ISI Awards CCCS ‘Excellent’ for both Academic Achievement and Personal Development

Posted on March 8, 2017

CCCS has received a glowing report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) in which they were awarded the highest grade - Excellent – for both Academic Achievement and Personal Development.

The Inspectors were impressed with the School’s “calm, united and purposeful atmosphere” and the fact that “all pupils display eloquence and politeness, and a keen desire to learn”.  They were particularly struck by the centrality of music in the life of the School, noting that “pupils are inspired to achieve excellence through the uplifting music which permeates and enriches every aspect of life for the whole community.”

Another key finding in the report, which was published this week, was the “highest quality” of relationships between pupils and staff, and the “genuine kindness and respect” that pupils show for one another. The report praised the School’s strong record in spiritual development, noting that whilst it draws on the Christian tradition it entails respect for and interest in other religions.

This was the first inspection since Richard Murray became Headmaster three years ago. “I am delighted that this report recognises the dedication of our teachers to their pupils and all they achieve in the name of true education,” he said. “Christ Church Cathedral School has an atmosphere like no other school I have known and the report confirms that this is a place where relationships between pupils, staff and parents are of the highest possible order.”

Four inspectors spent three days at CCCS before half term, observing lessons, interviewing staff and pupils, and participating in all aspects of School life. They relied partly on questionnaires from both parents and pupils in reaching their decision to award the highest grade of four to the School. They attended Evensong in the Cathedral, watched matches on Merton Field, and visited the Woodland School. They particularly liked the fact that the children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) have “high regard for, and a heightened awareness of, their natural surrounding”. For example, they “use their woodland area to investigate signs of spring as they hunt for materials to make a bird’s nest.” In the higher year groups, sports teams “perform extremely well” - testament to “strong coaching given by specialist staff”.

CCCS was founded in 1546 by Henry VIII to educate the Choristers of his newly founded Cathedral. To this day, the School continues to educate those Choristers, all of whom board. The Inspectors commended the Choristers’ self-discipline and the “family feel” of the boarding community. They were most impressed with the newly refurbished Boarding House. The School passed its Compliance Inspection and was considered to have addressed all the recommendations in previous reports.

The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church and Chairman of the Governors, welcomed the “outstanding” report. “The School has rightly been praised for its excellence,” he said. “All the staff and pupils, under the leadership of the Headmaster, Richard Murray, will be very pleased that all the achievements of the School and its ethos have been singled out for particular mention.  We warmly welcome the report, and all that it affirms.”

Please click here to view the full reports.