A PENRITH school has been awarded the highest possible grading an independent school can achieve in the latest inspection.

Hunter Hall School & Pre School has been awarded the highest possible grading of ‘Excellent’.

This latest inspection focused on educational achievement and personal development, with the school achieving high marks across all areas.

Over three days, inspectors observed lessons, spoke to children, held discussions with members of staff and a group of governors, assessed a sample of the extra-curricular activities, and attended form times and assemblies.

They found that “the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is excellent,” also commenting: “Pupils maintain excellent attitudes to their studies, showing a keen eagerness to take part in lessons”.

Cumberland & Westmorland Gazette: FUN: Pupils are said to engage in a wide range of activitiesFUN: Pupils are said to engage in a wide range of activities

The school says it seeks to 'create a warm and welcoming environment where every child feels safe and valued'.

The inspectors agreed, commenting that: “Pupils exhibit an assured self-confidence and notable self-esteem which is developed through the highly effective use by staff of praise and encouragement”.

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In addition, it was reported that: “The pupils’ exhibit extremely strong skills and knowledge across a broad range of subject areas.

"Their progress is facilitated by the school’s wide-ranging curriculum which, besides the traditional subjects, offers a range of outdoor education opportunities and scheduled periods to promote well-being.

“Pupils demonstrate an outstanding capacity to contribute to the benefit of others across the school.

Cumberland & Westmorland Gazette: PROUD: “Pupils maintain excellent attitudes to their studies."PROUD: “Pupils maintain excellent attitudes to their studies."

“Taking part in community events such as the Woodland Trust initiative, collecting and planting acorns, and the Cumbrian litter pick, allow pupils to see wider issues in the outside world and the part they can play in solving them”.

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The head teacher, Mrs Donna Vinsome responded: “We could not be happier with the result.

"This was a very thorough inspection looking at all areas of school life and very much child-centred, whereby the inspection team spent a great deal of their time talking to pupils of all ages.

Cumberland & Westmorland Gazette: COMPETITION: Pupils playing sports on the fieldCOMPETITION: Pupils playing sports on the field

"We are incredibly proud of our school, and it is rewarding that the inspection team could witness what an amazing school Hunter Hall truly is in so many ways.

"Of course, as a school one can never rest on our laurels and our own development plan will continue to be updated implemented, as we continue to build upon the excellent education we provide, as recognised by the ISI inspection team.”

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