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Double delight for Harrogate school praised by inspectors

An independent school in Harrogate has received positive feedback from two different inspection teams, after weeks of intense scrutiny.

Double delight for Harrogate school praised by inspectors

An independent school in Harrogate has received positive feedback from two different inspection teams, after weeks of intense scrutiny.

Both the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on International Education (NEASC) spent part of the autumn term at Harrogate’s Ashville College.

In all, over 200 parents, pupils and staff were interviewed or shadowed during September and October last year, helping inspectors to gain a comprehensive insight into the school community.

And, in both detailed reports now published, there was praise for the holistic approach not just to the pupils’ education, but their development and well-being outside the classroom.

[caption id="attachment_99581" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] The grounds at Ashville College in Harrogate.[/caption]

The school was congratulated for its resilience, epitomised by an upturn in public examination results and, against the background of the challenges for schools in the last few years.

Both reports focused on the positive impact of personal development activities, the school’s wellbeing initiatives, the respect pupils show for diversity, the fact they are allowed both a voice and opportunity to pursue their interests, and that they are known as individuals and take pride in being ‘Ashvillians’.

Head of Ashville College, Mrs Rhiannon Wilkinson, said the two reports should be seen as a "tribute to the hard work and commitment" of the leadership team, teachers, pupils, parents, and all College staff.

It was also an independent vote of confidence in the school’s philosophy, giving equal importance to academic success and personal development.

She said:

“The College speaks often about encouraging pupils to be the best version of themselves, but I believe we can take considerable encouragement from common themes in both reports.

“The fact they highlight Ashville’s equal focus on life both inside and outside the classroom suggests the College really has taken some significant steps towards giving our pupils a solid foundation, not just for their next steps in education but their subsequent lives as adults.

“However, we shouldn’t be complacent or believe that these reports are the end of our school’s journey. Learning is a constant and that applies to us as staff and not just our pupils.

“We will therefore continue to seek ways to enrich the Ashville experience, through engagement with young minds in our classrooms, with our stakeholders, our parents and our staff.”

Other highlights from the ISI report include:

“Pupils communicate confidently and respectfully with adults.” “Leaders plan the curriculum with care and ensure it is taught effectively. They clearly articulate expectations for learning in all subjects and systematically monitor the quality of teaching and pupil progress against these.” “Delivery of the curriculum across the seven areas of learning is carefully tailored to meet individual needs. As a result, children make good progress.” “Leaders safeguard and promote the wellbeing of pupils, including boarders, through effective identification and management of the risk of harm.” “The Learning Support department is well organised and led, and systems are in place to help pupils who need additional support in their learning.”

NEASC comments include the following:

“Learners are given time to pursue interests and passions during their co-curricular activities, many of which occur after school hours.” “The Leadership Team is commended for their prioritisation of relationships, community building, wellness, and establishing high expectations for professionalism.” “The learning community possesses a growth mindset and educators have opportunities to engage in learning together.” Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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