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Cardiff High School: ‘An Exceptional School' and excellent across the board, says Estyn

Cardiff High School has been ratedby Estyn as ‘excellent', across all five areas looked at by the education inspectorate for Wales, the highest rating possible.

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Described by inspectors as an exceptional school, inspectors noted that the achievements of pupils have been ‘amongst the highest in Wales over recent years' but yet the school continues to ‘strive relentlessly to improve in every aspect of its work.'

The report goes onto say that ‘the school has focused on refining its approaches to supporting all teachers to hone their craft' and that this has resulted in ‘highly engaging teaching, confidently and imaginatively delivered, and rooted in a strong understanding of subject knowledge and learning.'

Inspectors also reported that ‘pupils respond extremely positively to the inspirational teaching and high levels of challenge' and in particular, they ‘develop their abilities to think creatively and to recall and transfer their knowledge, understanding and skills to a wide range of learning contexts' and as a result, pupils' outcomes are well above expectations. 

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The inspection highlighted that the high quality teaching, care, support and guidance combine effectively to ‘enable pupils to become confident, capable and ambitious learners.'

In addition, it was stated that leadership is outstanding and that ‘leaders emphasise and promote the importance of wellbeing for staff and pupils' and as a result, ‘pupils enjoy school and staff morale is high.'

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Responding to the report, Headteacher Stephen Jones said: "As a community we are delighted with the outcomes. At Cardiff High School we have worked hard to ensure the school is a place where both students and staff are happy. It is this sense of enjoyment and fulfilment which is at the heart of our success as a community."

"The school has a team of hugely dedicated teachers and support staff who share a passion for learning together and demonstrate commitment to the wellbeing and development of students every single day. We also have a governing body who believe in and share the school's philosophy and ambitions which is crucial to our success."

Cardiff Council's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: "Cardiff High School continues to excel in every area and this is testament to the hard work, determination and commitment of staff, governors and the wider school community.

"To have absolutely no recommendations following the inspection is commendable and I am delighted to hear that the school has been invited by Estyn to prepare a case study in relation to sustaining excellence.

"Plans to expand the school will be delivered byBand B, the second phase of the 21stCentury Schools programme which will see £284m invested in the city, the largest single investment in Cardiff schools.

"Jointly funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, the project will see Cardiff High School increase by 300 places, allowing it to accommodate 1,500 pupils as well as sixth form."