Pupils and students are exceptionally proud to be part of such a close-knit, friendly and welcoming school community. They thoroughly enjoy coming to school and they thrive in all that they do.
The pupils and students to whom we spoke said that they feel very safe. They are extremely well cared for.
Pupils and students told us that the school's values of trust and friendship are the glue that holds them together.
Pupils and students live out these values daily. They said that incidents of bullying are exceptionally rare and that any issues would be dealt with swiftly.
Pupils' and students' behaviour is impeccable.
This reflects the respect t...hat they have for staff and for each other. Pupils develop a thirst for learning, which enables them to excel. Students in the sixth form also achieve well.
Pupils and students work exceptionally hard. Staff have very high expectations of them. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged pupils.
By the end of key stage 4, these pupils achieve highly.
Pupils and students appreciate the wide range of opportunities on offer. They relish performing at festivals and concerts.
They develop into responsible, compassionate and confident individuals.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders and governors have established a highly successful school. Staff are extremely ambitious for pupils and students.
They go the extra mile to ensure that all pupils and students can flourish. Leaders have created a well-respected and highly motivated workforce.
The curriculum at key stages 3 and 4 is highly ambitious and delivered skilfully.
This enables all pupils, irrespective of background, to learn well and achieve excellent results in external examinations. Pupils' attainment at the end of Year 11 is way above that seen nationally. Pupils' achievement is particularly impressive in English and history.
In the sixth form, while the external data does not compare as favourably to the national averages, current students are achieving very well. This is because the curriculum in the sixth form is also well planned.
Across the school, teachers have given great thought to what pupils and students learn and the order in which they learn it.
Teachers plan new learning with expertise, based on what pupils and students already know. In key stage 3, for example, teachers take great care to build on what pupils have already learned in primary school. The curriculum across the school builds pupils' and students' knowledge, understanding and skills impressively.
The key stages 3 and 4 curriculums successfully provide pupils with a rich knowledge base on which they can progress into the next stages of their education. Pupils in the main school make excellent progress across the curriculum in all subjects. The English curriculum, for example, opens pupils' eyes to a broad range of texts that contribute to our rich literary heritage.
In geography, pupils gain a detailed knowledge of a range of issues that affect the future of our planet, such as the use of palm oil.
Teachers use their excellent subject knowledge to help pupils and students learn. They explain new knowledge and ideas exceptionally well.
Teachers assess pupils' and students' learning with precision. This helps them to know and remember more. It also enables teachers to tailor their teaching to address gaps in pupils' and students' knowledge.
The ambition and quality of the curriculum ensures that disadvantaged pupils achieve well. Leaders use their research and training to remove the barriers to learning that some disadvantaged pupils face. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils entered for the English Baccalaureate is much higher than the national average for all pupils.
Leaders are uncompromising in their ambition for pupils with SEND. They are meticulous in ensuring that all staff meet the precise needs of each and every pupil. Pupils with SEND are fully involved in all aspects of school life, including the vibrant range of enrichment activities offered by the school.
The sixth form continues to improve at a pace. Leaders have successfully deepened teachers' subject knowledge and ability to teach A-level and vocational courses. Governors are expertly holding leaders to account to improve further the achievement of pupils in this key stage.
This is so that students' progress on post-16 courses reflects more fully the excellent outcomes that pupils achieve at the end of Year 11.
The attendance of pupils and students is exceptionally high. Pupils' and students' behaviour rarely fails to meet the high expectations set by leaders and staff.
On the very rare occasions when pupils and students do not behave well, they are encouraged to reflect deeply on their actions. Leaders promote forgiveness among staff and pupils.
Leaders carefully plan opportunities for pupils' personal development.
Careers education, information, advice and guidance are excellent. Leaders ensure that pupils and students challenge gender stereotypes in the workplace. For example, pupils are encouraged to consider aspirational careers in professions related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Pupils and students feel safe in school. Leaders have created a culture where all staff take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously.
Staff are well trained on a broad range of safeguarding issues. They are alert to an array of safeguarding risks.
The safeguarding team is knowledgeable about the issues that pupils may face in their local communities.
They work effectively with external agencies so that pupils receive any extra help that they need.
Pupils learn about how to manage risk through a carefully planned personal development curriculum. Staff empower pupils to make appropriate decisions about their personal safety.