Inspections & Awards
All three schools are judged to be ‘Outstanding’, the highest possible grade in the UK Ofsted British Schools Overseas (BSO) standards. This outcome bears witness to the dedication, skill, care and quality of our staff, and speaks volumes about the abilities and learning of our students.
- Junior School Inspection Report, January 2019
- Infant School Inspection Report, February 2018
- Senior School Inspection Report, September 2017
Tanglin Trust Junior School remains an outstanding school. It provides an outstanding quality of education for all its pupils across the 7-11 age range and meets the standards for British Schools Overseas. Since the last BSO inspection in 2016, the school has gone from strength to strength with standards higher than ever.
Standards in English
Pupils make outstanding progress in English. By the end of Year 6 pupils typically attain standards that are well above the UK national averages for reading and writing. Pupils develop excellent speaking and listening skills across the curriculum in each year group. Pupils grow in confidence and become adept at speaking and performing to an audience. They listen to each other attentively and show respect for views that differ from their own. Pupils develop a wide and varied vocabulary that support deeper learning and thinking and underpin their success in reading and writing. Pupils develop and deepen their love of reading from Year 3 onwards and by the end of Year 6, are imaginative and enthusiastic writers.
Standards in Mathematics
Pupils’ attainment and progress in mathematics is outstanding. As they move through the school progress is impressive and continues to improve year on year. Whole-school action taken to further improve reasoning skills means pupils can follow a line of enquiry, look for clues, patterns and relationships, ask questions and explain methods. Confident, resilient, self-assured learners characterise pupils' attitudes to learning in mathematics, leading one pupil to advise peers, 'Don't just give up' and another, 'I like to think outside the box'. When opportunities arise, pupils apply their mathematical knowledge competently to other subjects, for example measurement in science using thermometers and data loggers.
Standards in Science
Attainment and progress in science are outstanding throughout the school. Pupils make excellent progress in the development of their scientific knowledge and skills. In 2018, 97% of pupils in Year 6 were assessed to be meeting the age-related expectations in the subject with 42% of pupils working at greater depth. These figures are significantly above the UK picture and are consistent with an improving trend in science throughout the school. Pupils confidently plan experiments, make predictions and work collaboratively as they organise fair tests to check out their hypothesis. Through this approach, pupils develop a growing understanding of how science works and how scientific evidence can be used to help understand the world around them.
Standards in technology
Pupils' attainment in technology are outstanding. Pupils' knowledge, skills and understanding in this area are developed well throughout the school. Pupils are skilled at using a wide range of exciting applications, including those that introduce them to the language of programming. By the time they leave in year 6, almost all pupils can create mathematical games using a multimedia programming tool. They often link their work in technology to topics and themes that are cross-curricular. For example, design challenges lead to solutions to the solving of real-life problems. Consequently, pupils successfully engage in film production, image editing, podcasts and producing play-scripted narratives. This work demonstrates high levels of expertise, subject knowledge and creativity as they make excellent use of the facilities and resources available. These include the 'future learning space' and media suite which are dedicated to encouraging pupils to be innovative.
STANDARDS across the curriculum
Pupils reach similarly high standards and produce impressive rates of progress in other subjects across the curriculum. Specialist provision leads to exceptional standards and provides a skills-based curriculum which develops pupils' passion for learning in a wide variety of areas. Through competitive sport and 'Sport for All' initiatives, pupils learn about themselves and others demonstrating high levels of respect and good sportsmanship. The innovative arts programme includes a high-quality music curriculum that inspires pupils to play instruments as varied as violins, harps, oboes and bassoons and leads to outstanding performance opportunities. Specialist drama engages pupils and stimulates creative writing while the ceramics programme leads to pupils producing high quality pieces of work. Pupils reach high standards in Chinese across the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing and careful differentiation with the use of Pinyin and Chinese characters enables all pupils to make outstanding progress from their respective starting points.
The curriculum is outstanding. Pupils access a broad, rich and meaningful curriculum that prepares them extremely well for the next phase of their education. The curriculum is based on the English national curriculum, and skillfully adapted to reflect the international context of the school. Pupils attain high standards in a range of subjects so they are well equipped to enter or re-enter the UK education system with ease. The curriculum is broad and rich. It is planned effectively to ensure progression in skills. There is a clear focus on depth in learning and mastery of key knowledge and skills in all subjects. Topics are planned carefully to be relevant and meaningful to pupils. Cross-curricular links are maximised to enable pupils to deepen their understanding and apply their skills in different subjects. Progression in knowledge and skills is very clearly planned in art, drama, music and PE.
The development of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is woven through all subjects and is at the heat of the school's work. Pupils have a broad understanding of and show great respect for faiths and cultures different to their own. They discuss moral and global issues maturely and knowledgeably. The enrichments to the curriculum are exceptional. Many additional, exciting activities enthral pupils and deepen their knowledge and extend their skills. Pupils benefit from an impressive range of after-school activities in sports, themed days, trips and visits.
