Islington school is rated outstanding by Ofsted

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By poppy_smith | Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 17:57

All of Islington's schools for children with special educational needs are 'outstanding', say Ofsted.

Samuel Rhodes School has recently joined Richard Cloudesley and The Bridge schools in being given this top judgement by Ofsted inspectors.

Catering for pupils aged between five and 16 with moderate learning difficulties, Samuel Rhodes is located across two sites - the primary department in N7 and the secondary in N5.

The school was inspected in December 2012 and was judged to be 'outstanding' in every category.  Highlights from the Ofsted report include:

  • Pupils make outstanding progress across the school, particularly in the key skills of literacy and numeracy.
  • The proportion of pupils achieving nationally recognised qualifications is improving year on year.
  • Pupils' attitudes to learning and behaviour are excellent in lessons and around the buildings.
  • Outstanding leadership of the school ensures it provides a safe and creative learning environment where pupils can enjoy, learn and achieve.
  • Pupils are prepared well for the next stage of their education, all moving on to further education, employment or work-based training.

    Samuel Rhodes has made significant improvements since its last inspection in 2009 when it was judged as 'good'.

    Inspectors praised headteacher Julie Keylock, saying her 'drive and ambition have led to continuing and sustained improvement.'  Julie said:

    "We are delighted and proud that Ofsted have agreed with our self evaluation and judged Samuel Rhodes to be an 'outstanding' school. Given that Oftsed have made the criteria for outstanding much harder to achieve, it makes the achievement even more significant.

    "Since 2009 we have worked hard in every area of school life to achieve our school vision of 'Going for Gold'.  I would like to thank all the staff, pupils, parents, carers, governors, community partners and friends of Samuel Rhodes for their continued support and their part in helping us achieve this ultimate recognition. Team Samuel Rhodes has achieved Gold!"

    Ofsted found that teachers have good relationships with pupils, know them well and as a result, 'ensure they plan work that offers suitable challenge to all'. Daily literacy and numeracy lessons have helped improve pupils' rates of progress over the last three years.

    Islington Council's executive member for children and families, Cllr Richard Watts, said:

    "Well done to all the staff and governors at Samuel Rhodes who work incredibly hard to ensure their pupils are getting the best education and support to meet their needs.

    "Ofsted have recognised that all Islington's special schools offer an outstanding level of teaching and care.  This follows the news that Islington is one of the top ten places in England for schools rated as good or better, meaning our schools are a great option for parents."

    The governing body at Samuel Rhodes was praised for being 'highly effective in its role' while Islington Council also provides 'effective support.'

    Chair of governors at Samuel Rhodes, Tim Attwood, said:.

    "Samuel Rhodes is a fantastic organisation to be involved with. Children love coming to school, they enjoy learning and they make huge progress. This is all down to the highly skilled, and wonderfully caring teaching staff, led and directed by an outstanding management team, and it's brilliant that they now have the official recognition they deserve.

    "If anyone wants to see what a great school looks like, and share in the atmosphere of efficiency and fun that pervades the place, please visit!"

    The full Ofsted report can be viewed at


    Notes to editors:

    Islington has three schools catering for students with special educational needs; The Bridge School in N7, Richard Cloudesley School in EC1 and Samuel Rhodes School in N5 and N7.

    The primary department of Samuel Rhodes is co-located with mainstream school Montem Primary in N7, while the secondary school is attached to mainstream secondary Highbury Grove School, with shared dining and sports facilities.

    Islington is among the top ten areas in England for schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.



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