We are delighted to share with you our 2017 Estyn Inspection Report, which was published on 8th February 2018. This truly outstanding report, carried out under the new inspection framework in December of last year, judged Bishopston’s performance across the five inspection areas as follows:

Standards:                                         EXCELLENT

Well-being and attitudes to learning:  EXCELLENT

Teaching and learning experiences:     EXCELLENT

Care, support and guidance:               EXCELLENT

Leadership and management:             EXCELLENT

Bishopston is one of a very small number of schools in Wales to have been awarded an excellent rating in every one of the five key areas of the new inspection framework. The findings of the report are a true testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole Bishopston community, particularly the pupils and all of our staff who teach and support them. The report highlights that: “Leaders at Bishopston Comprehensive School have established an ethos whereby pupils develop outstanding social, learning and life skills. Learning experiences meet the needs of pupils exceptionally well and teaching supports pupils to reach high standards. As a result, most pupils make very strong progress, and achieve consistently high results at key stage 4.”

In addition to the exceptional standards achieved by the pupils, the report also acknowledges: “The school is highly successful in maintaining a caring and inclusive ethos. Pupils receive care, support and guidance of high quality. The school makes a strong contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. A culture of high expectations and respect for others pervades all of the school’s work. Most pupils behave in an exemplary manner in lessons and around the school. They are courteous and polite to others. They respond maturely to adults and engage confidently in discussion about moral and ethical issues and current affairs.”

Inspectors also praised the curriculum and highlighted: “The curriculum is highly effective in meeting the needs of individual pupils across both key stages. In particular, there is a strong emphasis on catering for the needs of each pupil at key stage 4. The school creates imaginative schemes of work and enrichment projects that provide engaging opportunities for pupils to develop and extend their skills. The school offers an extensive range of enrichment activities for high numbers of pupils to gain valuable experiences to support their learning.” Our pupils as always were a credit to the school and families. Inspectors noted: “Nearly all pupils have positive attitudes to learning. They take an active part in lessons and are enthusiastic learners. Most are able to work independently for sustained periods, and engage willingly with new experiences and tasks. Many pupils display particularly high levels of perseverance in their learning, especially when they are engaged in challenging activities.”

Finally in relation to leadership, Estyn state: “Leadership at all levels contributes particularly successfully to the strong sense of community and commitment to the school’s values and aims. This has had a sustained impact on the high quality provision, the outstanding standards pupils achieve and their exceptional levels of wellbeing.”

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to parents, governors, our excellent cluster primary schools and all other partners for their exceptional support. Our pupils’ aspirations, achievements and well-being are our school’s everyday priorities, and this excellent report will help us to continue to improve. Following the inspection, Estyn has invited the school to prepare a written case study on its work in relation to developing pupils’ social, learning and life skills. We are delighted that well-being and attitudes to learning has been chosen for this case study. It will feature on the Estyn website and will be an exciting opportunity for our pupils and staff to share their success.

We are delighted with this report which is a tribute to the hard work of the whole school community. It is the product of many years of conscientious and sustained partnerships with the overarching aim to be “an outstanding learning community founded upon mutual respect”.

Jeff Bird