St Albans Independant College Ribbon

The main findings of the inspection are listed below:

  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is consistently good. Teachers show a strong desire to provide pupils with high-quality learning experiences.
  • Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve. Well-planned learning activities that cater for pupils’ individual learning needs ensure that pupils enjoy college and make good progress.
  • Teachers have strong subject knowledge and are able to enthuse pupils, who are keen to learn. Teachers develop pupils’ skills in reading, writing, communication and mathematics effectively while retaining their interest and motivation. Very positive attitudes were evident in every lesson visited by inspectors.
  • Pupils receive consistent high-quality individual support so that they make strong progress. Teachers ask questions that prompt pupils to think hard about their answers and explanations. They question pupils skillfully to check their understanding and to tackle misconceptions.
  • Teachers have very positive relationships with their pupils.
  • Staff work well with pupils to develop resilience and perseverance in tackling tasks. The high staff-to-pupils ratio means that there is always someone to support when individuals struggle with learning.
  • The college’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding.
  • Pupils are extremely positive about their college experience and how they enjoy attending. They settle into the college quickly because of the excellent support and care they get.
  • Pupils have excellent attitudes to learning. They enjoy coming to college and they value their lessons. The atmosphere in classes is typically very positive, with a clear emphasis on making progress. Pupils show utmost respect for others’ ideas and points of view when debating issues.
  • The emotional well-being of pupils is a very high priority for all staff. Relationships between teachers and pupils are exceptional. Teachers and pupils have high expectations of each other.
  • The college provides outstanding personal support to its pupils.
  • The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Inspectors saw exemplary behaviour across the college.
  • Pupils’ conduct is excellent. The pupils are extremely respectful of their peers, adults and visitors. They have impeccable manners. The atmosphere in college is an exceptionally positive and happy one, and pupils grow in self-esteem and confidence.
  • For those currently at the college, work in folders indicates that pupils make consistently 
strong progress in a wide range of subjects. This is as a result of effective teaching.
  • Pupils say that they are learning and achieving well and parents agree. In conversation with the inspector, many pupils contrasted this with their previous experience of education.
  • Planned checks on pupils’ starting points, particularly in English and mathematics, mean that staff identify precise steps for continual improvement. Progress is assessed on a regular basis. As a result, students soon develop positive attitudes to learning and progress well.
  • Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make good progress. The vast majority are achieving in line with their individual target grades. This is because of the high-quality support they receive from their provision.
  • Students achieve particularly well in their A-level studies. This is because teaching is good and their motivation to succeed is high. In 2016, half the grades were A* to B and three quarters were in the A* to C range. The majority of students are successful when studying A-level retake courses.