Calderstones School

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About Calderstones School

Name Calderstones School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Lee Ratcliffe
Address Harthill Road, Allerton, Liverpool, L18 3HS
Phone Number 01517242087
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1552
Local Authority Liverpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Diversity is celebrated at this welcoming school. Pupils, including students in the sixth form, are proud to be part of a community where everyone is respected.

Pupils told inspectors that 'you can always be yourself here'.

Pupils are happy and feel safe at Calderstones. They enjoy learning, and they know that their teachers care about them.

Leaders and staff want the best for every pupil. They have raised their expectations of behaviour and learning. Pupils have risen to leaders' challenge.

As a result, they behave well and achieve more highly than in the past.

Bullying and discrimination of any kind are not tolerated. Leaders deal with any... bullying swiftly and effectively.

Pupils are confident that staff will take their concerns seriously.

Parents and carers, including parents of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are highly positive about the support that their children receive from staff.

Pupils in key stage 3 value the high-quality opportunities that make up the 'experience guarantee'.

For example, they enjoy trips to galleries and museums, performing at local music festivals and raising money for 'Caldie', the sponsored guide dog.

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

Leaders have thought carefully about pupils' needs. They have used this thinking to design a curriculum that is relevant and suitably ambitious for pupils.

For example, pupils told inspectors that learning about justice and democracy has a direct impact on their lives.

Leaders have raised their aspirations for pupils, including students in the sixth form. Subject leaders have organised the knowledge that they want pupils and students to learn so that it builds logically from key stage 3 to key stage 5.

Leaders have ensured that the curriculum is equally ambitious for pupils with SEND.

Although a very small number of pupils in Year 11 still experience a slightly narrower curriculum, the vast majority of pupils study a broad range of subjects. An increasing number of key stage 4 pupils choose to study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects.

Teachers know their subjects well. In the main, they use this expertise to deliver the curriculum effectively. In most lessons, teachers check whether pupils have learned what they need and consolidate pupils' prior knowledge.

However, from time to time, some of the strategies that teachers use to revisit forgotten learning and address pupils' misconceptions are less effective. This hinders pupils in building new knowledge because they find it harder to link it to earlier learning.

Leaders have increased the importance of reading across the school.

Pupils spoke passionately to inspectors about the books that they are reading in form time. Leaders have carefully identified those pupils who are not reading as well as they should. Most pupils catch up quickly because of the support that leaders have provided.

However, some pupils, especially in key stage 4, have not caught up in reading as quickly as they should. This is because leaders' support for these pupils started more recently. In the past, support for reading from staff has not been focused closely enough on those pupils who need the most help.

Leaders have thorough systems to identify the needs of pupils and students with SEND. Teachers use effective strategies to adapt their teaching so that these pupils learn the curriculum well alongside their peers. Students with SEND in the sixth form achieve well.

Pupils' conduct is purposeful and calm. They understand how to live up to the school's values. They treat each other with kindness and respect.

Leaders ensure that any poor behaviour is dealt with effectively so that learning is not disrupted.

Most pupils attend well. Leaders are working with a group of disadvantaged pupils to help them understand the importance of coming to school more regularly.

As a result, the attendance of these pupils is improving.

In key stages 3 and 4, leaders have created a comprehensive personal, social, health and economic education curriculum. This ensures that pupils learn about healthy relationships, consent, misogyny and looking after their mental health.

Leaders have plans in place to ensure that students in the sixth form have sufficient opportunities to revisit earlier learning about some of these important topics.

Leaders have ensured that pupils and students have access to high-quality information about careers. Students in the sixth form appreciate the tailored support that they receive.

This helps them make informed choices about their next steps.

Senior leaders and governors are acutely aware of those aspects of the school that require further development. Governors work closely with leaders and provide an appropriate balance of challenge and support.

Staff value the training that leaders provide. If they have concerns about their workload, they know that leaders will listen. Staff are proud to work at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders' dedication to promoting pupils' welfare has created a strong culture of safeguarding. Leaders have carefully identified the support that potentially vulnerable pupils and students may need.

For example, leaders ensure that support for pupils is easily accessible through the school's health and well-being hub.

Staff are clear about the procedures they must follow if they have concerns about a pupil. Staff report any concerns promptly, and leaders act on these in a timely manner.

Leaders work closely with external agencies such as the police and the local authority. When pupils and students need additional help, leaders follow up concerns until they are sure that this help is effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In key stages 3 and 4, some teachers do not use effective strategies to revisit prior learning.

As a result, some pupils struggle to remember what they learned in the past. This makes subsequent learning difficult. Leaders should ensure that teachers receive the support and guidance they need to help them to address forgotten learning and rectify pupils' misconceptions.

• Some of the weakest readers, particularly those in key stage 4, do not receive the support that they need in a timely and effective way. This hinders their learning of the curriculum and prevents them from achieving as well as they should. Leaders should ensure that the reading interventions they have recently introduced are prioritised to the pupils who need the most help.

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