A SECONDARY school in Newbridge has been given a very positive report from Wales' school inspection body. 

A group of inspectors visited Newbridge School in Caerphilly county in January and were particularly impressed with the "caring and supportive community" nurtured by the school's staff, where all pupils feel safe and valued. 

As a result of this environment, students were seen to "behave well in lessons and around the site" and were keen ambassadors of the school, something they clearly take pride in, note the inspectors. 

Among the other strengths highlighted within the report was the provision for those students with additional learning needs. 

Inspectors were particularly pleased with the fact that those with additional needs are among the many pupils who "make at least suitable progress in their knowledge, understanding and skills, and a few make strong progress”.

The leadership of the school was also given a mention within the report, which noted that the current headteacher provides "assured leadership and has a clear and ambitious vision" for the school that is well-supported and engaged with by other senior leaders and school staff. 

Despite the majority of the report being positive, there were some areas that the Estyn inspectors felt could be improved. 

One of these was the work of the governors in challenging "the important aspects of the school's work", which the inspectors believe is not done "robustly enough" at the moment, although they did note that all of the governors are "experienced and enthusiastic supporters of the school". 

Among the other suggestions for continued improvement were bettering the way the school evaluates its own progress and the strategic planning of staff, with particular attention paid to the development of the students' Welsh language skills. 

The other recommendation was to continue raising consistent attendance levels, which is seemingly already being worked on, as inspectors noted this has been improving since their previous visit. 

School and Education Awards 2024

South Wales Argus: The School and Education Awards 2024 are now open for nominationsThe School and Education Awards 2024 are now open for nominations (Image: Newsquest)

The South Wales School and Education Awards 2024 are now open for nominations, and if you would like to nominate these schools or a member of staff for an award, you can do so here, where you will also find more detail about each of the awards available.

This year's categories are:

  • School of the Year
  • Private or Independent School of the Year
  • PTA of the Year
  • Special Education Needs (SENCO) Award
  • Head Teacher of the Year
  • Primary School of the Year
  • Secondary School of the Year (sponsored by the University of South Wales)
  • Above and Beyond Award
  • Teaching Assistant of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • College or University of the Year
  • Primary Teacher of the Year
  • STEM Project of the Year (sponsored by National Grid)
  • Secondary School Teacher of the Year