Bedford School passed both elements of the Independent Schools Inspectorate’s (ISI) new inspection with flying colours. ISI inspectors judged the ‘quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements’, as well as the ‘quality of pupils’ personal development’ as ‘excellent’: the highest possible level of attainment under the new Educational Quality Inspection assessment system, which came into play in 2016.
Nine highly experienced and respected ISI inspectors spent three days at the school at the end of 2016 evaluating all areas in careful detail and were highly impressed by the school’s approach to teaching, pastoral care and its extra-curricular programme.
The ISI inspectors remarked on the pupils ‘excellent attitudes to learning’, ‘encouraged by the high quality of teaching and the excellent individual attention provided to them by teachers’. They observed that ‘pupils have great pride in their work and in their school’ and ‘feel inspired by the enthusiasm and energy of their teachers’. The inspectors also found that ‘pupils are assured, self-confident and self-aware’ and ‘work most effectively with each other within and across years, displaying kindness and sensitivity’.
Regarding the school’s extensive extra-curricular programme, the inspectors remarked that ‘day and boarding pupils are eager to participate in life beyond the classroom in a variety of activities offered by the school, such as sport, music and drama’. They highlighted that ‘through their active involvement, many pupils achieve extremely high levels individually and in teams’.
The school’s strong and vibrant community was also apparent to the inspectors who commented, ‘pupils see themselves as part of a cohesive school community which includes not just staff and current pupils but former pupils as well. Pupils have enormous affection for this community of which they are a part’. Whether boarders or day boys ‘Pupils have great respect for others, whatever their culture or ethnicity’. Inspectors praised the house system and the diversity within the school community as ‘real strengths of the school’ which ‘underpin the consideration which pupils show for each other’.