School inspectors give Our Lady of Sion School top marks for student wellbeing and praise students’ ‘excellent attitude to learning’

We are delighted to publish our Independent Schools Inspectorate Report which has given us top marks for the way we help our students develop their self-confidence and self-esteem, preparing them for life outside of school. Inspectors also highlighted our students’ ‘excellent attitude to learning’ and identified our teachers as ‘well-qualified’ with a ‘passion for their subjects’. We were also highly praised for the way our students work with each other, the respect they show to others and their ’emotional resilience’.

Dr Simon Orchard, Headmaster in 2016, commented that ‘At a time when negative headlines about young people’s mental wellbeing are filling the front pages, we’re immensely proud to be recognised for the work we are doing in this area. Our starting point is that children do not learn well, and will struggle to go on to lead happy and productive lives, unless they feel positive about themselves and their abilities. Through an innovative curriculum, and a dedicated staff team, we ensure that all children can explore their talents, try things out and be challenged and supported to be their best in a small, caring environment.’

The four-strong ISI inspection team reported back on two key areas – the quality of the students’ personal development – which it found to be ‘Excellent’ – and the quality of students’ academic and other achievements.

Commenting on achievement, which inspectors found to be ‘Good’, they said: 

‘Pupils throughout the school have excellent attitudes to their own learning, and show maturity and independence as they progress and develop.’

Inspectors went on to describe students as having,

‘very positive and effective learning attitudes…..[which] are a real strength of the school.’

Teachers were praised for being 

‘well qualified’ with a ‘passion for their subjects’ and ‘good leadership and management’ was acknowledged as being the reason for such effective teaching provision.

Inspectors said:

‘The good progress made by pupils is maintained throughout the school, across all abilities, because teachers understand and are sensitive to their pupils’ needs; in addition they have high expectations both for encouraging pupils’ engagement and their standards of behaviour.’

Our small class sizes were highlighted as allowing teachers to provide more individual attention, and the ‘great variety of teaching approaches’ was judged to satisfy the ‘varied needs of pupils’.

Dr Orchard said that ‘This inspection report really is a testament to the immense amount of care and attention that all staff – not just those in the classroom – put into ensuring every pupil can have a successful Sion experience. We focus on excellent teaching, supported by careful tracking and communication of students’ progress and we add to this thoughtful, holistic pastoral care. This combination of challenge and support allows each one of our pupils to be known for the individual they are.’

‘The report also speaks volumes about our students’ families, without whose support and involvement we would not be the strong, successful learning community that the ISI report shows we are.’

Since the full Inspection in 2016, we have had a Compliance Inspection in October 2019, where possible outcomes are either ‘met’ or ‘not met’. We are delighted to report that we have met all Independent Schools Standards.

Please click the links below to view the ISI Inspection Reports: