Staff given top marks

PUPILS at an independent school in Somersham develop outstanding social skills because of the effective support of their teachers, according to a report. An inspection carried out by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) said teaching at Whitehall S

PUPILS at an independent school in Somersham develop outstanding social skills because of the effective support of their teachers, according to a report.

An inspection carried out by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) said teaching at Whitehall School was a consistently good quality and pupil behaviour was exemplary.

The report said: "In a substantial number of lessons observed, teaching was good or better, and several instances of outstanding teaching were seen. Generally, teachers give good opportunities for pupils to work and think for themselves."

However, in a few lessons, inspectors said opportunities for independent learning were missed because teaching was too prescriptive.

The school was praised for its outstanding pastoral care and links with parents and the community.

Inspectors said: "The school provides a secure, yet challenging, environment by creating an inclusive culture which values the uniqueness and achievement of each pupil, encouraging all pupils to become confident and caring individuals."

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Inspectors asked the headteacher to reduce his heavy workload and cut the length of English and maths lessons, which are said to be too long for the age and abilities of pupils.

Overall, the school was said to provide a very caring, friendly and happy atmosphere with traditional values. Pupils were said to be happy and proud of their school.

Headteacher Carl Hutson said: "We are extremely proud of this report, which fully reflects our own self-assessment and the progress made since the last inspection.

"Whitehall is a school with traditional values and a 21st century vision, and the few areas identified as needing fine-turning will be dealt with to enable our pupils to achieve even higher standards."

INFORMATION: Whitehall School was founded in 1983 as a non-selective independent day school and caters for 95 pupils aged from two-and-a-half to 11. To view the report in full visit www.isinspect.org.uk

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