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Riverside School rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Riverside students in assembly hall
“‘...the school’s motto Excellence for All’ reflects the ethos and ambition that leaders have for the school community.”

At a time when Ofsted, the education watchdog, report four in five ‘outstanding’ schools lose the top Ofsted grade, our local secondary school – Riverside School – was top-rated an ‘outstanding’ school on 18 November 2022, following its October inspection.

A Department for Education spokesperson said being judged ‘outstanding’ was “tougher than ever”.

Riverside School was founded in 2013 by its current headteacher Andy Roberts, its success is based on attracting the very best graduates and training them to become exceptional teachers and leaders. Nearly all of the school’s senior leadership team began at the school as new teachers to the profession. In 2022 the school became one of the top 50 schools in the country for its progress 8 score, a measure of how much progress children make between the start and end of secondary school, based on students’ performance in eight key subjects.

Riverside School is very much at the centre of the Thames View and Barking Riverside communities. Working in close partnership with both the local community to enable the greatest successes for all. To achieve an ‘outstanding’ judgement from Ofsted takes a considerable team effort and Riverside praises all their partners in the community, including parents and carers, who have supported us on our journey. Ofsted said in the report, the school’s motto ‘Excellence for All’ reflects the ethos and ambition that leaders have for the school community.

Inspectors also wrote in their report: “Pupils work hard and achieve well. Very clearly established routines ensure that pupils are engaged in their learning and that their work is of a consistently high quality. Standards of behaviour are very high. Lessons are not disrupted by poor behaviour.”

During their visit, inspectors were impressed by the school’s curriculum, which they found remained broad as pupils progressed through the school. They added that the “vast majority” of pupils continued to study a language and a humanities subject at GCSE.

In its evaluation, Ofsted stated that “governors provide support and challenge to leaders, and know the school well, and that staff are dedicated and proud to work at the school, which has become an integral part of the community which it serves.”

Peter McPartland OBE, chair of governors, said: “On behalf of the governors of Riverside School I would like to express my congratulations to you all on the recent judgement by Ofsted inspectors that the school is outstanding. This is a wonderful and hard-won achievement of which you should all be very proud. I have over the past years enjoyed watching the growth and progress of a school which has at its heart the importance of high expectations alongside exemplary compassion and care for the students. It is a joy to be a governor of a school with such a committed and talented team of staff and students.”

Headteacher Andy Roberts said: “This outstanding Ofsted judgement is a public endorsement of a decade of exceptional work by students, teachers, support staff, governors, parents and carers at Riverside School.

“Our strong school values ensure we focus relentlessly on learning and excellence, most importantly this results in the very best educational outcomes for pupils and improved life chances, the Ofsted outstanding is now the crowning accomplishment.

“As a community we are collectively so proud that everyone’s hard work and commitment has been recognised, from the teachers “very strong” subject knowledge, excellent training and amazing teaching; to the consistently high standards of pupil behaviour and engagement, their excellent results and strong student leadership.”

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