In March 2020, NULS’s Nursery, Prep School, Seniors and Sixth Form received their latest full Education Quality Inspection. This is the largest and most comprehensive of the Independent School Inspectorate’s visits. This Inspection involves a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of a school’s regulatory compliance in key areas such as Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Safer Recruitment and so forth and a thorough evaluation of the quality of the teaching, learning, achievement and personal development of a school’s pupils from 3-18 years. With our full report now signed off and complete, we are thrilled to share this with you, that NULS was been awarded the very highest gradings possible by ISI in this inspection. Despite it now being acknowledged in education that securing two top ‘Excellent’ grades in both Achievement and Personal Development is becoming notoriously difficult, NULS was awarded the increasingly rare accolade of ‘Double Excellent’; a brilliant testimony to the ability of our academic staff and support teams, and the hugely impressive achievements and personal qualities of our pupils.
However, in our desire to be relentless in our aspirations, it is also essential that we never rest on our laurels and that we now embark on taking our standards and achievements even higher, as we seek to build on last year’s record breaking examination results and more. This is a goal that we will relish, as we seek to endorse our school motto, of Always Striving to Reach New Heights. Nunquam Non Nova Summa Sequendo!
A sample of some of the highlights of our inspection report are below. We do hope you enjoy reading them. However, please do also read the additional evidence and details that our shared by our full Education Quality Inspection Report available at here.
Report Outcomes and Headlines
‘Double Excellent’ for Academic and all-round achievement and Pupil’s Personal Development
The Quality of Pupils’ Academic and other Achievement
- The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent.
- Pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding across different areas of learning are excellent.
- Pupils’ communication skills are of a very high standard in all areas
- Pupils are keen to learn and show excellent attitudes to learning. Pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding across different areas of learning are excellent
- Pupils’ attainment is excellent as indicated by the evidence from lesson observations, interviews with pupils and scrutiny of their work, together with standardised measures of progress, which show that pupils make strong progress over time. This includes pupils with SEND, those with EAL and the most able.
- At GCSE, during the period 2017 to 2019, two-thirds of pupils achieved grades 9 to 7 compared to around 20% nationally.
- Results in 2019 at A level were 72% at grades A* to B, indicating a performance well above the national standard.
- In discussion, pupils spoke confidently about how well they are achieving and what they need to do to improve further.
- Pupils’ performance has increased as a result of management and leadership intervention following scrutiny of progress data which is used to determine where improvements in learning and achievement can be made, and this illustrates the effectiveness of school leaders in addressing the recommendation from the previous inspection.
- Pupils’ communication skills are excellent. Pupils demonstrate confidence when speaking and listening, are eloquent and speak with pride about their school. Written work is well presented and carefully produced.
- Pupils’ numeracy skills are very well developed and applied successfully across other areas of the curriculum. In discussion, all pupils of all ages are confident in their use of numeracy across the curriculum.
- Pupils show a good range of ICT skills and are confident in applying these in other areas of the curriculum.
- Pupils demonstrate higher order thinking skills. They analyse and synthesise information when encouraged to think for themselves and when searching questions are used.
- Pupils are keen to learn and show excellent attitudes to learning.
- On leaving school most pupils gain places to universities and courses with demanding entrance requirements, whilst many junior pupils secure scholarships in their choice of secondary education.
- Pupils of all ages achieve high levels of success in many areas, including national competitions in art, biology, chemistry, mathematics and music. A large number of pupils gain prestigious qualifications in music, debating and public speaking.
- Both senior and junior pupils have many opportunities to participate in drama productions
- Junior and senior teams compete at a high level, regularly winning regional, county and national competitions in rugby, netball, hockey, swimming, rounders and football. The school strongly promotes participation in extra-curricular activities for all pupils of all abilities…
- This (The School) fulfils its aim to give pupils excellent academic achievement and co-curricular activity, valuing participation and success.
The Quality of Pupils’ Personal Development
- The quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent.
- Throughout the age range, pupils have an excellent respect for their own and each other’s cultures and enjoy learning about the differences.
- Pupils show outstanding qualities of self-confidence and self-esteem, interacting naturally and effectively with one another.
- Pupils demonstrate excellent social development and collaboration skills.
- Throughout the school, pupils show excellent qualities of self-confidence and self-esteem.
- The school fosters a culture that promotes self-awareness;
- Pupils develop a sense of self-worth through their involvement in the running of many aspects of the school;
- Pupils become more resilient as a result of the many demanding activities they undertake and they show high levels of perseverance in their approach to their work.
- Pupils understand the importance of decision-making and accept responsibility for the outcomes.
- Pupils do not feel pressured into following a particular path after school and routes other than university, such as degree-level apprenticeships, are promoted.
- Pupils have a good spiritual understanding, which is strengthened by their lessons in religious education (RE) as well as a wide-ranging assembly programme.
- Pupils are self-disciplined and show high levels of respect for others. They have a strong sense of right and wrong…
- Pupils take responsibility for their conduct, understanding and supporting the rewards and sanctions system and demonstrate excellent behaviour in lessons.
- They expect fairness from each other and from staff and this was observed to be fulfilled.
- The vast majority of parents indicated in their questionnaire responses that the school helped their child to develop strong teamwork and social skills and also helped them to be confident and independent.
- Pupils contribute positively to the lives of others within the school.
- The school’s focus on charity enables many pupils to contribute positively to the lives of others through home-clothes days and charity fairs. The pupils spoke very animatedly about supporting charities and people less fortunate than themselves in the local community
- The very youngest pupils are encouraged to take leadership roles and children in the Nursery spoke confidently about taking turns to be the ‘helper’ and knew that helping each other is an important part of school life.
- The school’s population reflects the diverse local community on which it draws, and pupils demonstrate an excellent understanding of the need to respect each other regardless of differences in culture and background.
- Pupils have an excellent understanding of how to stay safe. They understand personal security, recognising the school’s approach to developing a safe site, for example in crossing the road between the sites
- They speak knowledgeably and confidently about online safety, understanding their own role in securing their safety
- Pupils also understand the need to keep mentally healthy and take advantage of the provision of mindfulness sessions and the school counsellor to support their own needs. They speak confidently about the importance of a healthy diet and in particular, the importance of activity for keeping fit.