Good times for Cape Cornwall School as it revels in glowing report
THE COUNTRY'S most westerly mainland secondary school has been proclaimed as one of its better places to learn.
Cape Cornwall School, in St Just, has been given a glowing report following an Ofsted inspection at the end of the last academic year.
In the document, which head teacher Julie Nash received last week, it noted progress in areas such as teaching, learning, staff morale and development and was deemed "good" in all gradable categories.
Some of its key points said classes were "engaging", subjects "personalised" and the head teacher had made "impressive, challenging, effective yet supportive changes".
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It went on to mention that "students have good attitudes to learning" and were well prepared for their futures.
It added "staff, parents and the community are very supportive of the school and value its work in the locality".
Mrs Nash said she was "elated" with the comments.
"I couldn't be happier," she said. "It's an accolade for school that is very small. I have been here two years and the staff and kids are amazing. We're all very happy and proud."
Mrs Nash said Ofsted has become even tougher in its guidelines and so this result was even more commendable.
"Given the stringency of this new framework, to get 'good' is absolutely incredible.
"It's well deserved. Everyone involved has worked very hard – lots of schools across Cornwall have gone down, but we haven't."
Science teacher Dani Long echoed the head teacher's comments. "Our recent Ofsted report was amazing," she said. "It reflects so well how we all feel about Cape.
"The report corroborates what we knew about our students, their achievements and behaviour. I couldn't be more proud of them and my colleagues."
Parents were also very pleased with the report.
Andy Morris said he chose the school because it had a good reputation, praising the "family atmosphere".
Rachael Whitear said she had no doubts about the education it provided.
"I have a child who has just started Year 7 and who couldn't wait to start school – they had a fantastic first day," she said.
Earlier this summer The Cornishman reported a number of voluntary redundancies at the school.
Mrs Nash said cutting back on those costs has allowed resources to be poured back into the classroom.
With just 400 pupils, she said the school has been overstaffed.
"I see it as a step forward," said Mrs Nash. "The staff opted to go – we are focusing on making improvements where they need to be made."
Although Cape Cornwall has seen a drop in numbers recently, she said that the school is seeing interest from farther afield, suggesting some children want a more intimate experience.
"We have taken some students all the way from Trythall (around ten miles away)," said Mrs Nash.
"I think it's because our relationships are so positive.
"We have no intention to be big – what I love most about this place is that it's a nice family."
Mrs Nash said improvements could always be made, with the team hoping to gain "outstanding" next time.
Cape Cornwall School was rated good in the four Ofsted areas of analysis, which are: leadership and management; achievement; the quality of teaching and behaviour; and safety.