Truro School ISI Inspection Report 2017

Boarding School, Cornwall in UK

We are delighted to announce that Truro School has achieved ‘Excellent’ across both standards in the latest inspection, the best possible grades.

Quality of pupils’ academic and other achievements:


Quality of pupils’ personal development:


‘Excellent’ at all ages (3-18)

The senior school ISI inspection arrives hot on the heels of Truro Prep School’s inspection that took place in mid-June. Truro Prep also scored the top possible grades, meaning that Truro School is now officially ‘Excellent’ at all ages (3-18).

This page summarises the findings from the senior school’s (11-18) inspection report using extracts in line with our strategic plan. The full, unabridged version is available at the bottom of this page.

If you would like to read the findings from the Prep School (3-11) inspection, please click below:

Strategic Objective One

For excellent teachers to inspire pupils to achieve academic success at school and go on to first choice universities, colleges or jobs.

“Pupils are well supported in their choices for the next steps and are encouraged to consider a wide range of options, including apprenticeships where appropriate”.

“Almost all pupils move on to their first or second choice university in a wide range of subjects.”

1st Year (Year 7) at Truro School is all about helping our pupils develop a lifelong love of learning. Lessons are made fun through a wide range of practical teaching techniques, including research tasks, field trips and project work.

The success of this approach to teaching is underlined by Truro School’s accomplished academic track record. At GCSE, 59% of results were A*-A in 2017, this compares to a national A*-A rate of 20% (equal to grade 7 or above in the new national grade format).

Truro Sixth Form, a leading sixth form in cornwall

When it comes to Sixth Form, students take advantage of extensive careers and universities guidance. This includes one-to-one careers interviews, UCAS support, the school’s Medical Pathways programme and an Overseas Studies programme.

The school’s Oxbridge application guidance is also a key element of next-step provision. In 2017, the school achieved a 42% Oxbridge acceptance rate. This stands at double the national average where around one in five students secure places.

“In interview, pupils expressed delight in their learning”.

“…they benefit from a system of tracking and intervention which facilitates excellent progress.”

“Pupils display interest in their learning due to the staff encouraging them to believe that they can achieve, and providing outstanding support and challenging when appropriate”.

Strategic Objective Two

To enable young people to live their lives to the full and transform society for the better.

“Pupils have a very well-developed moral and spiritual awareness, underpinned by the Methodist values of the school’s foundation and a strong respect for everyone within the school community.”

“Pupils feel that the school is exemplified by a culture of kindness and respect for each other…”

Key to our Methodist approach to education is helping our pupils understand their role as global citizens. This engenders a humble, unpretentious attitude in Truro School students who identify and appreciate how fortunate they are compared to others.

Each academic year the pupils partake in the World Aims scheme; a two-day project that focuses on carefully selected themes. World Aims projects often tackle hard-hitting topics such as human rights and supporting victims of natural disasters.

As well as learning about global issues in the safety of school, pupils also get involved on the frontline. Every year, groups of pupils travel abroad to make a difference. This includes our partnership with a community school in Uganda where Truro School students help with the maintenance of buildings and teach younger Ugandan pupils key skills in classroom lessons.

Pupils raised over £12,000 for charity last year, including two student-led charity rock concerts that raised over £1500, split between Tourette’s Action and Cornwall Hospice.


“Pupils have many opportunities to develop their social awareness and skills, and they embrace these enthusiastically”.

“The school has a longstanding link with a community school and one for street children in Uganda. Pupils who visited the latter in 2017 described the trip as ‘life changing’ in terms of raising their awareness of children living very different lives to their own and helping them acquire a world view”.

Strategic Objective Three

To be known for outstanding pastoral care and trusting partnerships with parents.

Pastoral Care, Truro School Education, Cornwall, SouthWest

“Pupils benefit from close relationships with staff and feel these relationships support them in their academic and personal development.”

“Pupils are mature and confident for their age, and their self-assurance is further developed through the comprehensive personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) programme taken by all pupils in Years 7 to 13. Pupils enjoy the wide range of topics which include many concerning their own well-being such as self-esteem, relationships and mental health.”

At Truro School we take a grassroots approach to pastoral care. Our mission in this area is to know and respect students as individuals, helping them to take responsibility and make well-informed choices about their own lives.

In addition to our comprehensive PSHEE programme the ACHE (advice, care, health and empathy) pupil-mentoring scheme allows Sixth Form students to develop the skills and experience needed to listen to and support others.