Teaching and Learning
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding. Highly effective teaching meets pupils' needs precisely and ensures that all pupils of all abilities make excellent progress across the curriculum. Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and an in-depth understanding of the English primary school curriculum. They have a clear understanding of how children learn and use a range of strategies to motivate them. Pupils receive excellent feedback on their written work and their verbal contributions in lessons. This helps them to improve their work and deepens their understanding.
The school's personalised approach ensures teaching is matched precisely to the learning needs of each pupil. Teachers are enthusiastic and ambitious for pupils. They plan topics and lessons that interest and enthuse pupils and are skilled at questioning and exemplifying learning. Teaching is well organised and planned thoughtfully. Pupils are given purposeful activities that sustain their interest, develop their social skills and promote effective thinking skills. Pupils are also supported very effectively in class.
Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural Development
The school's vision to 'make every pupil feel valued, happy and successful' is evident across all year groups. Pupils' attitudes to learning are exemplary; they are confident, self-assured learners who enjoy coming to school. Pupils display resilience, which allows them to persevere when faced with challenges in learning. They are confident to express their views and think creatively and as a result possess a self-belief to aspire to be 'lifelong learners who can contribute with confidence to our world.' Personal development is a strength of the school. The personal, health, social and emotional curriculum provides pupils with a broad and balanced pastoral education. This aims to develop pupils' self-knowledge, self-esteem and wellbeing.
Pupils are proud to take on positions of responsibility and, because there are so many opportunities during their time in school, everybody gets a chance to take on a role. The student council has brought about change and improvements. Pupils are passionate about their responsibility for their planet in terms of conservation and sustainability, with many examples of pupils taking a lead in this area.
Pupils' strong sense of moral codes and appreciation of right and wrong has resulted in exemplary behaviour. Pupils' gifts and talents are recognised and nurtured and, as well as celebrating pupils' achievement, the school also values selfless acts of kindness and philanthropic efforts. Equality for all is actively promoted and major world religious festivals are celebrated within the school. Tanglin pupils talk with passion about their school because it is special. They say it makes them feel happy and valued, not just for what they can do but for what they are.
Welfare, Health, and Safety
Provision for the welfare and safety of pupils is outstanding. Pupils are confident that they are safe in the school and are well-cared for. Leaders and managers embed safeguarding practice as an integral part of everyday school life and the recent appointment of a campus-wide safeguarding officer has raised the profile still further. The school has a range of policies, which are subject to ongoing review, that make clear the responsibilities of all staff to the protection of its pupils. Parents and pupils rightly have every confidence that their children are educated in a very safe environment. There is a detailed behaviour policy, including anti-bullying, and rules are known and followed throughout the school. Pupils understand these and are confident that their views and opinions will always be respected.
Leadership and Management
The leadership and management of the school are outstanding. The inspirational headteacher leads by example. She has an excellent knowledge of the needs of the school and has developed a team of high-quality school leaders and staff who share her vision that 'only the best will do'. Everyone is expected to carry out his or her role to a very high standard. Effective leadership has ensured that past successes have been maintained and built on with the school's core values at the heart of what the school does well. High-quality training is made available for all staff. Leaders at all levels are encouraged to develop professionally, with many following accredited routes to further leadership qualifications.
Tanglin Trust Infant School is an outstanding school. It provides an outstanding quality of education for all of its pupils and meets all the requirements for British Schools Overseas.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years, the curriculum is planned carefully and provides outstanding opportunities for children to become fully involved in their own learning through play and exploration. Children are encouraged to think creatively and critically, and there is an excellent balance of teacher-directed and child-chosen activities. Very strong leadership fosters vibrancy in all aspects of learning in both Nursery and Reception, and leads to outstanding progress in all areas. Children’s interest is captured as soon as they enter their classrooms.
Attainment and progress in English are outstanding. Children enter Nursery with skills in language and communication typical for their age. By the end of Reception, the proportion of children reaching and exceeding the early learning goals in reading and writing is well above average. In Key Stage 1, pupils make outstanding progress in English and attainment is particularly high in reading. By Year 2, pupils are able to write for different purposes and audiences; for example, diaries, letters and story writing. Pupils’ descriptive writing is strong. Cursive writing is a consistent strength across the school.
Attainment and progress in mathematics are outstanding. Children make outstanding progress so that, by the end of Reception, they reach standards that are well above average. There is strong focus on stimulating children’s curiosity about numbers, learning through play, and using mathematical language effectively. Outstanding progress continues throughout Key Stage 1 and, by the end of Year 2, pupils’ mathematical skills become increasingly secure, and pupils become very proficient in using and applying these skills. There is an increasingly strong emphasis on investigation and problem solving.
Pupils’ attainment and progress are outstanding as they develop their awareness and understanding of the world around them. From their first days in Nursery, children are presented with exciting objects and challenges and are very well prepared to build upon their understanding and skills as they move up through the school. Key Stage 1 sees the progressive growth of young scientists and, by the end of Year 2, attainment is high. Lessons place an appropriate emphasis upon the scientific skills of enquiry, testing, observation and conclusion.
