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Ofsted inspectors praise 'strong culture of learning' at Arnewood School in New Milton



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Senior teachers and pupils with head teacher Nigel Pressnell (centre), deputy head teacher Craig Price (left of Nigel Pressnell) and head boy and head girl, Thomas Hopkins and Olivia Hilton-Foster
Senior teachers and pupils with head teacher Nigel Pressnell (centre), deputy head teacher Craig Price (left of Nigel Pressnell) and head boy and head girl, Thomas Hopkins and Olivia Hilton-Foster

LEADERS’ high expectations of pupils and a strong culture of learning at Arnewood School in New Milton have been praised by Ofsted.

The Gore Road establishment was recently rated ‘good’ across the board, with its sixth-form said to be ‘outstanding’. Under previous measures five years ago the school was judged to be outstanding overall.

In her report, lead inspector Susan Aykin said: “Leaders and governors have worked hard to ensure that pupils receive a good education at The Arnewood School.

“The culture of learning has remained strong so that pupils engage well with their subjects and are motivated to achieve well.

“Leaders and staff have a strong moral purpose. They have high expectations for their pupils and work hard to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of every single pupil.”

The inspectors complimented the school’s “broad, balanced and creative” curriculum and added that it was enhanced by a rich programme of extra-curricular learning, including music, art, drama and sport.

Teaching was good and provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education strong, the report highlighted. The quality of teaching in English and mathematics was singled out as a particular strength.

Pupils were also praised by the inspectors for being “well-behaved, caring and proud of their school.”

The report also highlighted Arnewood’s collaborative role in the new schools and colleges’ Hampshire Safe partnership, saying it is highly effective in addressing the dangers facing pupils beyond school.

Ofsted said the sixth-form provision was outstanding, with students’ outcomes at A-level consistently above the national average and the quality of teaching excellent.

Arnewood was advised to improve support for disadvantaged pupils in key stage three and key stage four so that they make rapid progress to attain in line with other pupils nationally; to ensure that teachers in every subject provide guidance to students with the same precision and rigour as they do in English and mathematics; and to continue to ensure that all pupils understand the link between attendance and academic achievement.

Head teacher Nigel Pressnell said: “We are delighted with Ofsted’s findings. This is our first inspection in five years and our first since the revised inspection framework was introduced.

“Our aim is always to strive for excellence and have high aspirations for our students, and this hard work by all the school’s staff has been recognised.

“I’m particularly pleased that our students have been praised for their behaviour, their caring natures and their diligence in all they do.

“Our sixth-form’s results have consistently put us among the top providers and this official outstanding recognition is richly deserved.”



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