Independent Scho Schools Inspectorate 2013
Felsted is a thriving and distinctive educational community which engenders great loyalty in pupils, staff and parents. The dedication and commitment of all staff ensures the welfare, personal development and achievement of pupils. This is matched by the pupils’ wholehearted and energetic involvement in the life of the School. Pupils and staff are united in aspiration.
Felsted is judged to be ‘excellent’ in each of the tough ISI standards, following a glowing 2013 Independent Schools Inspectorate Report. With the Preparatory School achieving the same accolade in 2011, this is a rare achievement across two schools in the same foundation.
Achievement and Learning: Fostering lifelong and independent learning
Felstedians impressed the ISI inspectors with the quality of their academic achievement across all year groups.
life-long learners with high levels of emotional and intellectual skills and knowledge’.
emotionally mature for their age’.
‘Pupils argue cogently, reason maturely, apply new knowledge rapidly and show high levels of creativity.’ Enthusiasm and
‘Pupils have a well-developed sense of right and wrong.’ The strongly ingrained
excitement are engendered in many lessons and their attitude to learning is excellent. Pupils of all ages are considered to have ‘very
Inspectors noted the encouragement given to the academically strongest to enter national academic competitions and produce work of award-winning quality. A ‘very high
proportion of pupils continue their education at universities of their choice’.
High levels of achievement across the spectrum The Inspectors commended ‘excellent
teaching across the academic and co-curricular provision’, including the most able, gifted and talented, those requiring support in their learning and pupils learning English as an additional language. Different groups make good progress and achieve very well in relation to their abilities.
‘Sharp emphasis on target setting, effective use of self-assessment in lessons and a detailed tracking system have all had a positive impact on pupil performance’.
Teachers showed the Inspectors imaginative use of electronic tablet devices, effective tutoring of individuals and ‘stimulating, dynamic and supportive teaching’. ‘Teachers promote challenge and debate amongst pupils and behaviour is always of the highest standards. This allows pupils to co-operate and support each other, demonstrating courteous
respect for differing opinions’.
Developing emotional intelligence
Felsted’s commitment to encouraging the personal development of each individual pupil was identified and described by the Inspectors as ‘excellent’. ‘Spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth is nurtured and there is a strong moral code throughout the School’. Pupils were described by inspectors as ‘courteous, friendly, helpful and
Felstedians are ‘very well educated’ to ensure they are ‘reflective, ambitious,
well developed skills of research, independent study and co-operative learning’. Pupils are ‘active, questioning and showed intellectual curiosity’.
Wide-ranging, well-designed, high quality curriculum Inspectors praised the ‘thorough and welldesigned academic curriculum’, plus the well-equipped and up-to-date computer suites, and imaginative use of interactive tablet devices in the classroom. They praised The Felsted Diploma and leadership programmes, which give pupils opportunities to achieve in academic, sporting
and creative areas, as well in the area of service to others. Felsted’s ‘broad and well-planned curriculum’, particularly for ICT, impressed the Inspectors. This, combined with a very extensive range of cocurricular activities enables Felsted to produce
‘well rounded pupils who are ready to accept life’s changes’. They also commended the ‘quality of career advice, including work experience’.
Well-rounded pupils ready to accept life’s challenges Inspectors found the School’s high academic standards to be matched by ‘outstanding
levels of achievement in activities, in team sports, and the creative and performing arts’. The ambitious and successful Felsted Diploma unites the ‘excellent co-curricular programme’ with the skills and characteristics Felstedians should acquire, including personal reflection. The Diploma includes the CCF, Duke of Edinburgh Award and other volunteering schemes to foster leadership and service. Cultural awareness is further enriched by the opportunities for pupils to be involved with the Model United Nations and Felsted’s Global Membership of the Round Square, a worldwide organisation of schools with a commitment to personal development and responsibility. Pupils’ awareness is greatly enhanced by these popular Diploma activities, which include a significant written personal reflection. Inspectors commented that pupils have
‘exceptional levels of physical skill’ across a wide range of sports, athletic disciplines and extra-curricular activities. Felsted has a deserved reputation for ‘sporting excellence’, routinely succeeding at county, regional and national levels.
‘High quality drama’ is provided through theatre technology and drama skills workshops, supported by ‘expert staff’ and a well-attended theatre. Described by Tatler as ‘mad about music’, many pupils excel in instrumental music, exams, ensembles and the orchestra. Inspectors praised the musical provision. They also noted the ‘good opportunities for pupils to be involved in non-sporting options, such as cartoon drawing or cookery, and the wellequipped art studios which provide pupils with
excellent creative opportunities’.
culture of pupil surveys and self-evaluation enables pupils to reflect on their own strengths and areas of development and creates an expectation that they ‘will make a positive difference to the world’. Inspectors noted ‘the ethos of service both within school and to the wider community, and pupils are keen to take on leadership roles’.
their responsibilities and have an ‘excellent
standard of personal development’. Pupils are encouraged to develop their personal beliefs and values in a climate of tolerance and respect. Inspectors found
Felstedians showed the inspectors a ‘high
spiritual development to be ‘excellent’, promoted through the Schools’
level of social awareness and responsibility, strong cultural awareness and excellent aesthetic awareness’. By the time pupils leave the School they are ‘confident and selfaware’, show a very good understanding of
Christian ethos and the work of both the Chaplaincy and the religious education department. ‘Pupils become reflective and develop spiritual and ethical awareness and sensitivity to their own beliefs and those of others’.
