Staff, pupils, governors and parents of Ysgol Heulfan, Gwersyllt are celebrating after being recognised as an outstanding school, following a recent inspection by Estyn (16th – 19th November 2009).
The report published this week identifies many outstanding features which include:
The Inspectors made the following comments:
The school is the hub of the community!
Within the Early Years/Foundation Phase (ages 3 – 5), children make outstanding progress through highly imaginative play experiences. The Early Years Department achieved Grade 1 - Good with outstanding features - for each of the seven areas of learning. This is an exceptional achievement!
The school has made very good progress in introducing the principles of the Foundation Phase for children in Years 1 and 2.
In both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, pupils’ listening skills and their ability to use information and communications skills across the curriculum are outstanding. Pupils’ creative skills are outstanding and their good problem-solving and independent learning skills are used regularly to good effect across the curriculum. They also demonstrate exceptional entrepreneurial and decision making skills as evidenced in the School Council and the Eco Committee.
Nearly all pupils make outstanding progress in developing their spiritual, moral and social awareness and most pupils show outstanding awareness of equal opportunity issues. Pupils are extremely well motivated and very eager to learn and they demonstrate good behaviour. They understand what is expected of them and are considerate, courteous and relate well to each other and to adults.
In Y Canol, teaching is consistently outstanding. Teachers succeed in maintaining pupils’ attention and keep them motivated throughout the lessons. The support given to pupils by LSAs is outstanding. Pupils’ individual needs are well met through careful, detailed and effective planning of tasks, activities and resources which are suitably adapted.
All pupils succeed regardless of their ability, gender, or social background.
Good to outstanding features were identified in over 90% of the lessons observed.
In ‘Y Canol’, procedures for assessing, recording and reporting on pupils’ progress are outstanding. They are highly appropriate both for pupils with severe learning difficulties and for those with profound and multiple difficulties.
The curriculum is enriched by an outstanding range of interesting and stimulating experiences, both within the school and off site.
The quality of care, support and guidance is another one of the school’s outstanding features.
The partnership with parents, carers and pupils is also outstanding. The school provides outstanding personal support and guidance for pupils.
The leadership of the Headteacher is inspirational and is an outstanding feature. She has the respect and loyalty of staff, governors, parents and pupils alike. She has an extremely clear-sighted vision and direction to improve the quality of education and strategic management of the school.
The deputy head teacher plays an inspirational and outstanding role as head of the resourced provision, Y Canol.
The quality of support and direction given by the Governing Body is very good. Governors are well informed about current priorities relating to the school and pupils’ standards of attainment.
The school is staffed by a dedicated team of highly qualified, enthusiastic and eminently skilled teachers. Support staff are well qualified and play a significant role is raising standards of achievement. They make an outstanding contribution to the learning process.
Next steps for the school:
The report concludes that within its highly inclusive ethos for learning, the school clearly gives outstanding value for money.
The Chair of Governors of Ysgol Heulfan commented:
“This truly outstanding report is a great tribute to the staff and pupils of Ysgol Heulfan. We welcome the recognition of the many outstanding features identified and we will fully address the recommendations of the inspection team. We are all proud of our school; well done everybody!”
Headteacher, Julia Thomas Haigh said,
“We are delighted with the inspection report which could not have been achieved without the dedication and enthusiasm of all concerned. Thank you to all for making Ysgol Heulfan such a success story.”
Ian Lucas M.P for Wrexham congratulated the school,
“Everyone should be proud of the achievements made. Following my recent visit, the atmosphere of the school was lovely and the integration with the children of Y Canol was absolutely outstanding. The outcome of the inspection comes as no surprise to me. Well done for a fabulous result!”
Aled Roberts, Leader of the Council shared the following:
“This is a very impressive report which reflects the efforts put in by staff, governors and children alike. As an authority, we strive to continually improve our services for the benefit of our children and we rely on our good schools to ensure our children succeed.”