Ofsted recognises importance of Premium Partners

  • By Tessa Wilkinson
  • 02 Jun, 2015

Ofsted have recognised the work that Premium Partners do with our students and in particular with our more disadvantaged students. 

During a recent section 8 inspection,  Her Majesty's Inspectors came to look at the way the school 'narrows the gap' between those with and those 'without'. They were impressed in many ways with what the school has in place, and a special mention was made regarding the work some of our partners have done. Attached is an extract of the report.

Section 8 Inspection findings from 7th   May 2015

External support

Ten of the 40* local businesses that work with the school as premium partners have turned their attention to the future destinations of disadvantaged students. The group works with school leaders to create worthwhile and credible activities that broaden their experiences of work and education.

The businesses play a significant role in helping disadvantaged students choose the right courses for future employment, as well as the experiences of preparing for interviews. They provide work experiences to disadvantaged students in Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 that are close to home, so minimising the travel arrangements.

There are good examples where local businesses provide vocational placements for the disadvantaged students in the sixth form who have still to gain the required level of skills in literacy and numeracy.

The strengths in the school’s approaches to supporting its disadvantaged pupils effectively to achieve their potential are:

? strategic planning to raise achievement

? working with partners to raise aspirations and expectations

? effective use of the additional adults and other resources in in lessons

? providing advice and guidance through the marking of students’ work.


Jonathan Palk

Her Majesty’s Inspector


*   Note that we have 65 business partners not 40

By Sarah MacIsaac 07 Dec, 2017
Year 7 brought the Christmas spirit to school yesterday afternoon during Castle Challenge! They were tasked with creating their own decorations for our beautiful Christmas tree (kindly donated by Almondsbury Garden Centre with lights from Tesco). Each tutor group chose the best 10 which are now hanging for all to see in our reception area. We will be selling them on the last day of term for charity. Thank you Year 7!
By Sarah MacIsaac 09 Nov, 2017
The traditional Premium Partner networking breakfast had a makeover on Friday 3rd November! This was the first time we invited our business partners to have breakfast at our 6th form site and it attracted 23 of our Year 12 students from both Castle and Marlwood Schools. It was a great success with positive feedback from all involved and several firm offers of work experience or work shadowing to come out of it.
 We hope to repeat this across the year to encourage as many students to access this opportunity.
Our thanks to Thornbury Deli for the delicious food!
By Sarah MacIsaac 07 Nov, 2017
On Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th November, Castle School are fortunate enough to have trained staff from Essilor coming in to sight screen our Year 7 students. Students have access to a vision screening which will alert them if they need to investigate further and visit an optician. Being aware of potential sight issues can have a real impact on student's learning in the classroom. We are very grateful to Essilor for giving us their time and expertise.
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By Sarah MacIsaac 07 Dec, 2017
Year 7 brought the Christmas spirit to school yesterday afternoon during Castle Challenge! They were tasked with creating their own decorations for our beautiful Christmas tree (kindly donated by Almondsbury Garden Centre with lights from Tesco). Each tutor group chose the best 10 which are now hanging for all to see in our reception area. We will be selling them on the last day of term for charity. Thank you Year 7!
By Sarah MacIsaac 09 Nov, 2017
The traditional Premium Partner networking breakfast had a makeover on Friday 3rd November! This was the first time we invited our business partners to have breakfast at our 6th form site and it attracted 23 of our Year 12 students from both Castle and Marlwood Schools. It was a great success with positive feedback from all involved and several firm offers of work experience or work shadowing to come out of it.
 We hope to repeat this across the year to encourage as many students to access this opportunity.
Our thanks to Thornbury Deli for the delicious food!
By Sarah MacIsaac 07 Nov, 2017
On Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th November, Castle School are fortunate enough to have trained staff from Essilor coming in to sight screen our Year 7 students. Students have access to a vision screening which will alert them if they need to investigate further and visit an optician. Being aware of potential sight issues can have a real impact on student's learning in the classroom. We are very grateful to Essilor for giving us their time and expertise.
By Sarah MacIsaac 19 Oct, 2017
Castle School was buzzing this morning with nearly 30 businesses in school, all taking the time to conduct one to one interviews with our Year 10 students. 270 students had prepared a CV and had the opportunity to experience a real life interview with a local business person. Despite initial nerves, all students came out smiling with their confidence boosted!

Jason Crane, Director of Blue Print, commented enthusiastically, "Meeting the students has given me confidence in the future. I was really, really impressed by your  students, some of whom were so good I would have given them a job on the spot!"

A massive thank you to all our Premium Partners and other businesses who took part.
By Sarah MacIsaac 12 Oct, 2017

Five Year 11 boys from Castle School enjoyed a  great day at RAF Brize Norton as part of the EES (Engineering Education Scheme).They participated in team building exercises, received talks from the RAF about engineering and met Ben Wheeler from A-Gas Ltd, who is the engineer they will be working with this year.  The highlight of the day was the tour of one of the RAF’s planes, where they spent  some time exploring and asking lots of questions.

Over  the next few weeks they will be visiting A-gas Ltd at Portbury and seeing firsthand the problem which they must solve. They will then start the task of designing and completing the task over the next six months with a residential held at Bath University at the end of January.

Our thanks to A-Gas for supporting this exciting scheme for a second year.

By Paula Kirkby 10 Jul, 2017

Local insurance broker and Premium Partner, Brightside Insurance, had good reason to celebrate at the end of last week as one of its apprentices won the highly coveted Apprentice of the Year award at the South West Contact Centre Forum awards. Asher Budd, 19, a former Castle School pupil, received the award in recognition of the dedication he has shown in working towards completing an NVQ Level 3 qualification in Providing Financial Services and attaining his Chartered Insurance Institute status.

Collecting his award, Asher said “I’m really proud to have won this Apprentice of the Year award. It’s a wonderful achievement for me and I’d like to thank my manager Gemma Ferris, my team and everyone who’s played a part in supporting my development since I joined Brightside just one year ago”. Suzie Noble, Brightside’s Chief People Officer, was equally thrilled by the win, and said, “I’m so delighted with Asher has won this award. I’ve been nothing but impressed with the hard work and enthusiasm he’s shown since joining Brightside as an apprentice. He’s a role model for our future generation”.

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