A meticulously designed system of care Pupils benefit from the strong collegiate management of both the Preparatory School Phases and the Senior School House, along with practical and stimulating tutorials. The Upper Sixth boarding houses expertly aid Felstedians in managing their transition to full independence.
‘Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent; they are united in aspiration.’ Mutual respect, well-trained pupil leaders, good behaviour, protection against bullying, and fair and proportionate sanctions were all noted positively in the report. Most
importantly, pupils say that they ‘feel safe
and secure’ at Felsted. ‘Small, practical and stimulating tutor groups, and the generosity of staff giving their time, ensure that each pupil’s talents and needs are fully recognised’.
‘Pupils appreciate the compassionate and well-judged encouragement from which they benefit.’ Inspectors commented on the
excellent relationship between staff and pupils and the way pupils’ views are taken into account through House and Prefect meetings. ‘Pupils are encouraged to develop healthy living through extensive participation in the diverse sporting activities available, with healthy snacks and meals offering plenty of choice and that are appealing to children. The ‘nine o’clock feed’ for older boarders in the evenings is especially popular and helps to ensure growing teenagers are well fed’.
An excellent preparation for life beyond school ‘The quality of boarding provision and care is excellent’, inspectors noted. ‘All Houses, whilst varied in quality, offer bright, well decorated and well furnished accommodation. Pupils personalise their areas with photographs and posters and Houses display all the necessary routine information plus the wide range of out-of-schools activities available to all boarders, including a varied Sunday programme’. Boarders have an ‘excellent standard of personal development’, benefiting from ‘a powerful sense of community, fostered through highly valued friendships, a thorough induction programme, peer buddying, inter-house competitions, carefully trained House prefects and effective leadership and management by House staff. Boarders are
monitor the School and hold it closely to account. Inspirational leadership at all levels has strengthened the School’s identity over recent years and supports the excellent achievement of pupils’.
confident and outgoing, engaging readily with one another, staff and visitors’. Relationships between staff and pupils, and older pupils and younger pupils were considered to be ‘excellent’. ‘Boarders enjoy taking part in a wide range of after-school activities as well as their own programme of free-time entertainment and there is help with prep and someone to talk to when needed. A varied Sunday programme is also on offer’. ‘There is a healthy inter-house competitive spirit. Each House has a unique and distinctive characteristic but all follow a common framework of policy and procedure’. Inspectors considered the boarding experience to be of high quality, providing ‘excellent preparation for life beyond school and successfully promoting independence and
a sense of responsibility’.
Welfare, Health and Safety:
‘Staff are highly motivated and effective’ as leaders and team members’
Inspirational leadership at all levels The effectiveness of governance, leadership and management was judged to be ‘excellent’, as was the quality of leadership and management and ‘the aspiration to excellence in all
inspectors commented. The excellent Teacher Learning Communities were particularly praised, as were Heads of Department in their effective leadership and management. Inspectors found the lesson and peer observation at the core of all professional development reviews to have a ‘particularly positive impact on the quality of teaching’.
aspects of school life’. Inspectors considered Felsted governors to provide ‘very effective support’ and thought that they had a ‘very clear and perceptive oversight of their responsibilities. Clear educational direction and well established and regular reporting mechanisms allow them to
A very strong safeguarding culture Pastoral care at Felsted is ‘outstanding’ across all age groups, as cited by the Ofsted inspection in 2011 and reaffirmed in this ISI inspection. Policies and procedures for child welfare, health and safety are excellent. The School’s aim to provide a strong sense of community and a climate of tolerance and respect is very well met. Staff safeguarding training is of high quality and provides them with a strong awareness. A well-equipped, 24 hour Medical Centre accommodates those that are unwell, and deals with all medical matters via a comprehensive and secure patient tracker system.
Parents are overwhelmingly positive and supportive Relationships with parents, carers and guardians are considered to be ‘excellent’. Parents expressed ‘very high levels of
satisfaction with regard to the care, safety and happiness of their children’.
Inspectors noted that ‘very active parent groups allow them to provide input into the School’s strategic direction. Parents frequently engage with the life of the School, organising events and supporting fixtures such as concerts, plays and sports matches. Information at all levels, both electronic and published is of high quality, clear and informative. Parents’ evenings, surveys, visits and termly pupil gradings all help to keep family members involved – parental concerns are few but those that do occur are dealt with promptly and in accordance with procedure’.
‘Parents are fully supportive of the School and are overwhelmingly positive about the impact the School has on their children’s lives.’
‘Plus est en nous’: ‘there is more in us’ We are determined not to rest on our laurels! We strive for continuous improvement through every aspect of teaching and learning at Felsted. Our aim is to offer all Felstedians excellence in every aspect of education. Our ‘thriving and distinctive community celebrates 450 years of the finest education. We are ‘united in aspiration’ to aim beyond this exceptional level.
Independent | Co-educational | Boarding & Day | Ages 4 - 18 Felsted, Essex CM6 3LL