The Dolphin School in Bristol has retained its Ofsted rating of Good, a clean sweep across every category.
Head Teacher, Shelley Dixon, who took over the school’s leadership in January of last year, has introduced a number of new initiatives that Ofsted found particularly impressive. For example, Curious-city, the new enquiry-based curriculum which uses Bristol as a foundation for learning was described by the Inspector as “an emerging strength that stimulates pupils’ interest in their locality and the wider world. As a result, pupils become keen learners and make good progress.”
The Inspector specifically commented on the strong leadership provided by Miss Dixon, alongside an equally strong team of senior leaders. It was reported that “together, they are securing significant improvements to the quality of education provided by the school.”
This is encouraging news for a school that has experienced a busy year of change. Moving into brand new premises and joining a new multi academy trust, all within the last 12 months, has presented its fair share of challenges, but the school has embraced every opportunity to develop and improve.
Miss Dixon said “Becoming part of Venturers Trust, which is jointly sponsored by the Society of Merchant Venturers and the University of Bristol, has provided opportunities to work closely and collaboratively with a range of great schools where good practice is always shared.
“Providing stretch and challenge to our staff as well as to our pupils is such an important part of teaching and learning. We have high aspirations for every member of the school community and we support everyone to achieve their goals.”
Ofsted agreed, stating that: “Pupils make good progress as a result of good teaching, including in the early years,” and that “teachers’ strong subject knowledge and effective planning ensure that pupils make progress across a range of subjects, including English and Mathematics.” The Inspector also commended the school’s strength in effectively supporting pupils who have special educational needs.
The Dolphin School is extremely proud of its diversity, where 17 languages are spoken amongst 330 pupils who represent 40 different nationalities. Ofsted remarked that “the school is excellent at promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The school’s diverse community is valued highly and pupils learn to acknowledge, respect and celebrate each other’s cultures and faiths.”
In a report that is testament to the school’s ethos of being at the heart of its community, the Inspector also made reference to “happy and enthusiastic learners” who “feel safe and are safe”.
Miss Dixon said: “We have an excellent team of staff who work incredibly hard and I am delighted that this has been recognised by Ofsted. I feel privileged to be leading such an ambitious school where the children are a real credit to this community.”
Photo caption: Headteacher, Shelley Dixon, with children from The Dolphin School