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'We are excelling' - Ipswich headteacher's delight at inspection rating

PUBLISHED: 16:14 17 May 2019

Birkfield House at St Joseph's College. The school was praised for the quality of students' personal development, getting an 'excellent' rating across the board Picture: ARCHANT

Birkfield House at St Joseph's College. The school was praised for the quality of students' personal development, getting an 'excellent' rating across the board Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

An independent school in Suffolk is officially "excellent" after getting top marks in their latest school inspection.

St Joseph's College is celebrating a glowing report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) Picture: HAMISH GRIFFINSt Joseph's College is celebrating a glowing report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) Picture: HAMISH GRIFFIN

St Joseph's College in Ipswich was given to highest possible rating by the Independent School Inspectorate (ISI), which grades independent schools.

Danielle Clarke, principal of the Belstead Road school, said the inspectors' response had left everyone feeling elated.

"This report is a tribute to our staff and students," she said.

"We are absolutely delighted to have received such a tremendous endorsement of the work of St Joseph's College, whose ethos and mission the inspection team clearly understood.

"We are determined to recognise the individuality of every child and offer all a superb educational experience - and we are excelling."

One of many glowing commendations featured in the report was that "pupils display strong moral values and a mature awareness of right and wrong which goes beyond their years".

Inspectors praised the excellent progress made by pupils academically, in sports, arts and music, concluding: "The school fulfils its ambitious aim to 'meet the needs of each pupil's mind, body, heart and spirit' very effectively, so that pupils receive a genuinely holistic education which enables them to become successful learners in all they undertake."

The ISI took the opportunity to praise the youngest students at the college in particular, saying: "Prep school pupils demonstrate very good skills, knowledge and understanding across all areas of leaning.

"Even the youngest children concentrate very well on activities independently because they are encouraged to explore and find things out for themselves."

The boarding houses received high praise also, with the report focusing on the pupils' "excellent contribution to the lives of others withing the school".

The assessment was carried out over three days in March this year.

Mrs Clarke added: "It is gratifying to know that the hard work and commitment of the staff shone through for the inspectors as it does for me throughout the academic year.

"I could not be prouder."

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