Hornbill School is an exciting and vibrant school that caters for both Nepali children of Gurkha soldiers and children of serving British military and civilian MOD personnel. Hornbill School is a primary school with over 320 children from 3 - 11 years of age. Usually the school has around 85-90% of children with English as an additional language (EAL), with high mobility as a result of unit moves and redeployment.
The children are organised, where possible, into single age groups throughout the school with favourable pupil teacher ratios to allow for the special circumstances of combining two distinct curricula.
All classes have a UK based teacher and each year team has a Nepali Specialist Teacher working alongside UK based colleagues. The school also has a strong team of Keyworkers, Learning Support Assistants, and a variety of administrative roles, all of which contribute to the support for in-class and whole school issues.
The school follows the National Curriculum for England (2014) for all children. The principal teaching language is English, with variations for Nepali children to meet their own national requirements and preserve familiarity with their first language and culture. The school is part of the Service Children's Education (SCE) family of schools, and maintains a higher than average academic performance (one of the top 250 primary schools 2014). Teachers at the school are employed as ‘UK-based civilians’ within the Ministry of Defence. Like all SCE schools, Hornbill School is subject to inspections from OFSTED/HMI.
The following are quotes from the final report which can be read by following this link.
“Excellence has been sustained since the last inspection. Standards in reading, writing and mathematics have risen and are above average. Pupils are exceptionally well-prepared to deal with change and their future learning.”
“Pupils of different abilities make excellent progress. Any barriers that hinder learning are successfully overcome. Gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills are closed quickly.”
“Specialist teachers, including those from Nepal, and carefully tailored support ensures that all pupils can excel and develop their talents.”
“Skilful staff know their pupils extremely well, make learning interesting, purposeful and give useful feedback. What pupils need to do to improve is not precise in a few classes.”
“Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary and embodies the strong values that underpin everything the school does. Parents, staff and pupils are justifiably proud.”
“Hornbill is an outstanding school. It is also unique and special. It is unique because it experiences exceptional levels of pupil mobility and successfully caters for pupils and families with distinct and diverse cultural needs. It is special, not just because of the excellent achievement of its pupils, but also for the extent to which the values it actively promotes mean that pupils demonstrate respect, kindness and a genuine concern for others in all that they do. This is recognised and valued by parents.”
Hornbill celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2013, having opened in 2003 as an amalgamation of two schools serving the British Garrison in Seria - Seria Service Children’s School and the Gurkha Children's English School. Since that time, the school has worked hard to embed excellent educational practice and a values driven ethos. Hornbill School has seen considerable growth and development over the past few years, including the integration of the Foundation Stage partof the school onto the main school site, and wealso boast specialist sports facilities, and extensive grounds. All children from the age of three make good use of the swimming facilities. Our Extended Learning Opportunity Programme is a considerable strength of the school, with an extensive and diverse offering of after school activities for our children. Significant improvements have also been made to the outdoor learning provision and landscaped environment to encourage reflective and first hand learning.
In addition, we have improved the administrative and staff areas of the school. The staff are talented and committed to school improvement, and keen to drive forward change with energy and enthusiasm. Parents, the Garrison and the School Governance Committee members are highly supportive and committed to the success of the school at all levels. We work in a unique way, in a wonderful setting, celebrating the richness and diversity of cultures and language in order to build together a successful future for children.