School celebrates outstanding grade from inspectors

JOY Pupils at Cams Hill (right) mark their top rating from Ofsted inspectors
JOY Pupils at Cams Hill (right) mark their top rating from Ofsted inspectors

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PUPILS at Fareham’s Cams Hill school are celebrating after inspectors rated it outstanding.

Cams Hill has been rated good by Ofsted for many years.

But excellent GCSE results, above average attendance, and teaching that was rated good to outstanding have now earned it the top grade.

The school’s innovative use of its facilities scored highly with inspectors.

One example is the Cams Community Club, which regularly invites 120 retired residents to join students for lunch and activities.

David Wilmot, headteacher for 12 years, said: ‘It’s a fantastic report and I am very proud of the pupils and all staff.

‘I’ve been here many years and I’ve always thought this was a great school – but now Ofsted has confirmed we are outstanding.

‘Everything here comes down to the quality of learning and teaching, that’s our prime function.

‘We all know children only get one shot at this so we have to get it right.’

Constant assessing and feedback is a strong feature at Cams Hill.

Mr Wilmot has lunch with pupils every week to find out what they like and don’t like about their lessons, and teachers inspect each other to offer constructive criticism and share good practice.

Since the school’s conversion to academy status in October, which Mr Wilmot admits was purely for financial reasons, money will be put towards training an English and a maths teacher to offer home tutoring to those pupils unable to attend school.

Mr Wilmot said: ‘The pupils are the ones that count.

‘Regardless of where the children come from or their ability, we all believe that everybody coming to this school deserves the best.

‘It is very rare for this school to have NEETS (school leavers who end up not in employment, education or training) because we teach our children to be numerate and literate.

‘Science is very important to us because it trains them in problem solving and thinking and it enables them to go on and be successful at college or in employment.

‘I know our pupils are sought after because they have an excellent work ethic, they’re hard working and they know what their targets are.’

Cams Hill leads a science consortium of 32 primary and secondary school, across the south of England which shares tips on teaching science and works closely with university experts.

Mr Wilmot knows he is lucky to boast a strong science department when there is a national shortage of good physics and chemistry teachers, but he is not resting on his laurels.

He said: ‘As they say, a good reputation is hard fought for but easily lost. We can never be complacent.’