Praise for the city’s fastest improving school

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A PIONEERING Sheffield school, whose results have rocketed by around 40% over the last six years, has won official recognition for its progress.

Hinde House at Shiregreen – the first 3-16 through school in the country – is praised by Ofsted inspectors in a report published this week.

The school is now rated as ‘good’ in all aspects of its operation, with leadership and management considered outstanding.

It missed out on the top ranking only because progress slows once students move up to secondary level.

Principal Chris French, who was praised for his inspirational leadership, is justly proud of the school’s achievements, but not complacent.

In a letter to parents, he said: “I assure you that we remain absolutely committed to securing further improvement in all aspects of our practice to become one of the best schools in the country.”

Hinde House was formed in 2002 when the secondary school took over Bracken Hill Primary, then Sheffield’s worst-performing school.

Mr French became head in 2007 and since then the school has improved faster than any other in the city.

This year 90% of Y6 pupils achieved the required standard – a jump of 38% in the last five years, putting it among the top 1% of schools nationally in terms of progress.

Secondary students also did well, with 54% achieving at least five good GCSEs including English and maths – up by 40% since 2006.

Local MP David Blunkett said this week’s report should be a celebration for the whole community.

“On top of the absolutely phenomenal jump in top results at GCSE this year, which has transformed the life chances of so many children, this inspectorate report is another major accolade for Hinde House School,” he said.

“Given that this is not just a clean bill of health, but an acknowledgement of the enormity of the progress that has been made, everyone can take pride in the achievement of Hinde House, from the children that come in at the age of three to the youngsters who go on to post-16 education when they leave.

“Now is the moment for the whole community to rejoice and for families to be proud of the progress that their youngsters are making. I certainly am.”

Ofsted inspectors carried out their inspection earlier this month.

They found that achievement was good, particularly in the primary department. Progress had accelerated rapidly and evidence showed this trend was set to continue.

A focus on improving teaching, and support for pupils who may be struggling, gives children a good start to their education.

Staff are excellent role models and teachers ensure that students are challenged, whatever their ability.

Inspectors say: “Through the inspirational leadership of the principal and his senior colleagues, the qualilty of teaching is now good and improving rapidly, as is pupils’ achievement across the school.”

Behaviour is good throughout the school and children learn good manners and respect for others from the nursery class onwards.

Inspectors were particularly impressed with the way students from different backgrounds related to each other.

Attendance had been a problem in the past but was now improving rapidly.

Hinde House is celebrating its success with an awards evening at the school tonight (Thursday).