School ‘inspires pupils to love learning’

Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children ' Start of Life
Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children ' Start of Life

A school in Bedford has won a glowing report following an independent inspection.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) report said the “many exciting and innovative activities” available to children at Pilgrims Pre Preparatory School “ensures pupils’ constant enthusiasm for learning and the development of their knowledge and skills…[which] strongly reflects the school’s aim to inspire each child to love learning.”

The report also said the pupils’ “social development is exceptional due to the emphasis placed on collaborative working, fund raising for charity and involvement in the community”.

Pilgrims, which is an independent school for boys and girls aged from three months to seven years, was assessed in the following areas; the success of the school, the quality of the pupils’ achievements and learning, curricular and extra-curricular provision, teaching, the quality of the pupils’ personal development, arrangements for pastoral care, welfare, health and safety and the quality of governance, leadership and management. The school was found to be excellent in all areas.

ISI is the body approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to the Independent Schools Council Association. Its inspections are carried out over four consecutive days, with officials observing lessons, conducting interviews with pupils and examining samples of pupils’ work. They also speak to senior members of staff and the chair of governors, observe extra-curricular activities and attend registration sessions and assemblies.

The responses of parents and pupils to pre-inspection questionnaires are also analysed and the school’s regulatory documentation examined.

Both Ofsted and ISI inspect and report on the Independent School Standards Regulations, however they apply different frameworks and have different criteria for judging school quality that are suited to the different types of schools they inspect.