Independent School inspectors have inspected both Junior and Senior sections of Chigwell School and have praised pupils and teachers. Highlights from the Junior and Senior School reports include:
• Progress is exceptional overall. In Years 3 to 6, pupils make exceptional progress to their above average ability and they continue to make good progress in Years 7 and 8 (Junior School). Attainment in public examinations is excellent, especially at A level, and has improved significantly at GCSE since the previous inspection (Senior School).
• The personal development of pupils is outstanding. This supports the School’s aim to develop the qualities of determination and independence of spirit as exemplified by the School’s motto ‘Find A Way or Make A Way’. The School’s spiritual development is excellent (Junior School). Pupils’ personal development is outstanding and is testimony to the success of the School’s aim in seeking to promote a society in which all learn to take a growing responsibility both for each other and the wider environment (Senior School).
• The School’s curriculum and programme of extra-curricular activities provides excellent support for pupils’ learning and personal development (Junior School). The curriculum makes an excellent contribution to the pupils’ progress. It provides a curriculum with a wide range of subjects which gives the pupils the opportunity to discover and develop their interests and talents. The School provides an exceptionally wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including those which enable a direct involvement within the local community (Senior School).
• Good and occasionally outstanding teaching makes a strong contribution to the pupils’ achievement throughout the School and ensures that the School meets its aim to enable pupils to fulfil their individual and collective potential (Junior School). Teaching is good and is effective in promoting good progress. The majority of lessons are at least good and some are outstanding (Senior School).
• The quality of pastoral care is excellent and supports the pupils’ outstanding personal development. The School meets its aim to provide a stimulating, rewarding and supportive environment for the whole school community (Junior School). The excellent quality of pastoral care allows the pupils to develop into responsible young people in an environment which is secure and caring (Senior School).
• Pupils demonstrate an excellent understanding of right and wrong. They show self-discipline and they value friendship, courtesy and good behaviour. The pupils’ social development is excellent (Junior School). The moral awareness of pupils at Chigwell is of outstanding quality. Prejudice and discrimination are absent from the School community, as pupils ensure that respect for others and the integrity of the community is one of the core values prevailing in daily life. The social relationships enjoyed by pupils are likewise of outstanding quality (Senior School).
• The School’s links with parents are outstanding (Junior and Senior Schools) and it is the quality of these links which is largely responsible for creating the strong sense of community felt by all within the School (Senior School). The School’s successful working relationship with parents supports strongly the School’s aim that pupils should fulfil their potential and enjoy their time at the School (Junior School).
• Strong leadership and management at all levels of responsibility enable the School to fulfil its aim to provide a rounded education of high quality (Junior School). Effective governance and leadership is successfully steering the School into a new future where change is planned but the traditions of the past are protected (Senior School).
The main recommendations made by the two sets of Inspectors were to ensure that the monitoring of teaching and learning in Years 7 and 8 is thorough and effective; make arrangements for the Head of Junior School to be appraised; and to introduce a staff appraisal programme where targets are more closely linked to the School Development Plan.
The Headmaster, Mr Michael Punt, commented that "we are very proud that the Inspectors thought so highly of the Chigwell community and all that it collectively achieves. Naturally there are areas that we will continue to work on and the recommendations made will be key parts of the next School Development Plans. However, in the meantime there is much to celebrate and these reports are a real tribute to the pupils and staff here who work so hard, and to the parents and friends who support us so enthusiastically."