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In The Press

Swindon school rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and praised for improvements in pupils’ progress

Published in Swindon Link Magazine click here to read the article

Nyland School in Swindon has been rated as ‘a good school’ by Ofsted following an inspection in November 2016.

The school was rated ‘good’ in all areas: quality of teaching and learning, effectiveness of leadership and management, personal development and outcomes for pupils.

Ofsted praised the school’s ambitions for its pupils, its focus on improving their life chances and the introduction of a new curriculum that has enhanced progress.

Ofsted also commented on the experienced staff who help pupils to enjoy learning.

Nyland School is part of The White Horse Federation (WHF) multi-academy trust and supports children with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties.

Its principal, Tammy van der Meulen, has only been in post for a couple of months but has already introduced positive changes to the school.

She explained, “Since I started as principal at Nyland, we have focused on transforming our curriculum to include a high emotional quotient in everything we do. This means that we can support pupils to understand their emotional needs which helps to build their capacity to learn in a positive way.”

Although she is new to the role of principal, Tammy has been at the school for eight years and started as a classroom teacher.

Using her experience, she wants to increase the opportunities for pupils to reach their full potential by enriching the curriculum, teaching valuable life skills and providing more learning opportunities with specific purposes.

The school already offers swimming, horse riding and runs Design and Technology projects, such as building equipment for the playground. In the future, it plans to introduce cycling, forest schools and sailing.

These ambitions were acknowledged by the inspectors who commented that all pupils, regardless of their starting point, are making good progress.

Ofsted also said that the school’s governance was strong and that the WHF ensures staff are held to account, as well as supported and rewarded for their work.

Following the report, Tammy said, “The leadership team at the school have many years of experience and provide a clear vision and strong support to our staff, so morale is high. The WHF strengthens us further as we know we are part of one large support structure that helps us share expertise and nurtures personal and professional development.

“It also means that we can take on projects and initiatives that we might not be able to do alone. Plus, the Executive Principal brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise which is reassuring.”

The WHF believes their collaborative approach is particularly helpful when schools are preparing for Ofsted inspections.

Lauren Costello, Director of Education and executive Principal of the school explained, “Our principals know that they don’t have to go through the inspection process alone and that they can call on a whole team to support them before, during and after the inspection. We share all the lessons learned across the whole of the trust after each inspection and make the necessary changes within our schools.

“It is a pleasure to be able to support so many incredible system leaders and teams whose passion for teaching and learning and improving outcomes for children is celebrated in this Ofsted report.”

“I am delighted that Nyland School has done so well in it’s recent Ofsted inspection as it underlines what a great school this is and how much time and effort and sheer passion for getting things right our colleagues put in.” Dr Nicholas Capstick OBE, CEO, The White Horse Federation.

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