Queen Mary’s School at Baldersby Park near Thirsk was awarded “excellent” status in all sections, including pupils’ academic achievement, quality of teaching, pupils’ attitude to learning, extra curricular activities and the quality of governance and leadership.
Queen Mary’s is a day and boarding school for boys and girls aged from 2 – 8 years, and for girls through to 16 years. There are a total of 264 pupils and it is a member of the Woodard Group of Schools.
Headmistress, Mrs Sandra Lewis-Beckett said: “This is a wonderful accolade for the school and demonstrates our commitment to nurturing every child and ensuring that each achieves his or her potential. We are focussed on both academic achievement and providing a happy family atmosphere and this recognition is a tribute to the dedication of staff, governors and indeed of the pupils themselves.”
The inspection was carried out by the Independent Schools Association which is approved by the Government for members of the Independent Schools Council.
The inspectors described Queen Mary’s as “highly successful in meeting its aim to support all pupils to achieve their personal best.” They commented on the “happy atmosphere of mutual trust and toleration in which pupils discover their strengths and develop individual talents.” The standard of teaching and pupils’ positive approach to their studies were singled out as major factors in their “good and often rapid progress and substantial academic achievement.” Expectations are high, said the inspectors, and students are urged to “give of their best.”
“Teachers’ rapport with pupils is excellent” said the inspectors, praising the passion for their subjects which stimulated a spirit of enquiry and which met a “ready response from pupils.”
Queen Mary’s was described as a “vibrant, adventurous school” which benefited from the excellence of governance, leadership and management. The warm family atmosphere and importance of Christian values enriched students’ lives, said the inspectors. The wide range of extra-curricular activities including sport and music, were acknowledged as a great strength, with pupils achieving outstanding personal successes.
Commenting on the boarding, the inspection team described pupils’ experience as “excellent” and a “strong factor in promoting overall personal development.” The homely atmosphere was a highlighted and the strong sense of community amongst the boarders was apparent.
There were three recommendations for improvements, firstly to make more extensive use of assessment data to help further improve academic progress and achievement, to link the staff appraisal process to the school’s development plan and to update the senior library.
A full copy of the report can be seen on the school’s website please go to www.queenmarys.org.uk