Alder Community High School

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About Alder Community High School

Name Alder Community High School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Michelle Critchlow
Address Mottram Old Road, Gee Cross, Hyde, SK14 5NJ
Phone Number 01613685132
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 936
Local Authority Tameside
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection.

However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The next inspection will therefore be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to be part of Alder Community High School.

They know the Alder values of altruism, leadership, diversity, excellence and resilience very well. Pupils try hard to follow them in all that they do. They told inspectors that these Alder values help to make the school a safe and happy place to be.
.../>Pupils are tolerant of others' different beliefs and values. Pupils benefit from strong relationships with members of staff. They are confident that they can approach their teachers for help if they have a problem.

On the rare occasions when bullying happens, leaders act quickly to stop it.

The majority of pupils behave well in lessons and around school. The corridors are busy but ordered when pupils and staff move from lesson to lesson.

Once lessons begin, a calm atmosphere descends and learning quickly resumes in the classrooms.

Leaders have high expectations for pupils. They ensure that pupils study a well-planned and suitably ambitious curriculum.

However, in some subjects, the curriculum is not delivered consistently well. This means that some pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), do not progress through the curriculum as well as they should.

Pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, are encouraged by leaders to take part in extra-curricular activities.

Staff offer a wide range of activities to suit pupils' interests. Pupils of all ages benefit from an ambitious programme of careers education, advice and guidance.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

There have been several recent changes within the school's leadership team.

Leaders and governors have handled this period of transition well. They have reviewed the curriculum across the full range of subjects to ensure that all pupils, including those with SEND, have access to learning that is broad and ambitious. Leaders are successfully increasing the proportion of pupils who study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects.

Subject leaders, with the support of their senior leaders, have designed their curriculums well. Subject curriculums identify precisely the key knowledge that pupils need to know. The curriculums help pupils to build up their knowledge in a logical way.

Pupils have plenty of opportunities to think deeply about social and moral issues, alongside learning the necessary subject knowledge.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge. They use this knowledge to provide clear explanations to pupils about new learning.

However, in some lessons, teachers do not choose the most appropriate activities to help pupils understand specific subject concepts. This is especially the case for those pupils who find learning more difficult, including pupils with SEND.

Teachers use effective strategies to check that pupils have learned the intended curriculum.

In most lessons, teachers check that pupils understand key knowledge. The majority of teachers provide helpful feedback so that pupils know if they are doing well and how they can do even better.

Around the school, pupils are typically well-mannered and try hard to meet the high expectations that staff have for them.

Lessons take place with little disruption. Pupils told inspectors that when there is poor behaviour, staff deal with it consistently and effectively.

Leaders identify the needs of pupils with SEND accurately.

Leaders are currently in the process of refining how they support pupils with SEND to access the curriculum successfully. Recently, leaders have strengthened the information that they share with teachers about these pupils' specific needs. This is to help teachers to address these needs more precisely.

However, some teachers do not use this information well enough to adapt the delivery of subject curriculums for these pupils. As a result, some pupils with SEND do not achieve as well as they should in some subjects.

Leaders have put effective systems in place to identify those pupils whose reading knowledge is weak when they join the school.

These pupils benefit from dedicated time to improve their reading. Most become more confident readers. Leaders have developed some imaginative strategies to encourage reading for pleasure.

These strategies are beginning to encourage younger pupils to read more widely and often.

Pupils follow a very well-planned personal development curriculum. This provides them with the knowledge and skills that they need to become active and informed citizens.

Important issues such as sexual health and sexual harassment are effectively covered in the curriculum. Pupils learn about financial matters and the British political and legal systems. Pupils are very well informed about the dangers of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.

Pupils told inspectors that the careers education and advice that they receive prepares them very well for making decisions about their future lives.

Staff appreciate how leaders protect them from an excessive workload. Governors know the school well.

They hold leaders to account effectively and use their wide-ranging knowledge and skills to support the further development of the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong safeguarding culture across the school.

Leaders provide regular safeguarding training to all staff. Staff know what to do if they have concerns about a pupil. Those responsible for safeguarding are knowledgeable and draw upon links with outside agencies when required.

Pupils are knowledgeable about the potential dangers that they may encounter in the community or online, due to the school's effective personal development curriculum.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, teachers do not select the most appropriate activities to help pupils understand subject-specific concepts. This is especially the case for pupils who find the work more difficult.

Leaders should ensure that teachers have the pedagogical knowledge to select the most appropriate activities which will enable all pupils to improve their subject-specific knowledge. ? Leaders are currently in the process of refining how they support pupils with SEND to access the curriculum successfully. At present, some staff do not support these pupils well enough.

As a result, some pupils with SEND currently do not achieve as highly as they should in some subjects. Leaders should ensure that teachers deepen their knowledge of how to tailor their pedagogy to meet these pupils' individual needs effectively.Background

When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in June 2014.

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