Preparing children for life's horizons



2014 Independent Schools Inspectorate Report

School inspectors are always welcome at Thornlow.  The inspectors hold up a mirror to what we are doing now, giving us the opportunity to share with you how we are perceived by the experts.  It is imperative in education to ensure that one is operating at the highest level, whilst continually sharpening the saw to ensure we continue to deliver the very best for our pupils. 

We are incredibly pleased with our 2014 Inspection Report however there is never room for complacency.  Our focus will always be, as it always has been, on ensuring that we continually review what we do and how we do it in order to ensure that we continue to deliver the very best education for all our pupils.

The Dorset Echo and Wessex FM endorsed our Report by sharing it as one of their key news stories and you can read more about our Inspection Report by clicking on "Our Inspection Story" article.

A summary of our report follows:


The report states that the “quality of the pupils’ achievement and learning is excellent”.  The inspectors say that “results are consistently above or well above national averages for their (pupils) ages”.  The inspectors praise our small class sizes, commenting that “thanks to small class sizes and planning tailored to meet their individual needs, pupils of all abilities make good progress”.  “Pupils achieve especially well in English and Mathematics where they reach very high standards throughout the school”. The inspectors praise the breadth of the curriculum commenting that “the curriculum goes beyond the requirements and includes two modern foreign languages, sailing and business studies”. 


The inspectors praise the quality of learning at Thornlow “Pupils of all ages are willing to learn, happy to cooperate with one another and ready to offer their thoughts.”  We were pleased that the report recognised that children in the Early Years Foundation Stage “come into school enthusiastically and those who are uncertain are helped sensitively so that they are soon occupied and learning.”  We were pleased that the inspectorate recognised “pupils of all ages display very positive attitudes to their learning”.

Personal Development

The pupils’ personal development is excellent.  “They are enthusiastic about their school and about their learning, courteous to adults and supportive of each other.  They respect the views of others, and are interested in the different experiences of those from other cultures”.

“In the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) children are happy and frequently express pleasure in what they are doing”.  “They behave well and help one another naturally and without prompting”.  “The school offers pupils many opportunities to take part in a range of sports including sailing, swimming, football, athletics, tennis and rounders and they have a chance to be active everyday”.  “Staff have consistently high expectations of pupils’ behaviour”. 

Leadership and Management

“The school’s leaders ensure that it meets its aims of exciting and extending the intellect of each pupil and building their confidence and self-esteem in all areas”.  “Senior staff have been effective in building up a team of well qualified and motivated staff with a judicious balance of youth and experience”.


The overall quality of Boarding is excellent.  “Boarders are happy and enjoy boarding life.  Overseas boarders speak enthusiastically about their cultural experiences”. “Boarders feel safe and well supported”. “The boarding accommodation is spacious, well organised and safe.  Staff make considerable effort to create a home from home environment”.  “The school’s website provides new parents with a thorough introduction to the school; handbooks for staff, current parents and boarders, comprehensively covering all aspects of boarding life.

Our Partnership With You

We are proud that the report highlights that “The school maintains excellent relationships with parents”.  We were pleased our parents felt they "had good opportunities to be involved in the work of the school” and that they felt they shared a “harmonious relationship”. 

This inspection was a full inspection which took place over an entire week. 

We are really proud to share our 2014 Inspection Report with you and hope you enjoy reading it too.  


The school has not received any formal complaints in the past academic year.