Pocklington School

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School Inspectors praise pupils’ personal development and achievement

2 pupils sat reading a book in a school science lab

The Independent School Inspectorate (ISI) inspectors visited the Pocklington School Foundation earlier this term and were fulsome in their praise for both the day and boarding provision at the school and deemed the Foundation fully compliant in all required standards.

During their visit, inspectors scrutinised documentation and work, spoke with pupils and staff, observed lessons, toured the site, and examined results from pupil, staff and parent surveys. Inspectors visited both the Prep School and Senior School and their judgements apply to both.

Inspectors judged that our pupils’ personal development was excellent. They found that “pupils’ social development is excellent and relationships between pupils were very positive”. They noted that their “moral understanding is highly-developed and they show an empathetic understanding and respect for other cultures”.

The report also notes that pupils in both schools:

• Make an excellent contribution to the school and to the wider community

• Successfully strive to live up to the school’s motto of ‘courage, truth and trust’

• Develop the ability and confidence to try something without fear of failure because the school promotes an environment in which making errors is seen as part of the learning process

• Have an excellent understanding of how to improve their own learning

• Spoke of a caring, supportive and happy community in which they show real, genuine concern for each other…and showed an excellent understanding of what diversity, inclusion, empathy and respect mean.

Inspectors were also full of praise for our pupils’ achievement, which they judged as good. They learnt that our pupils are “confident and highly articulate speakers who listen and respond maturely…and write fluently in a range of styles”. They wrote that they are “hardworking….resilient; they have positive attitudes to learning and work effectively both collaboratively and independently”.

In addition, they found that pupils:

• Are ambitious and enthusiastic learners with a genuine desire to succeed

• Are aided in their learning by teaching which encompasses a variety of techniques tailored to their needs

• Value the detailed oral feedback provided by teachers

• Said that boarding helps them to progress and achieve well as a result of the support and encouragement they receive within the boarding house

• In the Sixth Form have well developed higher order thinking skills and can critically analyse information

• In the Prep School are successfully encouraged to think for themselves as a result of the recently introduced Curiosity Project.

All ISI reports include recommendations for improvement and inspectors have advised that the Foundation should:

• Develop pupils’ thinking further in the Lower and Middle School by providing more opportunities for independent thought, analysis and synthesis of ideas

• Enable pupils to take increased leadership of their learning, through use of more intellectually stimulating tasks and increased opportunity for individual research.

Toby Seth commented: “The major reason for our recent change of working week, timetable and curriculum was to encourage independent thinking, increase the time to reflect and consider problems in more depth as well as offer increased opportunity to discuss and debate more complex ideas. These goals very much reflect the inspectors’ recommendations and as such offer additional external confirmation that our changes will help support further improvements to pupils’ progress.”

He concluded: “I would like to offer my thanks to pupils, parents and colleagues for their support in achieving this very positive outcome for the Foundation.”

The full report is available to read here.