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The Suthers School in Fernwood, part of the Nova Education Trust, has been rated as good by Ofsted inspectors.

A school has shown huge signs of improvement after being praised for its positive relationships between staff and pupils.

Following an Ofsted inspection in March, The Suthers School in Fernwood — which is part of Nova Education Trust — has been rated as good.

It shows a marked improvement for the school which was told it required improvement back in 2022 after behaviour and attitude was found to be an issue.

Headteacher, Nicola Watkin outside Suthers School, Fernwood, which has been rated as good by Ofsted.
Headteacher, Nicola Watkin outside Suthers School, Fernwood, which has been rated as good by Ofsted.

In the most recent report, inspectors recognised that staff at school have high expectations for what pupils can achieve and have developed an ambitious curriculum that reflects those expectations.

It underlined that pupils enjoy opportunities to develop their character, take part in careers fairs and other cultural events, and the school offers a range of extra-curricular activities to all pupils.

The inspectors were impressed with the positive relationships between staff and pupils, with care shown for pupils’ education and well-being.

Clear and consistent routines ensure pupils behave well and focus on their learning within a calm and purposeful environment.

Furthermore, the positive relationships with parents was noted, with one parent telling inspectors that “my child continues to mature into a confident and articulate young person who will, thanks to the school and its dedicated and inspiring staff, fulfil their potential”.

The report also said that “pupils enjoy school and feel safe. They know their teachers have their best interests at heart and have high aspirations of themselves, the school and their community”.

One pupil told inspectors that they are "proud of the family feel” and the "personal care” received.

Pupils at the school were found to be friendly, polite and respectful as well as feeling happy and safe.

Suthers School, Fernwood.
Suthers School, Fernwood.

The ‘Torch’ character strengths of tenacity, optimism, respect, curiosity and hard work underpin all the school does.

A comprehensive personal development programme has been put into place by the school, allowing pupils to learn about healthy relationships, equality, and diversity in an age-appropriate way during these lessons.

Pupils also develop an understanding of fundamental British values and tolerance for others, as well as enjoy debating and exploring their own views on spiritual and moral issues.

They learn how to keep themselves safe, both online and in the local and wider community so that they are well prepared for adult life.

School head, Nic Watkin, said: “I am so pleased the inspection team saw the positive and warm relationships between our staff and students which makes The Suthers School a fantastic place to learn and work.

“Our students are at the heart of everything we do and we aspire for them to achieve the very best they can to be successful in life.

“We have embedded ‘The Suthers Way’ and students and staff are proud to be part of our school community because of our unashamedly high expectations.

“A student confidently articulated to the inspector the ‘staff want the very best for us here’.

“I am very grateful for the dedication and hard work from our staff and students and for the support and commitment from our governors, parents and carers as this is a collaborative achievement.”

Suthers School, Fernwood.
Suthers School, Fernwood.

Andy Seymour, director of school improvement, added: “I am delighted that The Suthers School has been judged to be a solidly good school and is testament to the dedication and commitment to excellence from everyone associated with the school.

“I am especially proud of how the school and the wider community continue to work in true partnership to ensure that pupils receive the very best educational experiences every single day.

“We can now look forward to an exciting future as we further develop our educational offer towards providing a transformational education across all aspects of school life as part of the wider Nova Education Trust.”

The report also acknowledged that Nova trustees and the local governing body have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities, providing appropriate challenge and support to the school which helps it to make improvements to policies and systems.

Ash Rahman, CEO of Nova Education Trust, said: "The Suthers School provides an environment for learners where they are inspired, developed and motivated to achieve.

“I am delighted that it has received the continued recognition that it deserves.

"We now look to the future as we further develop our vision to create truly transformational education for the young people and the communities we serve.

“Can I also take this opportunity to thank the pupils, staff, parents and carers, governors and trustees.

“The outcome is a great example of what happens when a community positively supports one another, and works together.”

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