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Students like attending this welcoming and friendly school.
Leaders create a calm place of safety where students, previously 'switched off' from education, are now learning. Leaders and staff accept no excuses from students who are not trying their best. At the same time, they are mindful of the challenges many students face.
They support students to overcome these difficulties and focus on their educational goals.
Leaders make sure that students are well prepared for the next stage of their education. Students are doing well in vocational subjects and are getting better in academic ones.
Last year, all students who left at the end of Year 11 moved o...n to a new place of education, employment or training.
Staff provide many interesting opportunities for students to learn about different careers and the skills and qualifications needed. Staff also instil in students a sense of responsibility.
For example, recently they encouraged students who are eighteen to register to vote in the general election.
Students show kindness and respect towards one another and adults. One student said, '… it is possible to make friends here really quickly'.
Students confirmed that bullying rarely happens and is dealt with by leaders if it does.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders give students an education that captures their interests and helps them to plan for the future. The curriculum is broad, interesting and varied.
Students do better in catering and in health and social care than in English and mathematics. Leaders' efforts to improve students' academic achievements are showing increasing signs of success.
In catering, health and social care, and animal care students are enthusiastic and work hard.
They are inquisitive and ask relevant questions. Teachers' knowledge and experience shine through. In health and social care, students discussed the attributes needed by professionals working in this field.
In catering, students baked bread. They used all equipment correctly and kept their workspace clean and tidy. Animal care students worked as a team to muck out the pigs during their weekly visit to a working farm.
Leaders and staff take students to visit interesting and inspiring workplaces. These experiences help students to be well informed about future career choices. These visits have included trips to the City of London finance quarter, a famous food market, a cordon bleu catering school and an art gallery.
Teachers adapt their lessons to support students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They are particularly skilled at supporting students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH). Sometimes their support is not precise enough to help students with limited numeracy, reading and writing skills to catch up with their peers.
Leaders assess all students when they join the school so that any mathematical and literacy needs are understood. Staff endeavour to make lessons interesting and relevant. However, since the last inspection leaders have not done enough to encourage students to read books widely and for pleasure.
Leaders and teachers have made mathematics lessons more challenging for students. They now learn and remember more. Teachers do not always check what students have remembered from previous lessons.
This limits some students' ability to acquire new knowledge and skills.
Staff and students told us that behaviour had 'turned around'. Now, far fewer students are excluded for poor behaviour than in previous years.
Students told us that bullying hardly ever happens. These changes for the better are also reflected in improved attendance.
Staff enjoy working at the school.
They care deeply for the students and proudly work as a team. They 'chip in' to help one another when needed. Leaders make sure that staff receive training that develops their skills and knowledge.
Staff appreciate the steps leaders take to reduce workload.
Parents and carers recognise everything leaders and staff do to support their children to achieve.
Trustees and governors are determined for this school to succeed in educating all its students to a high standard.
They are mindful that the school population is growing and changing. They are responding to new challenges in a timely fashion.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are clear about their responsibility to keep students safe. They are conscientious and vigilant in their efforts. Leaders keep staff training up to date and relevant to the needs of the students.
Students know that they can speak to any adult about their concerns or worries.
Leaders know all students and have a deep understanding of their challenges and needs. Leaders seek help and advice when needed, working closely with external agencies.
Trustees make sure that the site is well maintained and secure.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Not all teachers routinely check how well students recall what they have remembered from previous lessons. This means that some pupils do not achieve as well as they could.
Leaders must make sure that teachers are trained to help students build on their previously learned knowledge and skills. . Not all students join the school with secure mathematics and literacy skills.
The support they receive is not always precisely matched to the gaps in their learning. Leaders must ensure that they provide adequate support for these students so that they can keep up with their peers. .
Reading for pleasure is not a high enough priority. Students' reading is mainly confined to course materials and text extracts in lessons. Leaders must ensure that students have regular opportunities to read widely and for pleasure.
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