Berkhamsted Group, Day Nursery, Pre-Prep, Prep | 16.02.2024

Independent School Inspectorate Report for BDNL, Pre-Prep and Prep – Report published February 2024

Independent School Inspectorate Report for BDNL, Pre-Prep and Prep – Report published February 2024

In November 2023, Berkhamsted Pre-Prep and Prep welcomed the ISI Inspector team to visit the school sites for an Inspection following their previous visit in 2017.  Much had changed and the staff at each School were keen to demonstrate the advancements that have been made in that time.

The provision in BDNL, Stepping Stones and Reception was found to be ‘outstanding’ in all five areas of assessment (only the Early Years provision gets a one-word summary in the new framework).

Berkhamsted is very proud of our teaching staff and the efforts they demonstrate in providing the best outcomes for our pupils.  This was indeed noted by the inspectors who stated:

“Leaders empower teachers across the school to undertake research projects, directly related to their teaching.  As a result, teachers’ professional knowledge grows, and they develop the skills to find creative and innovative ways to improve pupils’ learning.  In this way, the research-based approach to improving learning has a positive impact on pupils’ personal and academic outcomes.”

It is the research-based learning that Berkhamsted has become renowned for, and the basis of some our teaching and pupil development plans.  Examples of these research projects undertaken by our Staff, alumni and occasionally pupils, can be found in our in our annual Research Journal.

These opportunities for staff research were recognised in the inspection as an ‘area of significant strength’, and this is noteworthy because early indications are that only 4% of schools inspected last term were given such an accolade.

As a through school on multi-sites, it has been of utmost importance for the Leadership team to consider how best to transition our pupils seamlessly while ensuring that the outcome of the change is beneficial.  The inspectors commented “Pupils are very well prepared for the next stage in school and for transition after the Prep school.  Pupils speak about feeling excited to move on because they are confident in their abilities and learning and because leaders build effective links through the Berkhamsted Schools Group.”

Inspectors also reviewed the wellbeing of our pupils and were able to report that: “Due to the excellent levels of care that the setting provides, the personal and emotional development of the children is excellent, and they consistently demonstrate that they feel safe, secure and happy”.

In addition to this, the ISI felt that our “well-planned curriculum ensures that not only do pupils have extensive knowledge and skills in a broad range of areas but they also develop the necessary interpersonal and social skills needed to function successfully in British society”.

The report also acknowledge Berkhamsted’s focus on understanding and developing each child’s learning as an individual.  “Children in the early years make rapid progress.  Teachers in the early years are highly competent in using their knowledge of the abilities of individual children.”

This ISI Inspection Report supports our commitment to our families that we will constantly drive forward with innovation in a Berkhamsted education which is based on the latest research studies to ensure our pupils not only demonstrate high levels of academic attainment but have the social development and skills to develop into remarkable people.

The full report can be found here


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