School is being ‘transformed’ says inspector

Belper School head, Martyn Cooper with students Frank Wilson-Caines, Savannah Stone, Alex Smith, Emily Serementa, Sophie Gale and Joseph Riley

Belper School head, Martyn Cooper with students Frank Wilson-Caines, Savannah Stone, Alex Smith, Emily Serementa, Sophie Gale and Joseph Riley

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Education inspectors have praised the progress of Belper School and said it is undergoing ‘rapid transformation’ .

Staff received a visit from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate to check how the school had progressed since being given targets for improvement in January.

After discussions with senior staff, scrutiny of key documentation and observation of several classes, the HMI said it was impressed with the work being undertaken to raise standards.

Among the improvements identified were the fact thatheadteacher Martyn Cooper and senior staff have chosen a number of key priorities for further advancement within the school.

These are being called the Big five - teaching & learning, assessment, behaviour, rewards and sanctions.

The new set of targets are designed to meet the needs of all students. Inspectors said teaching staff have embraced these initiatives and achievement is rising and student attitudes to learning are increasingly positive.

Academic attainment of the students was found to be at a record high when the GCSE results were announced in the summer.

The performance of Year 11 students improved in most key areas and progress from Year seven to Year 11 was above expectations in English and in line with expectations in Mathematics.

New performance targets have been designed to build on that success and the upward trend is expected to continue in 2014, when a further HMI visit will measure the progress.

Headteacher Martyn Cooper was said to have demonstrated his determination to lead the school to achieve its full potential supported by the staff and governors.

His “energetic input” has already been recognised through improved behaviour, general consistency of expectations and good quality teaching.

Other new systems brough in include tight line management and accountability structure which will monitor the standard and quality of teaching and learning throughout the school. The HMI has reported that ‘provision at the school is undergoing rapid transformation.’

Headteacher Martyn Cooper said: “I am absolutely delighted for the students and staff, including the previous Headteacher Trevor Harding, who have worked so hard to achieve the results from this summer. So many stepped up to the plate and should be immensely proud. We now look to the future as the sleeping giant of Belper School is fully awoken.”