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Dallam boarding house rated good by Ofsted inspectors

Boarding News ·
Boarding students pictured alongside Head of Boarding, Nicola Gilbert (front left) and Headteacher, Steven Henneberry (back centre)

Our boarders enjoy their boarding experience and their academic achievements are good. That’s the verdict of government inspectors, who carried out a no-notice visit between 30 January and 1 February 2024.

It means the boarding school is judged ‘good’ in all areas: the experience and progress of children, the help and protection of children and the effectiveness of leaders.

Steven Henneberry, Headteacher, says: “It is fair to say we are all over the moon. All our boarding students benefit from Dallam’s focus on interactive teaching and learning and being part of a vibrant school community.

“We have a supportive and inclusive culture in and around school where community is at the heart of everything we do. This includes the working and trusted relationships between teachers and students, and the honest relationships our staff develop with parents and carers”.

Inspectors said: “Overall, children speak positively about their experience of living at the school. They told inspectors that they have fun together and some children said that the boarding community feels like a family. They also have positive relationships with individual staff, who they can speak to if they have any worries or concerns. One child said, ‘The best thing is the staff, they are caring and helpful.’”

“Children’s individual needs are carefully considered. A new school nurse has developed caring and trusting relationships with the children. Parents are also provided with regular updates on their child’s health.

“Children are encouraged to actively participate in the local community. Children led the Remembrance Sunday service and were involved in the local carol service.”

Parents said: “Children make progress while living at the school. They mature, build confidence, and are supported to develop their emotional resilience.”

Staff were also praised for their shared ambitious vision for the boarding provision and changing children’s lives. They have the skills and experience to ensure that the operation of the boarding provision is effective.

The report also emphasised that another strength of the boarding provision is the wide range of activities and opportunities open to students.

Nicola Gilbert, Head of Boarding added: “We listen to the feedback from the children, which helps us to shape the boarding experience here at Dallam.

“Our boarding offer brings a unique global dimension where students from as far away as Spain and China learn alongside local pupils and form lifelong friendships.

“We are ambitious both in terms of our boarding numbers and in the commitment we give to pastoral and academic matters. Our weekly and termly boarders continue to enjoy a wide range of engaging and exciting activities.”

Steven Henneberry, Headteacher, added: “the grading reflects the ongoing, exciting and ambitious improvement journey seen for Dallam School as a whole. We welcome visits from any prospective parents and children, to see for themselves the school, sixth form and boarding house.”

The Ofsted report can be found here. The inspectors wrote to our boarding students too; this letter can be found here.

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