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Ofsted inspectors praise 'culture of aspiration' as Hornchurch High School rated Good

PUBLISHED: 10:07 19 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:07 19 March 2019

Hornchurch High School has been rated Good by inspectors.

Hornchurch High School has been rated Good by inspectors.

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Hornchurch High School has been rated Good by Ofsted after the secondary school underwent its first inspection with its new name.

Hornchurch High School Headteacher Val Masson with Assistant Headteacher Gary Wimbush.Hornchurch High School Headteacher Val Masson with Assistant Headteacher Gary Wimbush.

Inspectors conducted a two-day unannounced visit of the Broadstone Road school ¬– formerly The Albany ¬– on January 22 and 23 this year.

In their official report, inspectors praised what they described as “a culture of aspiration” at the school that saw teachers encourage pupils to adopt a more positive approach.

They went on: “Leaders have high expectations regarding behaviour, attendance and punctuality.

“Pupils’ behaviour and conduct in lessons and around the school are good.

“Pupils attend regularly and rates of absence and persistent absence are lower than the most recent national figures.”

The school, which changed its name in September to mark “an exciting new chapter in its history,” made national news last year when it implemented a stricter discipline code that required students to remain silent in corridors between lessons.

This was also picked up on by inspectors, who noted: “Pupils’ conduct in lessons and when moving around the school site is good.

“The school is a calm, orderly and purposeful learning environment.

“Pupils are polite and courteous to one another and to adults and behave well at informal times, such as breaks and lunchtimes.”

Headteacher Val Masson said staff across the school were “absolutely thrilled” with the feedback they received.

She told the Recorder: “We really were not expecting it at all – I thought we had another year [before an inspection].

“I got the phone call the night before that Ofsted were coming and there was nothing we could do about it.

“I said to the staff ‘don’t try and do anything special because they will know, just do what we’ve been doing’.

“A lot of the feedback was extraordinary – if you read the report it reads more like an Outstanding.

“One of the most pleasing things to me was that the report highlights how the children’s attitude has changed – about how they now look forward to coming here and learning.

“The one thing inspectors said was that they needed to see more evidence that the changes made here will be embedded over time.”

Assistant headteacher Gary WImbush agrees.

He said: “If you had told us two years ago that Ofsted would come in earlier than we expected and they’d give us a Good we’d have been very happy with that.”

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