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Top marks for Polesden Lacey School

In a word, 'Outstanding'


February 14, 2010: "Outstanding." That's the Ofsted inspector's verdict on Bookham's Polesden Lacey School in Oakdene Close: "Its reputation is justifiably high," said Ofsted's Richard Blackmore, "both within the local community and further afield, because of its inspirational eco-friendly culture and inclusive and nurturing environment. Children receive a warm welcome to the Reception class and quickly become happy and eager to learn."

Blackmore awarded the school top marks both in overall effectiveness – how good the school is – and in its capacity for sustained improvement after his visit at the end of January. The top scores also extended to the pupils' achievement, safety, behaviour, healthy lifestyles and contribution to the school and wider community. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development was also top notch. No wonder that one parent told the inspector the school was "a truly special small school."

In a covering letter to his report earlier this month, Blackmore said: "You go to an outstanding school and it has a many strengths. You make outstanding progress. By the time you leave school, you reach standards that are high. You are extremely well cared for and given very good quality help to make sure you learn quickly.

"You have an excellent understanding of how to keep safe and be healthy. Children in Reception thoroughly enjoy school, work extremely hard and cooperate very well. You have excellent relationships with each other and your teachers and teaching assistants.

"Your school keeps you very safe. You have an excellent understanding of how other people in the world live. You love your clubs and trips and visits."

Chair of Governers Sean Whetstone told the Bugle: "We are the first community and non-faith school in Surrey to receive the Ofsted Overall Outstanding grade since the new Ofsted Framework was introduced on 1st September last year. We are only the second school in the Surrey to get the Outstanding grade since the new much tougher Ofsted framework was introduced last year. The first school was Church of England school Ewhurst."

Nationally, he said, less than 15 per cent of the top schools achieve the Ofsted Outstanding grade but that is expected to reduce under the new framework.

Above right: Polesden Lacey School head teacher Rosie Keedy with some of her star charges.

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