The ubiquity of social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat pose challenges and require understanding. Our senior pastoral team regularly educate parents and students to promote the responsible use of technology.

The Deputy Head of Pastoral, the School Chaplain, the Medical Centre and the school’s counsellor all act as further ports of contact for pupils and parents alike.

“Pupils are aware of the dangers which society and their own behaviour can bring, and feel well supported by the school should they have any physical or mental health concerns.  They feel that they are developing good lifestyle habits for the future in a safe and secure environment”


“When pupils have problems within school, they value an excellent scheme of pupil mentoring which provides support called ACHE (advice, care, health and empathy).”

“Senior pupils provide excellent role models within the school community.”

Strategic Objective Four

To help each child to find and fully develop his or her talents.


“Pupils take part enthusiastically in the outstanding extra-curricular programme which takes place every day after school and for the whole afternoon on Wednesdays. Many of them excel in their areas of expertise and interest, resulting in some outstanding achievements.”

An extensive co-curricular programme forms the backbone of Truro School. We believe that our students learn as much outside the classroom as they do inside it and that a rich offering of co-curricular opportunities is key to preparing students for the real world.

From budding actors performing in the school’s theatre to keen orienteers hiking parts of Cornwall’s 300-mile coastline, there is something for every pupil. The school’s motto, ‘Esse Quam Videri’, means ‘to be, rather than to seem to be’, and our co-curricular programme is designed to ensure that every child can handpick an activity that inspires them.

 “Many pupils have achieved national representation in a wide variety of sports including badminton, canoeing, football, jiu-jitsu, motocross, athletics, sailing, squash and surfing as as well as reaching the national finals in the more traditional team sports of rugby and netball.”

“In the Sixth Form, results in the Extended Project Qualification were excellent in 2017. Pupils’ work included building a radio-powered sailing boat; preparing for a fashion show; writing, creating and directing their own musical; and more traditional extended essays on a wide variety of topics.”

Strategic Objective Five

To be celebrated as a socially and environmentally responsible member of the Cornish community.

“Pupils have a strong sense of service and seek opportunities to do voluntary work locally in the community, whether as part of the Duke of Edinburgh or independently.”

We have strong and mutually beneficial relationships with local partners.. Local state schools frequently make use of the school’s sports facilities and, when it comes to the county’s provision of music lessons, Truro School provides a home for the Cornwall Music Service Trust.

Truro School is one of the largest Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) centres in the South West. Volunteering is an integral part of the award and, as such, Truro School students are regularly involved in a whole host of charitable activities.

In addition to DofE, students regularly immerse themselves in community fundraising and sustainability projects; some as part of Wednesday Afternoon Activities, some being tutor-led initiatives, others organised by individual students themselves.

“Pupils have high levels of involvement in the school and local community, and take the initiative in setting up and supporting charitable activities and undertaking meaningful service to others.”


“They are regularly involved in beach cleaning, and helping in local charity shops and at residential homes for the elderly.”

“Pupils are also involved in local community initiatives such as a local basketball group for your people with learning difficulties.”

A Word from the Headmaster

“I am delighted with this inspection report which captures the essence of our school rather beautifully. It highlights just how much there is to celebrate about our pupils, our staff and our place in the community. When I walk around school each day I observe boys and girls who love being here, who are happy, who are kind, and who are determined to be the best versions of themselves. The team of inspectors from the ISI who visited us recognised all of these qualities and have judged us to be excellent in all areas. It is very gratifying to be judged as so successful in achieving our aims and the report is a source of renewed determination as we continue our drive to be the leading independent day and boarding school in the South West.”

– Andrew Gordon-Brown.

Who are the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)?

The ISI is a government-approved inspectorate responsible for auditing independent schools. They assess a wealth of areas including safeguarding, the quality and effectiveness of education, care, welfare and personal development of children in schools.

During a full inspection ISI assess two key areas of school performance:

-The achievement of the pupils, including their academic development.

-The personal development of the pupils.

One of four scores is then awarded to summarise the performance of schools in the above-mentioned key areas; excellent, good, sound or unsatisfactory.

See for Yourself

We really believe in parents and prospective students getting to know the school community and we are proud to give informal tours. These tours, given by our current students, are the best way to witness the school in action and to soak up the atmosphere.

To arrange a tour of the school and a chat with the Headmaster, please contact the Admissions Assistant, Emma Williams on 01872 246062 or email: