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Highgate Wood teachers praised by Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 15:08 26 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton PARENTS, teachers and governors at Highgate Wood School have welcomed an Ofsted report which rates it as satisfactory overall with some outstanding teaching. Inspector Alison Storey visited the Montenotte Road school on February 25 to 26

Charlotte Newton

PARENTS, teachers and governors at Highgate Wood School have welcomed an Ofsted report which rates it as satisfactory overall with some outstanding teaching.

Inspector Alison Storey visited the Montenotte Road school on February 25 to 26 - and published a report on Wednesday last week.

The best rating a school can receive is outstanding (level one) and the worst is inadequate (level four). Ms Storey rated the overall effectiveness of Highgate Wood School as satisfactory (level three) and the sixth form as good (level two).

In her report, Ms Storey commended the sixth form for being well-led and providing a good quality of education for its students.

She wrote: "They receive very good guidance on joining the sixth form to make sure they choose the courses that match both their interests and abilities."

She also praised the school's motto of Everyone Matters, for epitomising the strong contribution it makes to community cohesion.

More than half of the students at the school are from a minority ethnic group; about one in eight students are of black heritage and one in 12 Turkish.

Nearly a quarter of pupils speak English as an additional language and at least 45 students are from refugee families.

Boys outnumber girls, in some years by as many as two to one, partly because the nearby Hornsey School for Girls is the only single sex school in the borough.

But Ms Storey warned in her report that there has been an inconsistent emphasis across the school on coursework or homework as an integral part of learning and that marking is variable.

She wrote: "It is not always regular nor detailed enough to help students understand how well they are doing or what they need to do to improve."

She said pupils spoke highly of the support they received in lessons and appreciate the additional help they received after school and during the holidays.

Headteacher Patrick Cozier said: "It confirms that we are a continuously improving school with rising standards and that we know what we need to work on to become even better.

"The inspectors clearly recognised the major improvements we have made recently and wholeheartedly endorsed our plans for the short term and long term future.

"I am particularly pleased with the recognition that our strong English, maths and specialist arts departments have received and the fact that the sixth form has been acknowledged as a key strength in the school."

Imogen Pennell, chairwoman of the governors, said: "We are very pleased that the solid progress the school is making has been recognised. The whole school is now energised and focused on making sure that this progress is maintained."

Chris Freeman, owner of Dunns bakery in Crouch End Broadway, said that his 18-year-old daughter Roxy and 16-year-old son Lewis both thrived at the school.

He said: "We are glad our children went to Highgate Wood. They have both done very well out of it and we certainly can't take all the credit for that.

"Most of the schools which get these all-singing and all-dancing Ofsted reports are in very wealthy areas, or they are highly selective. To the credit of Highgate Wood, it has quite a lot of students who come from underprivileged or disruptive backgrounds.


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