We received a call from Ofsted on Monday 15 May 2017 and two inspectors spent the day with us and conducted a Section 8 Inspection on Tuesday 16 May 2017.
During their one day visit the Ofsted inspectors talked to pupils and staff and commended the progress we have made as a school since our last inspection in June 2013. We appreciated the support we received from parents and colleagues:
‘All the very best. Ofsted clearly matters to the school, its staff and its reputation, but often it misses the really significant minutiae that make a school really special - exceptional. We honestly couldn't want for a better school for our two. Thank you.’ Parent of pupils in Years 8 and 10
‘I just wanted to wish you and your staff all the best and I hope you get the opportunity to truly shine.’ Parent of pupil in Year 9.
‘You all do such an incredible job not simply to jump through Ofsted hoops but because you are exceptional educators who genuinely have the very best needs of the individuals you support at your heart. You should go into this inspection brimming with pride.’ Parent of pupils in Years 8 and 11 and Governor.
The inspectors were impressed by the warmth of the welcome they received from everybody and by the culture within the school. They were greeted with ‘cheery smiles’. In their feedback to the leadership team and representatives from the governing body, they commented on the strength of relationships, impact of professional conversations, evidence of innovative and leading practice and quality of governance. Our pupils were excellent advocates for our school. Unfortunately we are unable to share the outcome of this short inspection until the letter from the lead inspector is published. We understand this may take some time owing to Ofsted’s moderation procedures. We are, however, looking forward to receiving it!
As Headteacher I am extremely proud of our pupils and staff and the commitment we all make to being the best we can be every day. I am grateful to those in our wider school community who responded so positively to the Ofsted surveys in such a tight time frame. I was particularly overwhelmed by the exceptionally strong support we received from parents in Parent View and in personal emails and letters. We received almost double the number of responses from parents when compared to Parent View in June 2013. This clearly reflects the investment our parents have made in Deer Park, their engagement and appreciation of all we do. Thank you. We value feedback enormously. We have been advised that the 98% of parents who would recommend the school reflects an exceptionally high level of satisfaction.
‘We are grateful that our sons’ teachers have known them so well and made the work so accessible and engaging to them at their different levels. Our sons have been taught by dedicated, hard-working and creative teachers. We are also delighted that our sons have been offered so many opportunities during their time at school, including music, foreign travel, Duke of Edinburgh awards and sport. They have also both had opportunities to take responsibility and display leadership. The school has done much to prepare our sons for their futures and they face their challenges with confidence which is partly attributable to your staff.’ Parent of pupil in Year 11.
However, while we can see the summary data in Parent View, any written comments remain confidential to the inspection team. Therefore, if you did raise any concerns, please contact us directly so that we can address them.
Pupils and Staff were also given access to separate surveys. Again the feedback here is confidential to the Ofsted team, but both inspectors commented on the strong support shown for the leadership of the school (staff) and the high levels of challenge in most or all lessons (pupils).
‘I'm so pleased that you and your team received lots of positive feedback. Recently my son and I have talked a lot about his time at Deer Park and I can honestly say that I believe Deer Park helped him to be "the best he could be" and that his experience post 16 could never compare. He and his friends constantly talk about missing Deer Park and how they wish there had been a sixth form!’ Governor
Thank you for all of your support. I assure you we are not complacent. We remain ambitious for our pupils and aspire to be outstanding, not for Ofsted, but for our pupils, their learning and life chances. By continuing to work together we can help them create their futures!