Norwich independent school in ’emotional’ first inspection without its founder

CREDIT: This story was first seen in The Eastern Daily Press

An independent school in Norwich has been told it is excellent across the board in its first inspection since its founder died last year, The Eastern Daily Press reports.

Stretton School, on Albermarle Road, was given the highest rating in its Independent Schools Inspectorate report, which has been published after a visit at the end of May.

The school – which has nursery and prep sections – also excelled in two other reports from the same visit, assessing its early years provision and administration and procedures.

It marks the school’s first assessment since its founder Yvonne Barnett died last year, having served as headmistress from 1969 to 2012.

Anita Barclay, headmistress and Mrs Barnett’s daughter, said: “As a school it was a really emotional process for us, but it’s her ethos and underlying values which have built up over the years and have kept us so strong.

“We are delighted with the report, which reflects her legacy, what we care about here and the hard work by staff and pupils. While we hoped to do well, you just don’t know what’s going to happen on the day.

“But we are small, we are friendly and we are happy, and that’s what’s been shown in this report.”

Inspectors praised pupils’ behaviour and above average progress, as well as their “highly developed” communication skills.

“From the youngest age, children in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) are confident when speaking in front of others and listen well to their key workers and peers… Older pupils are highly articulate both in class and in social situations,” the report said.

“Self-assured pupils of all ages display high levels of confidence and self-esteem, able to tackle challenges and determined to improve their work.

“Perseverance is a watch-word for staff and pupils, who recognise that the best rewards are often hard-won.”

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They noted pupils’ “confidence and poise” when singing, well-developed swimming, high quality art and design work and strong science skills.

To improve further, inspectors said the school should make more “consistent opportunities” to enable pupils to embed computer skills.

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