|Name||Hamd House School|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Inspection Date||10 December 2019|
|Address||The Custard House, 29 - 43 Blake Lane, Birmingham, West Midlands, B9 5QT|
|Number of Pupils||267 (48% boys 52% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||0%|
|Catchment Area Information Available||No|
|Last Distance Offered Information Available||No|
What is it like to attend this school?
This is a truly harmonious and inclusive school. Pupils are happy and safe. They attend and achieve exceptionally well. But the school is about so much more than academic success. The visionary founders and leaders strive to make sure that pupils get the best possible all-round experience of education. There is no ceiling on expectations. Staff commit to ensuring that all pupils, regardless of their life experiences or starting points, become well-rounded citizens.
Pupils get along very well. They are always polite and respectful. Leaders’ high expectations of behaviour are reflected in the exemplary way in which pupils behave in lessons and around school. Bullying is not an issue. Pupils say, ‘We can tell anyone, so there’s no point in doing it [bullying].’ Pupils value the suggestion and worry boxes they can use. They say that they really feel listened to.
Hamd House School is true to its values, which are at the heart of everything the school does. Islamic and British values intertwine and are woven seamlessly through the curriculum. Pupils’ needs are at the forefront of any educational decisions that leaders make. They want what is best for every single pupil.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The co-founders, the proprietor and leaders have very high expectations of pupils. Parents and staff agree, and so do we. Leaders ensure that the independent school standards continue to be met. They continually strive to give pupils the best possible education so that pupils can be successful and fully integrated into society.Leaders know that to be successful pupils need to be able to read well. There is a strong emphasis on developing pupils’ phonics skills, to enable pupils to get better at reading. Teachers continue to build on pupils’ phonics skills. Pupils then become more fluent readers, while also improving their writing skills. Pupils are confident to read aloud, be it from a book or a poem they have written. Some have had poems published through the ‘Young Writers’ project. One pupil reflected that he was ‘full of pride’ to see his poem published.
Leaders have made sure that the curriculum is planned and sequenced in a way that helps pupils to learn. Pupils revisit what they have learned and build on their knowledge and skills further. For example, in mathematics, teachers introduce new concepts only when pupils are ready, which paves the way for future success. The history curriculum helps pupils to develop a sense of different historical periods. They note connections and trends over time. At present, Year 6 pupils are applying their historical knowledge to the theme of crime and punishment. Older pupils use their knowledge to reason and debate concepts such as the balance of power over time.
Teachers’ excellent subject knowledge in the secondary department enables them to put the well-planned curriculum into practice. In the primary department, leaders provide training for newer members of staff in delivering specific content or skills inwhich they may be less confident.
Pupils with a wide range of special educational needs and/or disabilities are extremely well supported. This help enables them to make significant improvements in their learning, despite the challenges they face. Leaders liaise with external agencies so that pupils get the help they need. Parents value this support.
Leaders put careful thought into the content of the curriculum so that it meets pupils’ needs and interests. For example, the science curriculum for primary pupils is now much improved. Younger pupils talked animatedly about the practical experiments they do, and about what they have learned. Opportunities to develop pupils’ personal, social, health and economic education and their understanding of British values are carefully planned into different curriculum subjects. Leaders map and sequence additional enrichment activities throughout the curriculum. In science and physical education, work on healthy lifestyles extends into promoting mental health. In addition, there is a focus on the contribution everyone’s well-being makes for the benefit of the wider society.
Pupils enjoy being part of the school council or holding prefect, head boy and head girl responsibilities. They knew about the impending general election and talked about their own experiences of the ballot box at school. They described where they have influenced decisions, such as a push on inter-school sport events or a football rota. Leaders have regard for protected characteristics. The school’s accessibility plan is up to date and relevant. Leaders have made a conscious effort to promote high aspirations for girls, as well as positive role models for other faiths. All pupils benefit from the founders’ ‘101 things to experience at Hamd House’, to further their cultural understanding and breadth of experiences and talents. Pupils make significant differences to the community through their fundraising efforts. They have organised a cultural bazaar to celebrate differences in cultures. They also run mini-enterprise projects to raise funds for charities.
Pupils achieve very strong academic outcomes compared to national averages. The longer pupils are at the school, the better they achieve. Many achieve so well that they are ready to take their GCSEs before the end of Year 11. The school allows them to do so because they know it does not disadvantage them. Pupils are then free to extend their learning in additional subjects or interests. Pupils benefit from personalised careers advice and work experience. They take speech examinations to improve their confidence in public situations, such as interviews for university or a job. Consequently, pupils are very well prepared for the future. Leaders keep a close eye on pupils who have left the school, right up to when they begin employment or go on to university.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. The school’s safeguarding policy, which is available to parents, reflects the most recent government guidance.
Leaders place paramount importance on all aspects of safeguarding. They makesuitable checks on staff before they are employed at the school. Staff benefit from comprehensive safeguarding training. Designated safeguarding leads frequently check staff’s understanding of all aspects of safeguarding.
Leaders and staff are well aware of the risks in the local area. They develop pupils’ resilience to external pressures, such as radicalisation and knife crime. Safeguarding is promoted through the curriculum and additional events such as e-safety days or visits to a local ‘safeside’ venue. Leaders monitor the use of the internet in school closely.