IT’S a school that is going places.
That is the upbeat assessment of the head of The Toynbee School in Chandler’s Ford, after being graded as “satisfactory”
with “good” features in its latest Ofsted report.
Matthew Longden has only been in place for six months, having moved from Applemore College in Dibden Purlieu, but says he has been impressed by the commitment of staff and pupils to improving the Chandler’s Ford school.
“The school has been through a period of real change, but has got massive potential and I’m absolutely delighted to be here,” he said.
“I’ve got a lot of faith in the staff here and the pupils at this school are really wonderful and they are an important group to work with and get them where we want to be.
“Any worthwhile improvement doesn’t happen overnight, but we’ve made great strides in six months. It’s about working really hard at the chalk face and getting the best out of them, but we’ve got the will to get there.
“People looking at Toynbee can see a school that’s going places.”
Ofsted inspectors praised the “harmonious and inclusive”
nature of the school, and the achievements made and teaching methods in sport, Toynbee’s specialism.
But they said the good practices in that area, as well as subjects like history, art and media, are not always shared across the school. Mr Longden said he believes that is the school’s main challenge, but shows there are already solid foundations to build on.
“We’ve got lots of Hampshire boys and girls and some local, regional and national athletes,” he said.
“The students who excel in sport tend to excel in other areas as well, but it adds to the package. We’re looking to extend that more and see how sport can improve other departments.
“That’s the next phase – that sport pervades through everything we do. We’ve shown we do that and it’s making sure it’s relayed across everything we do.
That’s part of our improvement plan.”