Belmont gains top marks

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Harrogate’s Belmont Grosvenor School and Magic Tree Nursery has been ranked Excellent and Outstanding by a team of inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) – the Ofsted equivalent for the independent sector.

Both results are the highest accolades that ISI can award in both age ranges – under twos and two-11 years.

A team of five ISI inspectors spent three days at co-educational Belmont Grosvenor School, which, along with its nursery, cares for children from three months to 11 years.

Headteacher Jane Merriman said: “This is the second inspection in a row that we have been awarded the ISI’s highest ratings and confirms what we have always known at Belmont Grosvenor - that we are both excellent and outstanding in educating and caring for children from three months to 11 years.”

And Gordon Milne, Chairman of the Governors said: “We are very pleased that our commitment to offer pupils an all-round education enabling them to develop into confident, self-motivated, high achieving and well-behaved children with a deep sense of right and wrong has been recognised by the ISI.

“We are extremely proud of the entire team at BGS who have worked incredibly hard to maintain our excellent and outstanding ratings.”

ISI inspectors stated in their report: “Pupils exhibit substantial levels of knowledge, skill and understanding across a wide range of subjects.

“They achieve highly because they have well-planned lessons ensuring that they have full access to a wide and exciting range of subjects and activities, many of these using the outdoor facilities.”

Inspectors commended the practice of encouraging independent learning and increasing pupils’ resilience and research skills while pupils are singled out for their excellent social awareness.

“Exciting lessons and activities consistently promote pupils strong love of learning,” stated inspectors, who also recognise BGS pupils achieve highly outside the classroom as well, including sport, music and drama.

ISI inspectors rated Belmont Grosvenor School’s Under 2 provision as ‘outstanding’– the highest honour that can be handed out to this Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) age group.

Inspectors heaped praise on BGS across all five areas of assessment, including personal development, quality of teaching, leadership and outcomes for children, highlighting Magic Tree Nursery’s “family atmosphere” and recognizing the benefit of its 20-acres of grounds.

“EYFS staff work as a conscientious team to plan an exciting range of challenging and creative indoor and outdoor activities which enthuse and motivate children and further their learning.

Inspectors applaud the free-flow access to the outdoors, the walks and outdoor experiences on offer which ensure children can “develop their physical skills and….take risks in a safe environment”.

The report praises Magic Tree Nursery’s “family atmosphere” and describes it as “extremely happy” and a place where children “feel safe and secure within their nurturing environment”.

“The setting offers a very broad, well-balanced and exciting curriculum…..EYFS staff work as a conscientious team to plan an exciting range of challenging and creative indoor and outdoor activities which enthuse and motivate children and further their learning,” say inspectors.