A PRIVATE school has been hailed as a "vibrant international learning community" by inspectors.

Myddelton College in Denbigh received its first ever inspection from Estyn. The independent school opened in the autumn of 2016.

In the report, published on May 9, inspectors said pupils share a "great sense of belonging" and that "nearly all pupils are highly motivated learners who display exemplary behaviour."

It stated: "Nearly all pupils enjoy their lessons and are eager to learn, especially during the innovative ‘learning through the outdoors’ programme.

Denbighshire Free Press:

Pictured are (L/R) Mali Jones, Nathanial Harries, Victoria Godber Ford, Headteacher Mark Hughes, Punam Spencer, Leon Hodgson and Sasi Williams.

"A particularly strong feature of the teaching is the very positive working relationships between pupils and staff."

In inspection areas, the school was judged as 'Adequate and needs improvement' in Standards and Teaching experiences and Good in Wellbeing and attitudes, Care, support and guidance and Leadership and management.

Headteacher Mark Roberts was singled out for his “motivational leadership".

The educational establishment was pulled down for having "too much variation in the quality of teaching and assessment".

Mr Roberts, who took over the reins at the school in 2017, said: "Overall, I was very pleased with the report because it contains many positives as well as highlighting the fact that we are addressing the need to strengthen the middle leadership of the school and ensure high quality teaching at all times.

“It was a brand new school when it opened in 2016 and it was always going to take time to bed in.

“When I took on the headship, it was in difficult circumstances so we had to have a very methodical approach to improving the school.

“Our first focus was ensuring the school was fully compliant in all regulatory areas and we then focused on making sure the ethos was right, students who feel safe and happy are the ones that learn the best.

“We have now put structures in place to ensure the students make rapid progress and the standard of teaching and learning becomes outstanding which is where it should be."

“All the building blocks are there for long term success rather than a quick fix and that is recognised in the report. They completely agreed with my analysis of the school and that gives me great confidence we know what to do to improve.

“As part of the process, we have strengthened the leadership within the school with some key appointments, including new heads of the maths and science departments and both are having a really positive impact.

“Our wonderful staff deserve a huge amount of credit for the great strides we have taken in creating something really special here at Myddelton College. They are exceptional."

There are currently 215 pupils in the school. These include 34 pupils in the primary section and 179 in the senior section, including 43 in the sixth form. Around 68 per cent of pupils are day pupils who live in Denbighshire, Flintshire or Conwy and about 32 per cent are international pupils drawn from 16 different nationalities from as far afield as Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Chile.

The report added: "Throughout the school, nearly all pupils are polite and respectful to adults and their

peers and show great care and consideration for one another.

"Nearly all pupils feel safe and secure in school. They know whom to speak to if they are upset or have a concern and are confident that the school will deal with any incidents quickly and appropriately.

"Provision to help pupils to adopt healthy lifestyles is beneficial. For example, the traffic light labelling of food in the school canteen helps to develop pupils’ understanding of a healthy diet. The school provides a wide range of co-curricular physical activities, including ballet, taekwondo and ultimate frisbee.

"The headteacher provides reflective and motivational leadership. Since his appointment, he has established a strong, nurturing community ethos and succeeded in embedding the school’s vision based on ‘the three pillars of resilience, scholarship and fellowship’.

"After a difficult and extremely challenging initial period for the school, leaders are now implementing suitable structures and strategies to improve outcomes and provision.

"Together with the senior leadership team, the headteacher provides clear direction for all areas of the school’s work. He is supportive of colleagues but has also taken appropriate action where necessary to challenge underperformance and strengthen provision."