Portsmouth’s only all-boys school is rated ‘good’

CELEBRATE Headteacher Mike Smith with pupils Frankie Wilson, left, Brad Lennox, Danny Ware and Tommy Boyle.    Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112582-1)
CELEBRATE Headteacher Mike Smith with pupils Frankie Wilson, left, Brad Lennox, Danny Ware and Tommy Boyle. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112582-1)
Newbridge Junior School Picture: Maria Bujor

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PORTSMOUTH’S only all-boys’ school has just received a glowing Ofsted report which has lifted its rating to ‘good’ for the first time.

Students and staff at City of Portsmouth Boys are celebrating their achievement which makes them one of just three ‘good’ schools in the local authority.

Despite struggling to attract pupils for several years, which saw the number of first choices drop to an all-time low of 53 last year, the school has more than doubled interest for its September 2011 intake and head Mike Smith hopes the Ofsted will boost interest.

He said: ‘I am very pleased with the outcome but it doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Everybody who comes to look around our school says how impressive it is.

‘We hope the report will encourage more people to see the school for themselves. I’m delighted to say in September we will have 123 boys joining us, and 95 of them put us down as their first choice – but we have room for more.

‘Up and down the country parents are desperate to get their children into good schools, and now we have another one in Portsmouth.’

The report identified a number of key strengths at the school including good and some outstanding teaching, rapid improvement of pupils’ academic progress, closing the gap of attainment between disadvantaged children and their peers, rising standards in maths and English and the head’s outstanding leadership. City Boys was praised for its flexible curriculum and vocational options for children who struggle with academic subjects.

Mr Smith said: ‘We look at the ability and aptitude of each year group two years ahead of GCSEs and tailor the curriculum accordingly.

‘Everyone here takes core GCSEs but some students need vocational subjects to keep them engaged.

‘Our boys come to school to learn and my staff go the extra mile to provide all the support they need. Strong teaching and relationships between staff and pupils are fundamental to our success.’

He added: ‘This report isn’t about what the inspectors saw in two days, it’s about recognising our sustained improvement over five years.’