Celebrating Our ISI Inspection
St Dunstan’s College is delighted to share the findings from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) Focused Compliance and Education Quality Inspection report, following an inspection in November 2019. St Dunstan’s was awarded the highest possible outcome in each category.
The inspectors found that ‘the quality of the pupils’ academic achievement and other achievements is excellent,’ and that ‘pupils of all ages display excellent knowledge, skills and understanding and become resilient in their learning as they move through the school’. The report’s key findings also found that St Dunstan’s pupils of all ages ‘have outstanding attitudes to learning and are effective independent learners and thinkers’ and that they ‘learn effectively by collaborating with their peers’.
During their visit, inspectors spent time in an upwards of 90 lessons, seeing nearly every teacher at St Dunstan’s. They met with teaching and non-teaching staff, and spent time with more than 100 pupils from the Nursery to the Sixth Form. The leadership team, led by Headmaster Mr Nicholas Hewlett, were found to ‘give every individual a chance to work out the person they want to be.’
Inspectors found that ‘pupils show compassion and kindness for each other and have a discernible appreciation for their community and the world beyond.’ Praising the College’s community outreach, the inspectors noted that pupils ‘translate their moral awareness into carrying out activities such as charitable giving, both in terms of money and time, to local causes and they are able to engage with great issues of our time, such as climate change and inequality.’
Speaking about the findings, Headmaster, Mr Hewlett, said: ‘It is a great pleasure to be able to share the findings of our recent ISI inspection. The College had not had a full inspection of its educational quality for over 9 years and we had eagerly anticipated endorsement of the tremendous amount that has been achieved in that time. As you will see from the report, we have had that endorsement in abundance! It is not just that the College received the highest possible outcome in each category - pupil personal development and pupil academic development were both deemed to be excellent – but I hope you will agree that the language used throughout the report resonates with the outstanding work that has been undertaken across this school. I read it with great pride and am grateful for the insight of the inspectors who were able to capture the undeniably unique, open-minded, broad and fulfilling school culture that is having such impact on shaping our young people and both our individual and collective identity.’
In terms of the quality of the pupils’ personal development, also rated as excellent, it was noted that pupils take pride in the location of the College and feel a strong connection with the local Lewisham community. ‘Pupils value the diversity of the College and its inclusivity very highly and have a strong sense of belonging to the local community,’ the report explained.
Pupils are also able to strike a good balance between the academic and co-curricular demands of school life, inspectors found. ‘Pupils embrace the very busy life of the College with enthusiasm,’ the report said. ‘Pupils understand the importance of maintaining a balance between work and leisure’.
Inspectors found that pupils ‘embrace opportunities’ given to them by the wealth of activities and societies offered by the Forder Programme. ‘They become, for instance, equality ambassadors, skilled Warhammer players, excellent cooks, eco-warriors, chess players or drummers by developing these skills in the extensive co-curricular programme.’
Speaking about the future, Mr Hewlett added: ‘We will of course not become complacent. We see this as endorsement of our direction of travel and not an end point in its own right.’
‘There is still much to achieve and a huge amount to look forward to in the years that are to come; wonderful new buildings, the potential for some outstanding academic results and, above all else, grounded and rounded young people who are well prepared to face and challenge the vagaries of our society with understated confidence, resolute values and humility.’
The inspection’s findings come at an exciting time for St Dunstan’s, as in the New Year significant building works will begin on the College site. A new Junior School, STEM centre and Sixth Form will be opening in the next 18 months.