Ofsted rank Norwich school 'outstanding'

Friday, January 6, 2006
6:30 AM

A Norfolk school has been awarded the highest accolade possible by Government inspectors. Reepham High is the only one in Norfolk to carry Ofsted's coveted “Outstanding” ranking after inspectors praised its caring ethos and distinctive character and also its bravery in taking risks and innovating.

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A Norfolk school has been awarded the highest accolade possible by Government inspectors.

Reepham High is the only one in Norfolk to carry Ofsted's coveted “Outstanding” ranking after inspectors praised its caring ethos and distinctive character and also its bravery in taking risks and innovating.

In a letter to pupils - a new part of the Ofsted report - chief inspector John Mitcheson says: “Reepham High School is an outstanding school. You are extremely proud of it and thoroughly enjoy being members of the school. You all display very positive attitudes.”

The report praised its “care, guidance and support” and the positive relationship between pupils, teachers and parents. It also noted results in national tests and examinations were well above average, pointing out that the standard of pupils entering the school is “average,” but results are “outstanding” by the time they take Key Stage 3 tests three years later.

Last night headmaster Chris Hassell said there was no time for the school to rest on its laurels, as he laid out an impressive array of initiatives for the future.

He said he wanted to continue building organisations such as the student council to give children from throughout the school a louder voice and he said the school would be working to introduce more vocational courses in coming years.

He also hoped Reepham High would one day have its own sixth form and said he would work in partnership with other schools and the local education authority to make it possible.

Most importantly he said the school was pursuing a closer relationship with the community.

“We live in the fastest changing society there has ever been and we should have young people and old people in the same classroom together, and that is what's going to happen,” said Mr Hassell.

He put down the Reepham High's success to the dedication and ability of the staff as well as the enthusiasm and discipline of pupils, saying that although the school, which is a specialist technology college, was at the forefront of cutting edge technology and innovation there was still a strong emphasis placed on traditional values such as good behaviour.

“In many ways the school is traditional,” said Mr Hassell. “I started out teaching in a school in the East End of London and within two minutes I knew that you would never get anywhere if you didn't have discipline.”

Pupils put down the impressive report to the healthy relationship between pupils and staff. “There has always been a brilliant relationship between staff and pupils here,” said High Denny, 16.

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