Ofsted report a ‘pivotal moment’ in school’s reinvention
19th January 2024
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Over the last year the school, which is part of the respected Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), has embarked on a series of improvements designed to reinvent John Willmott, from a new, rewritten curriculum and readopted motto to a redesigned uniform and even a name change later this year – to the Royal Sutton School.

And last week Ofsted inspectors revealed the school its first ‘Good’ rating, after visiting in December.

Headteacher Nicola Gould said: “I was delighted by this report, and very proud of our children, who really demonstrated excellence throughout and shared the journey they have been on and the pride they have in their school. The parents were overwhelmingly positive in their interactions with Ofsted too.

“So, I was really proud of our whole school community pulling together to help produce this result, which I think is at a pivotal moment for the school.

“Now we can, as a school community, move together to the next stage quickly.”

The inspectors were impressed by the new curriculum, and how teachers at John Willmott were using it to enthuse students and drive standards up.

The report said: “Pupils benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum with personal development running through its heart. ‘Turning potential into reality’ is the motto that staff live by.”

Mrs Gould said: “The report praises our teachers’ subject knowledge, which is important as it enables pupils to make clear links between a range of subjects, allowing them to move on in their learning.

“That links to the work we have done rewriting the whole curriculum at the school – so teachers have a really comprehensive understanding of what’s being taught, the students’ journey and the component parts.”

The culture of the school was also praised, including the set of innovative ‘Moral Virtues’ that have helped transform pupil aspirations and instil pride.

Mrs Gould said the school was planning to develop this pastoral side of school life further.

She said: “Now that the foundations are in place, in terms of the curriculum and the culture of the school, it means we can now really stride forward to move towards being that beacon of excellence.”

The school is also setting up a Parent Teacher Association, with its first meeting at the end of January, so parents can take an active role in the education of their children.

The report also recognised the advantages of John Willmott being part of the broader ATLP family, saying: ‘The school benefits from the work of the trust’.

The school’s approach to careers was also praised.

The report said: “Leaders have a strong understanding of destinations data and make use of this. As a result, pupils get appropriate information about the range of options they have when they finish Year 11. Pupils are prepared well for their next steps.”

ATLP CEO Richard Gill CBE said: “There is so much for John Willmott to still look forward to, but this Ofsted report provides a very clear indication of the positive journey the school is on.”

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Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

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