Bullers Wood School is an outstanding school, with an outstanding sixth form. It is led by a close-knit, ambitious senior team that is determined to improve outcomes for students.
Their clear and well-communicated vision of success for all gives a common sense of purpose to students and staff. Students achieve very well throughout Key Stages 3 and 4 to attain high standards at the end of Year 11. The GCSE examination results have improved rapidly as a result of precisely targeted interventions and strengthened teaching.
Students' positive attitudes contribute strongly to their achievement and high attendance. The warm and supportive relationships throughout the school are an important factor ...in their enjoyment of school. Mutual respect and tolerance underpin the ethos of the school.
Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding and is encouraged by the school's emphasis on valuing and trusting one another. Arrangements for care, guidance and support are outstanding so that students feel completely safe and are confident that any difficulties they have will be dealt with appropriately and without delay. The excellent curriculum is enriched by an outstanding range of well-supported extra-curricular activities, visits and visitors, which help to bring learning alive.
Students' acquisition and application of work-related skills make an excellent contribution to their preparation for life beyond school and their positive outlook. Almost all students progress into further education, employment or training. A large majority join the school's sixth form.
The school's three specialisms give balance and flexibility to the curriculum and help to promote excellent links with local primary schools and the wider community generally. Students' contribution to the school and the wider community is outstanding. They are proud of, and committed to, their school, welcoming the extensive opportunities to take on responsibilities.
Teaching is good overall. In a range of lessons, outstanding practice was observed, although opportunities are sometimes missed to develop students' capacity to learn independently. In many lessons, assessment information is used to plan learning activities which challenge students with differing abilities, so that learning proceeds at an appropriate pace and students make at least good progress.
However, there are pockets of inconsistent practice in its use, including variability in the quality of marking. The headteacher's resolute leadership, combining good strategic vision with a strong visible presence in the school, has established a culture of high expectations. He is supported very well by a highly effective governing body and senior team.
There are many strengths in middle leadership but some members of this team are still gaining experience and developing the skills of monitoring and evaluation. The school knows itself well. Robust self-evaluation is guided by a thorough analysis of performance data and development planning that gives a secure framework for further improvement.
There is no room for complacency in this school, only a passionate pursuit of even higher standards. The tenacious commitment to achieving excellence and a strong track record of success verify the school's outstanding capacity to sustain improvement.
Information about the school
This larger-than-average girls' school, with a large, mixed sixth form, converted to academy status in May 2011.
It has three specialisms in languages, applied learning and the leading edge partnership programme. The large majority of students are from White British backgrounds. Very few students are learning English as an additional language.
The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities, including those with a statement of special educational needs, is also lower than average. The school has achieved a number of awards including Healthy Schools, Artsmark Gold and Consultant School accreditation.