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Ghyll Royd excellence – an eight-year celebration in the making

Ghyll Royd pupils gathered around the giant celebration cake with headteacher David Martin

Ghyll Royd School, Pre-School and Nursery in Burley-in-Wharfedale is delighted to have been awarded the highest inspection grade by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The ISI inspectors were full of praise for Headteacher Mr Martin and the teaching staff when delivering the ‘Excellent’ result, which is the Ofsted equivalent to ‘Outstanding in all areas’.

The three inspectors evaluated the educational quality, focusing on the achievements of the pupils’ personal and academic development and the school’s compliancy with procedures.

Over three days in October 2022, the inspectors combed through policies, examined extracurricular activities, met with children and observed their lessons, witnessing everyday life at Ghyll Royd School. Parents, staff and pupils were given questionnaires, and the governing board were questioned on their processes to gain a full picture of the school.

The children were asked about what they enjoy most about school and spoke with ‘great pride’ about their teachers and the responsibilities given to them throughout their Primary School career.

On pupils’ academic achievements, the report said: “Children make excellent progress from their starting points in EYFS…they benefit from small class sizes which allow teachers to focus on their individual development.”

The inspection commented on the pupils as “highly self-aware and self-confident. They thrive in an environment which is characterised by extremely positive and trusting relationships.”

The report continued: “The skills of independent learning fostered by the school alongside excellent pastoral care and celebrations of success enable pupils to leave each stage of their education well-equipped and excited to embark on the next.”

Headteacher David Martin beamed: “Back in February 2015 I was sitting in my office, eight months into my headship, and received a mixture of ‘Excellent’ and ‘Good’ feedback. The inspectors shared that they felt the school was in its ‘embryonic’ stage of development. From that day, the work that has gone into improving the school’s compliancy and educational quality has been nothing short of extraordinary for a team of our size.

“I am overjoyed with the verbal and written feedback from the Inspection team. It was extremely gratifying to read the report, which not only highlights the excellent academic and personal progress of our children but captures the essence of Ghyll Royd as a community.”

The Educational Quality was assessed alongside a Compliance inspection, which evaluates the standard of the school’s approach to safeguarding, anti-bullying, suitability of staff and leadership and management. All areas of compliance were met.

Staff and children joined Mr Martin for a celebration over a slice of cake, made by talented parent and baker Mrs Zyvile Ramsden. Mrs Ramsden made the 5-star chocolate cake, complete with a handmade fondant Ghyll Royd crest.

The top inspection result adds to a long list of recent accolades, including the school’s gold awards for outdoor learning and physical education, and the nursery’s ‘Best Childcare Provider’ award in the Mumbler Awards.

You can read the full inspection report via

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