A study in excellence at Queen Mary’s as inspectors award the top accolade

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A NORTH Yorkshire independent school has ended the year on a high having received the top accolade from its latest inspection.

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.

Headmistress 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 focused 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 also commented on the “happy atmosphere of mutual trust and toleration” in which pupils discover their strengths.

The standard of teaching and pupils’ positive approach to their studies were singled out as major factors in their “ good and often rapid” progress.

Queen Mary’s was described as a vibrant, adventurous school which benefited from the excellence of governance, leadership and management.

The wide range of extra-curricular activities including sport and music, were also acknowledged as a strength of the school.

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 highlighted and the report said a strong sense of community among the boarding pupils was apparent.

There were three recommen-dations for improvements.

The school was urged to make more 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 Queen Mary’s senior library.