Claremont School is celebrating after receiving a virtually flawless Ofsted report, gaining ‘outstanding’ ratings across the board.
The report, which covers Claremont’s preparatory school in St Leonards and senior school in Bodiam, hails the ‘outstanding expert teaching’ by the ‘excellent’ team, with pupils praised for their ‘exemplary’ behaviour and ‘truly impressive’ personal progress.
Pupils welcomed the inspectors to the school with open arms in April, with the younger children ‘almost beside themselves with enthusiasm’, wanting to tell the inspectors all about Claremont.
Senior school principal Giles Perrin said: “There’s only a small percentage of schools which will get a report that good.”
He added: “One of the parting phrases which the Ofsted inspector said is ‘it’s something to celebrate for the local area’.
“It’s not only fantastic news for the area, but also the 25 mile radius we take in too.”
Abra Stoakley joined as headteacher of the prep school at the beginning of the school year.
She said: “It was very much a team effort and that’s what impressed me so much at the prep school.
“We were ready, but everyone came together and there was a sense of camaraderie.
“And staff were proud of the school and pupils were proud of the school and that’s what the inspectors saw.”
She added: “We are confident in what we do well, which is educate children.”
The glowing report comes at a milestone in the school’s history as the first intake into Claremont’s senior school prepare to leave this summer.
The school was founded in 1925, initially as a preparatory and nursery school.
Claremont opened its senior school at the former Bodiam Manor site in September 2011 to much fanfare, quickly followed by a new sixth form centre.
Forty pupils were in that first intake. In September up to 260 will be on the roll at Bodiam.
The school’s programme of expansion continued with Claremont’s first boarding facility opening at Pyke House in Battle in 2015.
Mr Perrin said: “We invested millions of pounds in staff and facilities and the outcome is this report.
“So we now are an outstanding school.”
The school has a diverse intake, with a third of the senior school made up of pupils who have joined Claremont from state schools.
And the number of pupils from Hastings and St Leonards is on the rise too, thanks in part to the ‘Down From London’ crowd.
Meanwhile students from Spain, France and Ukraine will be joining for three weeks for an ‘immersion’ programme ahead of joining in September.
Mr Perrin said: “Claremont is made up of quite a mix from all sorts of walks of life.”
Ms Stoakley added: “That’s important because that’s what life is like.”
Looking forward, as well as hoping for GCSE results to match last year’s table-topping performance, Claremont director Mark Beaumont is to continue his programme of expansion.
A planning application has been submitted for a new classroom building and astroturf at Bodiam.
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