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Leaders have very high expectations of pupils' academic achievements. Staff support all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to meet these expectations. Parents and carers generally said that the school is well-organised and that leaders communicate well with parents.
Typically, pupils enjoy school, behave sensibly, and are self-reliant learners. Teachers encourage pupils to be ambitious for their futures and motivate them to aim high. Pupils are safe in school.
Staff address any incidents of bullying quickly and effectively.
Staff encourage pupils to make the most of the opportunities that the school provides. Ex...tra-curricular sporting experiences include rowing, cricket and Brazilian jujutsu.
Pupils also sing in school choirs and take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme. Uptake by pupils of these activities is high. Teachers provide impartial careers guidance.
For example, leaders support all pupils in Year 10 to find appropriate work experience opportunities.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed a unique curriculum that is broad, balanced and ambitious. Pupils study a curriculum that in some subjects exceeds national curriculum expectations.
The computer science curriculum in Years 7 to 9 is highly ambitious. Pupils use extra curriculum time to learn three computer programming languages. Pupils also study ethics in Years 7 to 9.
The proportion of pupils who study the English Baccalaureate combination of subjects is high.
Subject leaders' curriculum thinking has clarity and purpose. All parts of the curriculum are broken down into small steps so that all pupils, including pupils with SEND, can achieve highly.
Subject leaders know with precise detail what they want pupils to learn and in what order they learn it. For example, in English, pupils study persuasive writing while reading Sherlock Holmes text in Year 7. They build on this knowledge in Year 8, and in Year 9 they learn about the art of rhetoric and speech writing.
This prepares pupils well to write persuasively at GCSE and beyond. Teachers check extremely carefully that pupils understand what they have learned.
Leaders provide excellent support for pupils with SEND.
The needs of pupils with SEND are met in class and in the wider curriculum. Pupils who struggle to read fluently are provided with help to build fluency and confidence, and to catch up. Leaders continue to monitor these pupils' reading progress, so that no pupils fall behind.
Pupils are attentive and hardworking in class. Teachers have established clear routines so that no time is wasted. Pupils move around the school between lessons calmly and quietly and are typically sensible during breaktimes.
A small number of pupils struggle to act respectfully towards their peers, which other pupils said they find unpleasant. Leaders are taking swift and effective action to support selected pupils to improve their conduct and to foster the behaviour that meets their high expectations.
Pupils are encouraged to be kind, and considerate of others.
Extra-curricular activities are of high quality and wide ranging. Staff encourage pupils to try new activities. They check that pupils take part in these regularly.
Pupils contribute to the school community through the school council and play a part in the local community, for example through frequent charity fundraising.
The local governing body carries out its responsibilities effectively in collaboration with trust leaders. The local governing body knows the school well and holds leaders to account for their actions.
Leaders are approachable, listen to staff and are mindful of their well-being. As a result, staff report high levels of professional satisfaction. They said that leaders do everything in their power to reduce teachers' workload.
For example, staff meetings are timetabled during the school day rather than after school. Leaders have also arranged extra staff professional development sessions on Friday afternoons. Staff said that they receive regular high-quality feedback on their teaching and feel that staff training is excellent.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders with responsibility for safeguarding are experienced and knowledgeable. The school has clear processes for identifying pupils that may be at risk.
Leaders have strong professional relationships with local agencies, including the local authority and the police. Leaders provide all staff with regular safeguarding training. As a result, staff know how to identify any concerns and where to report them.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe from harm. They know who to talk to if they have any concerns. All staff actions and decisions are appropriately recorded.
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