In other subjects, pupils make equally strong progress and achieve similarly high standards. Year 1 pupils develop increasingly useful Mandarin vocabulary through repetitive rhymes and simple songs. In their physical education programme, Year 2 pupils develop confidence and agility when using the climbing wall. Children in the early years grasp key skills of balance and physical control as they work on the ‘perceptual motor programme’ with specialist equipment. In their music development, children learn to blend voices with percussion, and build on their self-assurance, by performing both in class and at a local children’s home. In their art, they are learning about processes and techniques at an unusually early stage.
The quality of education provided by the school
A rich and diverse curriculum provides outstanding learning across the school. Leaders are relentless in their ambition to offer pupils not only the breadth but also depth in their learning. As a result, stimulating opportunities are built into daily lessons for all pupils. Creative and meticulous curriculum planning inspires pupils’ curiosity and develops deeper thinking at every opportunity. The integrated provision for information technology encourages pupils to extend their learning through the use of tablet computers and applications. Experiences are considerably enriched by a wide range of vibrant learning opportunities beyond the classroom. The curriculum provides a wealth of opportunities for pupils to take on responsibilities to shape the direction of their school, and a comprehensive programme of personal, social, health and citizenship education equips pupils with strong understanding of how to stay healthy and safe. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding and is the driving force behind pupils’ impressive and strong record of achievement.
The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils thrive in Tanglin, becoming highly confident, independent and caring learners. High levels of enjoyment abound in all lessons and pupils exude excitement in their learning. Pupils relate extremely well to each other and collaboration is a strong feature of work and play. They relish the opportunity to take on a broad range of responsibilities and make significant contribution to school life. Pupils have a strong sense of moral duty due to their respect for the dignity of all individuals and groups of people, and speak passionately about charity work. The curriculum develops pupils’ cultural and spiritual understanding very well.
The welfare, health, and safety of the pupils
Arrangements to promote the welfare, health and security of pupils are outstanding in their scope and effectiveness and pupils rightly feel safe and very well cared for. Relationships between staff and pupils are very strong and productive. New pupils settle quickly in the friendly and cooperative atmosphere and quickly gain in confidence through the mutual support of peers. The positive reinforcement received from teachers helps develop their self-esteem, maturity and sense of personal worth.
The provision of information for parents
Provision of information for parents, carers, and others is outstanding. The school uses a number of efficient channels of communication to keep parents informed, including a comprehensive and regularly updated website, with detailed information about the Infant School; a Parent Portal for access to restricted and confidential information; and social media and messaging feeds. Parents receive regular reports and updates about their child’s progress, both formally and informally. As a result, parents feel part of the school community and say that the school works very well in partnership with parents to help their child’s education.
Leadership and management of the school
Leadership and management at all levels are outstanding and result in outstanding outcomes in all areas. The head teacher and senior leaders set very high standards and are committed to excellence in all areas. This commitment to excellence permeates the school and is widely shared, and leadership at all levels, including in the early years, is outstanding. Governance is excellent, sets the strategic direction for the whole school and provides excellent support and challenge for the headteacher.
"As an inclusive school, Tanglin promotes equality, tackles discrimination and embraces diversity, which contributes to the extremely caring atmosphere wherein students are happy and highly successful."
The findings of the British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspection confirmed Tanglin’s Senior School status as an outstanding school, which is the highest possible grading. The following are extracts from the main findings of the report:
“The school is tremendously successful in achieving exceptional, world class, high standards, improving year on year, but without losing their focus on the well-being and all-round development of their students. This commitment to excellence and the very positive school ethos is reflected in all stakeholders. These include the highly professional, competent and enthusiastic staff who are excellent role models and always go the ‘extra mile’ for their students to the parents who are highly satisfied. Additionally, the students who have superb attitudes to learning, high levels of motivation, independence, confidence and engagement in all that they do, aspire to ‘be the best they can be’. It is no coincidence that a culture of ‘having a go’ and ‘cool to be clever’ is prevalent in this exceptional group of students.”
The Infant School is the first school in Asia to be awarded:
- The Early Years Quality Mark
- The Primary (Infant) Quality Mark
- Curiosity Approach Accreditation.
It has also been awarded the Primary Science Gold Quality Mark.
As our Infant School and Junior School are members of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), an association for headteachers of leading prep schools throughout the world, they have been awarded the prestigious kite mark of quality.
The Junior School has also been awarded the:
- Historical Association Silver Quality Mark
- Geographical Association Gold Quality Mark
- Primary Science Gold Quality Mark
- Gold award for Rights Respecting Schools
- British Council International School Award.
Our Senior School received the Pearson Centre of Excellence Award in recognition of our students who have achieved the Outstanding Pearson Learners Award through quality teaching and learning experience.