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WE DID IT!!! A GOLDEN ERA HAS BEGUN!!
It is with absolute pleasure that I attach the excellent report from our latest Ofsted inspection which was carried out at Sandy Upper School on 8th and 9th July 2014. As you are aware, we have had three visits from HMI this academic year and every single report has been extremely positive about the remarkable and exceptional progress we have made since we began our transformational journey in September 2013.
However, our most recent Ofsted visit a few days ago is perhaps the most significant. Not only was Sandy Upper School taken out of a category of Special Measures (Grade 4), the school was also moved straight into a category of Good (Grade 2). It is extremely rare for any school in the country, to improve from a Grade 4, straight to a Grade 2 and miss out a Grade 3! In addition, the report makes it clear, that we are a high Grade 2 and the school is well on the way to becoming outstanding. To achieve this in less than a year is remarkable and a clear reflection of the extremely rapid progress we have made since September 2013. When I inherited the school in September 2013, the overall Ofsted judgements were:
· Overall effectiveness – Inadequate, Grade 4
· Achievement - Inadequate, Grade 4
· Quality of Teaching - Inadequate, Grade 4
· Behaviour & Safety - Inadequate, Grade 4
· Leadership & Management – Inadequate, Grade 4
But, in less than one year, we have moved to:
· Overall effectiveness – Good, Grade 2
· Achievement - Good, Grade 2
· Quality of Teaching - Good, Grade 2
· Behaviour & Safety - Good, Grade 2
· Leadership & Management – Good, Grade 2
The report makes it very clear that there has been a “complete transformation” since September 2013 and the school now has many good and outstanding features. The ‘new’ Sandy Upper School that exists today, is barely recognisable as the ‘old’ Sandy Upper School that I inherited in September 2013.The Ofsted judgements achieved in this inspection are the best judgements achieved in the history of the school.
In addition, the judgement of Grade 2, demonstrates that the current position of Sandy Upper School is now better than, or equal to, all other upper schools in the county, who have been inspected under the new, tougher Ofsted framework. In addition, as the Ofsted action points for moving to a Grade 1 school are very minor, we are on track to becoming an outstanding (Grade 1) school in record time!
Sandy Upper School is on a steep upward trajectory and we are very quickly becoming the first choice for most parents and students. There is much to celebrate! This year, we have achieved great success and we have done so without an academy sponsor or any additional funding.
My exceptional senior leadership team and my outstanding staff have worked tirelessly and have been instrumental in ensuring that my vision for an outstanding education for every Sandy Upper School student becomes a reality as each day passes. I am immensely proud of my staff and students for all that they have achieved this year, and they are to be highly commended for their determination, their hard work, their resilience and their outstanding teamwork. They are rightly very pleased, and proud of their achievements.
I am also extremely grateful for the overwhelming support from parents this year, the many positive messages throughout the year have been much appreciated. In addition, I am grateful to parents for supporting the school through a difficult period, which is very firmly in the distant past as the ‘Golden Era’ for Sandy Upper School has now very clearly begun! Our foundations are extremely secure and we will continue to fly even higher and even stronger!
The future of Sandy Upper School is extremely exciting as we continue our “relentless pursuit of excellence and outstanding achievement for every student”. In less than a year, we are on the same level as the best schools in the county, and my aim is to continue to take the school on a remarkable journey and create one of the best schools in the country.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer.
My very best wishes
Ms B. Hare
A Message from our Principal, July 18th 2014
I would like to thank every student, every member of staff and every parent for their commitment to this school and for their efforts in helping us to achieve so much in such a short space of time.
When I look back through the year, I cannot quite believe the transformation that has taken place here at Sandy Upper School. Our students are now smartly dressed, articulate, personable and hungry for achievement. Our staff are energised and enthusiastic about the changes taking place and we could not wish for more supportive parents.
Our Ofsted report will be issued very shortly and we will send every family a copy. I urge you to read it and enjoy the many positive comments made about our amazing school community. Please read this edition of Spotlight carefully as it contains details of arrangements throughout the summer break.
We remain busy and focused until the very end of term and our emphasis is on rewards and celebration. I look forward to seeing every student participating in our House and Inter-Form Challenges before we leave for the summer break.
I wish each and every one of you a restful holiday and look forward to seeing you all return full of energy in September.
Ms B Hare
A Message from our Principal, 11th July 2014
What a week it has been! We have always known that we would have another monitoring visit from Ofsted before the end of the year and we felt that this was the most likely week for that visit to happen. Mr Paul Brooker and his colleague, Mrs Samantha Stewart, visited the school on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th July and saw a wide range of teaching, interviewed members of SLT about school development, spoke with subject and house leaders, interviewed students and looked at all areas of school development. At this point, we do not have the official report and cannot comment on the judgement reached about the school, but we would like to say how impressed we have been by the attitude and behaviours of our students, staff and parents/guardians during this visit.
It has meant so much to us that parents have wished us well, students have been so eager to co-operate with the inspection team and our staff have delivered an outstanding education this week, as they have done for many weeks. We are extremely pleased with the outcome and look forward to sharing the report with you in detail as soon as possible.
Everyone has really taken their chance to shine this week! Next week promises to be a little quieter but we will still be working hard, completing our end of year routines before the celebrations and activities of the final few days.
My best wishes and thanks to you all.
Ms B Hare
As you will know, Ofsted have been visiting our school for the last two days. We would like to thank our amazing students, staff and parents for their support during this visit. We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to sharing the report with you as soon as it becomes available.
Ms B Hare