assessment they have concluded that the School's performance has been maintained and they will not be inspecting us this year. They will carry out the same assessment exercise next year. I attach a full copy of the letter that Ofsted has provided.

The weekly newsletter which comes out every Friday is a record of the many achievements of pupils in so many different domains - Sporting, Musical, Drama productions and so much more including the very successful red Nose day fundraising campaign. I will not repeat them here or include the list of over 80 pupils who were awarded their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the fifteen who gained the Silver Award. Many pupils should be very proud of their achievements that are recorded in the newsletter as should those invited to the Celebration Lunches organised by Miss Muir.

Work will begin at the start of next term on Cornwall House to build an ICT room and extra Common Room. This is scheduled to be ready by September 2011. This will leave only Edinburgh House without a ground floor extension and ICT room and I hope that we will be able to build this for September 2012.

The Governors and the Board of Management are exploring whether it is in our pupils' interests to become an Academy. However, as a State Boarding School owned by a long-established charity, there are many complex issues and problems to be resolved (and this is likely to take some time) before a considered decision can be taken.

The Dining Hall cannot really cope with the numbers for lunch every day, so we are building a new queuing area to avoid anyone standing outside before meals. We will also be creating more serving areas so pupils can be served faster. Work will begin on this during the Summer term and completed during the holidays.

I am most grateful to the many parents who responded to the survey that we sent out in January. As a result we shall be improving information to new parents, improving information on the website, and doing further work to make the changing rooms and pupil toilets in School better. There was a lot of positive comment about the Wisepay system and we hope to extend the system to allow payment of fees in the near future.

With my best wishes

Paul D Spencer Ellis