The BWI Archives
1962 ~ HMI Inspection Report
Prior to the
establishment of Ofsted in the late 1980s, Her Majesties Inspectors of
Schools were the main body carrying out periodic 'in-depth' inspections of
schools in addition to occasional liaison visits. Two HMI
inspectors, Miss Raymond
(a regular visitor to the school) and Miss
carried out an in-depth inspection over the three days 7th - 9th May
1962. Their report, issued on the 28th August of that year, was very
positive but could not overlook the extreme pressures of overcrowding and
consequent poor facilities.
Report by H.M.
INGRAM CHURCH OF ENGLAND
and 9th May, 1962
EDUCATION, CURZON STREET, LONDON, W.1
This Voluntary Aided Church of England Junior Mixed and Infants
School serves a compact residential area and also accepts from outside its
zone some children whose parents wish them to attend a denomination school.
At present there are 343 pupils on roll organised in eight classes of
approximately equal size. Because
of an increasing roll in the lower part of the school there are now four
infant and four junior classes. This
trend towards higher numbers will cause further problems of organisation and
description of the premises was given in the previous report on the school
and there have been no major changes since tht time except the erection of a
block of offices in the infants’ playground.
Serious shortcomings exist: the shortage of teaching and storage
space, the unsuitability of two improvised hall classrooms, the extreme
pressure on the hall, restricting its proper use, the lack of toilet
facilities in the infant annexe, poor sanitary provision for boys, the
insufficiency of playing space (aggravated by the large unfenced stocks of
coke kept in the larger playground and by the lack of a surrounding high
chain link fence) and the badly sited and inadequate school means scullery.
These defects have a marked effect on the organisation of the school
and the range of work which can be attempted.
The usefulness of every piece of equipment has to be balanced against
the space it will occupy and the needs of the school have on the whole been
sensibly assessed. Much of the
classroom furniture is due for replacement and great care will be needed in
the selection of new items to ensure that they will be suitable for small
classrooms. There is a shortage
of cupboards, book-cases, display areas and large realistic infant apparatus
because of storage difficulties.
The Head Master is a man of integrity and quiet purpose who sees his
school as a vital part of the religious and communal life of the district.
When he came to this school five years ago it had only had one
previous Head Master and it was served by some very long established members
of staff. He has gained the
confidence and loyal co-operation of these older Masters and Mistresses and
has worked with them to preserve the good traditions of the school and
gradually to introduce a broader and more flexible approach to some of its
work. Two younger Mistresses who
have recently joined the staff have been welcomed, encouraged and helped to
develop into very promising teachers. This
a most conscientious and hard working group of teachers whose pleasant
relationships amongst themselves and with the children set good standards of
friendliness and helpful behaviour throughout the school. The work of the
Welfare Assistant is of great value in the infant classes.
Most of the boys and girls appear to come from good homes where there
is a genuine interest in education and a desire for the children to do well.
While the school is not faced with any serious problem of backwardness it
has the equally challenging and difficult task of ensuring that many
intelligent children are developing their potential abilities without stress
The school maintains a reputation for good competent teaching at all
stages, and for hard work on the part of pupils.
The time table, although partly dictated by the inadequate premises,
is well balanced, and specialist teaching is carefully planned to make good
use of individual talents without undue dislocation of class work.
Against this background there have been a number of interesting
developments and there are possibilities for future experiment and
expansions. There has been a steady increase in the quantity of free writing
on a variety of subjects and a decrease in the number of formal exercises
unrelated to the needs of the children as shown in their individual work.
The more gifted children need to be constantly encouraged to exercise
the clarity of expression and independence of thought of which they show
themselves capable when stimulated by particular interest and enthusiasms.
In arithmetic, emphasis on neatness, speed and accuracy of
computation hides in some cases a basic lack of understanding.
It is important for each individual to be confident and secure at
every stage of development in order to avoid strain and confusion when the
speed and complexity of work increases.
The excellent progress in reading through the school makes
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heavy demands on the supply of books of
all types. There is a good
selection of county Library books in every classroom, and each year a
reasonable proportion of the capitation allowance is spent on text books and
books of reference. There is still some shortage of suitable poetry books
(including good selections, modern anthologies and collected works of the
major poets) and of attractive editions of the children’s classics.
A high proportion of pupils are regular and enthusiastic users of the
local branch County Library. Art and craft have been given impetus by the
enthusiasm of one or two members of staff and a steadily increasing range of
crafts is being made available. Needlework
continues to be taught with interest and imagination.
An effort has been made to arouse interest in nature study and
science but more emphasis is needed on the basic principles of direct
observation, recording and deduction if the teaching is to have reality. A
very welcome development has been the growth of musical education under the
leadership of the Head Master. Suitable
books and music have been provided and a thoughtful scheme of work gives
clear direction to all concerned in the teaching.
It is good to find that the children are taught to read musical
notation; provision of hymn books with melody would help to give regular
practice in this.
The school day starts well with a simple and dignified Junior
Assembly which is followed on two days a week by an assembly for Infants; on
the remaining days the Infants have class prayers.
Despite unattractive furniture and lack of proper facilities for
serving and washing up, school meals are served pleasantly and with a
minimum of fuss. Between 180 and
190 boys and girls take dinners which are transported from another school
kitchen; older children act as monitors and effective supervision by the
teaching and part-time staff results in a peaceful and orderly meal.
In addition to a number of inter-school festivals, exhibitions and
sports, the older pupils take part in such out-of-school activities as a
weekly dancing club, a monthly social club organised by the top class, and
the independent production of a school magazine.
The staff willingly give time to these activities and parents are
interested and helpful.
This is a sound and happy school where children are being helped to
concentrate, to take pride in good work, to accept some responsibility for
others and to become aware of their part in the religious and social life of
their community. The Head Master and his staff set an example of cheerful
and ungrudging service which must have its effect on the development of the
boys and girls in their care.
First uploaded: 08 August 2016