Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

Exceptional!

Exceptional!

As parents, students and staff already know, we have now received the final report of our inspection by The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in December 2015: just click to link to it. 


Naturally we are proud and delighted that inspectors found the school, its teachers and it students uniformly excellent, and supported so strongly by parents. We are happy to follow their one recommendation, to keep spreading that excellence to every single corner of the school, as it chimes precisely with our own philosophy and drive for success. Indeed, it’s what we always do! We’re never satisfied and always keen to get better still in every respect.

Inspectors gave the RGS top grades in every one of the eight areas on which judgments are made (there is no overall single judgment as Ofsted makes for maintained schools), even adding the rarely-awarded accolade of “exceptional”  for achievement and learning: 

Quality of pupils’ achievements and learning: exceptional
Contribution of curricular and extra-curricular provision: excellent
Contribution of teaching: excellent
Spiritual, moral social and cultural development of pupils: excellent
Arrangements for pastoral care: excellent
Arrangements for welfare, health and safety: excellent
Quality of governance, leadership and management: excellent
Quality of leadership and management: excellent

I’ll just pick out a few particular highlights for us. Of teaching, pupils and the satisfaction of parents the report states:
the school’s teaching … reflects the school’s aims to deliver intellectual challenge and high expectations and to provide opportunities for creative thinking and questioning. 
An inclusive, supportive and friendly community [in which] pupils … are positive and outgoing, leaving school as knowledgeable and emotionally mature individuals with a clear sense of self-worth.
Parents expressed overwhelmingly high levels of satisfaction with the school’s education of their children, the support offered to the pupils and the school’s communication procedures… Excellent relationship with current and prospective parents.

Of the school’s students and their achievements inspectors also report:
Bright, enquiring pupils are enabled to be creative and original thinkers in an atmosphere of purpose and fun. [They are] highly accomplished mathematicians and …. scientific knowledge is excellent … exceptional levels of creativity in art and music, and in drama.

Further to teaching, inspectors felt that:
Excellent teaching and outstanding subject knowledge throughout the Junior and Senior Schools foster amongst pupils a genuine interest for academic, creative and practical subjects. 
The desire of all pupils across the school to master the fine detail in their subject knowledge and understanding … enables them to routinely reach the highest levels of achievement.

There is high praise for the pastoral care and sense of community in the school:
Relationships between pupils and staff throughout both the Junior and Senior Schools are excellent.
Openness, respect and acceptance is apparent in pupils’ relationships and philosophy.
Pupils gain a sense of service to the community and to wider society through voluntary work and fundraising.
Pupils feel happy, safe, valued and respected. Care and courtesy are a significant part of the school’s philosophy.

About curricular and extra-curricular provision they write:
Highly effective in contributing to the pupils’ academic progress and wider development … offered challenge and high expectation
An outstanding range of co-curricular activities. A full range of competitive games is played by both boys and girls, with a focus on inclusivity

We know the RGS is a special place: but it’s wonderful that a highly professional, searching process confirmed what we believe – and what so many people (especially our boys and girls) work so hard for.  

Bernard Trafford
Headmaster