Our Ofsted Inspection Report is now available on the Ofsted website - to view a copy please see the link below. A printed copy can be requested from reception if required. The Ofsted framework has as its aim, quite rightly, to ensure that every school is consistently good or better. The Ofsted team worked closely with the senior leadership team, staff, governors and our students and have made a judgement, recognising our many strengths and indicating the areas that require improvement.
The Ofsted team recorded the following strengths:
- This is an inclusive community where pupils feel safe and happy.
- Leaders show a deep commitment to nurturing pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. They have created an inclusive culture where pupils show high levels of respect for themselves and each other.
- The behaviour of pupils is good.
- Systems to support behaviour are effective.
- Leadership and line management of the sixth form is very effective. Leaders are ambitious for students and possess very good knowledge of each student in the sixth form.
- Students in the sixth form make good progress and are well supported in their applications for university and employment.
- The performing arts continue to make a rich contribution to the school’s culture and ethos. Pupils enjoy music, drama and dance lessons, as well as the performances and shows that take place throughout the year.
- Leaders oversee a vibrant extra-curricular programme. Pupils value this provision.
- Leaders communicate effectively with parents. Parents believe strongly that their children are happy at the school. Parents and pupils value the school’s nurturing and inclusive culture.
- Governors make a positive contribution to the school’s culture and ethos, for example, by meeting with student leaders. Governors have a good understanding of the local context and support the school in enabling pupils to stay safe, in school and in the community.
- Pupils take an active role in sustaining the school’s culture of safety and well-being. A significant proportion of sixth-form students are trained to mentor younger pupils. Anti- bullying ambassadors are visible and effective.
- Pupils have a good understanding of diversity, and describe the school as a place where they can develop as individuals. They have faith in the guidance that teachers and leaders provide on staying safe, in school and beyond.
- Attendance has consistently been better than the national average in recent years, and remains high this year.
- Progress in the sixth form has exceeded national rates of progress for several years, and this continues. This means that students leave with good grades, which enable them to secure places at sought-after universities and employers.
- Sixth-form teachers and leaders are ambitious for their students. They pay close attention to students’ career intentions, and support them in achieving them.
- Expectations of students are high and they are expected to work hard. Students make good use of study periods to work independently, and they are frequently set challenging homework.
- Teachers possess excellent subject knowledge. Students value the personalised guidance they receive from teachers, and the fact that teachers are accessible and supportive outside of timetabled lessons.
Despite the strengths outlined above, Ofsted has judged that the school requires further improvement so that it is good in all aspects. To do this we will continue to focus on strengthening the quality of teaching, accelerating the achievement of students and, in particular with your help, stretching and challenging students at KS4 to get the highest grades. We have clear plans for the further improvement of the school. Many of these have already been put in place, such as a change to our entry policy for GCSEs and the development of resources and implementation of initiatives to support the revised curriculum in Maths. We are confident that the progress of higher attaining learners will significantly improve in 2019 and that the school will produce record GCSE results to add to our continued success at Post-16.
We will continue to improve and Strive for Excellence in all that we do.
Mr N M Barrow (Principal) and Mr M West (Chair of Governors)