Principal Vivien Watt said she is ‘absolutely thrilled’ with the commendations for standards and achievements recognised by the Education and Training Inspectorate.
Her ‘broad and strategic’ outlook was praised by the team of inspectors, in addition to the ‘culture of teamwork’ which she has nurtured during her eight years in post.
In particular, the system of distributed leadership was attributed to Ms Watt’s vision. It was noted that she is ably supported by the ‘hard work and commitment’ of the newly appointed Vice Principal in October 2011, Miss Sarah-Lucy Hynds, who is also Head of English.
The overall findings from the Inspection concluded that the standards achieved by the pupils were ‘very good’, stating that students were ‘motivated’ and ‘responsive and confident in their learning’ across all subjects. Their ‘exemplary behaviour’ was highlighted, stating that the emotional health of all pupils is a high priority for staff; reflected in a curriculum which recognises the value of emotional intelligence.
The inspectors said pupils benefit from a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’ at both Key Stage Three and GCSE, supported by ‘very high-quality careers guidance’.
The team of inspectors also reported that learning support provided was ‘carefully structured’, underlining the dedication and commitment of both teaching and non-teaching staff.
Of the three departments focused on during the inspection – English, Mathematics and Modern Languages – each was considered to deliver ‘very good’ teaching and learning experiences.
Mr William Dick, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Principal Ms Watt and Vice Principal Miss Hynds said they believe the inspection report is confirmation Saintfield High is committed to school improvement, ensuring that every single pupil achieves their true potential.
Ms Watt said it was pleasing to have received feedback from the inspectorate on how safe students feel while in the school’s care, in addition to the positive home support which provides the ‘invaluable backbone’ for the entire school network.
The beginning of May sees Saintfield High School prepare for yet another milestone as staff and pupils look forward to a rather special annual Sports Day, which will recognise the official opening and use of the newly built Sports Pavilion, completed in January.