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About Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form Centre
Leaders put the welfare of pupils, as well as academic achievement, at the heart of everything they do.
As a result, pupils enjoy school. They feel safe. Pupils know that staff listen and take their concerns seriously.
Over three quarters of pupils return to the sixth form because of their positive experiences in the main school.
The headteacher has very high expectations for the school. Staff support him in these.
There is a strong sense of community for both staff and pupils. Most pupils show respect to each other and to adults. For the few who find it harder to manage their behaviour, there are well-planned systems in place to help them.
...Bullying is rare. There are pupil anti-bullying ambassadors, who provide immediate support. If there is a need for further action, staff deal with it competently and swiftly.
Staff provide numerous extra-curricular activities before and after school, both sporting and cultural. These are popular with pupils. Leaders have started to track the uptake of these clubs to make sure that disadvantaged pupils can attend if they wish to.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Trustees provide appropriate challenge and support to school leaders. The headteacher has managed several changes to the school effectively. He has made sure that staff well-being, as well as curriculum knowledge, are paramount.
As a result, he is leading a harmonious school. Staff echo the respect and care that the headteacher shows. This feeds into pupils' behaviour and attitudes.
Pupils are ready for learning and engage well with teachers and other adults.
The school curriculum is ambitious. It provides a broad educational platform from which pupils can excel in subjects and aspects of their wider, cultural needs.
Leaders keep it regularly under review, so that pupils' knowledge prepares them for the next stage in their education. Most subjects have a well-designed curriculum. This allows pupils to learn key concepts at the right time.
However, in a few subjects, leaders need a closer focus on the key concepts that pupils need to know, and when. In these subjects, pupils, especially disadvantaged pupils, are not remembering key facts over time. Equally, in some subjects, teachers are not adapting the curriculum well enough for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Over the last couple of years, the proportion of pupils in key stage 4 who study the suite of subjects that make up the English baccalaureate has risen sharply. Changes to the way pupils engage with a language has helped with this. More pupils continue to study a modern foreign language for longer and some attend clubs which lead to a language qualification.
Reading for pleasure is a priority within the school. Many pupils choose to read widely and avidly. There are some subject leaders who have added suitable texts to the curriculum.
These enhance pupils' knowledge of subject-specific vocabulary. There are helpful transition units for pupils who stay on to the school sixth form after Year 11. These provide pupils with valuable reading material, which prepares them well for sixth-form study.
There are a small number of pupils who join the school who find reading difficult. Leaders provide these pupils with extra support, but it is too soon to see the impact of this on pupils' ability to read fluently.
Leaders promote pupils' personal development successfully.
They provide an inclu-sive environment where tolerance pervades. Pupils, from Years 7 to 13, develop a strong understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationship and sex education. The religious education curriculum enables pupils to understand the main world religions.
In addition, the subject provides them with a cultural literacy, which develops their critical understanding of key moral issues, such as human rights.
Pupils receive careers information, education, advice and guidance from Year 7 on-wards. The school meets the requirements of the Baker Clause.
Pupils know and un-derstand potential career paths. The school holds an annual careers fair with repre-sentatives from a range of institutions and companies, local, national and interna-tional.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
The designated safeguarding lead is vigilant in her duties and protects pupils. Staff receive regular and up-to-date training. They know how to identify and report any concerns about pupils who may be vulnerable.
Leaders make sure that external support is provided at the right level to keep pupils safe.
Recruitment checks are undertaken thoroughly.
The school has suitable policies in place to raise awareness among staff and parents about the dangers of sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Some subject leaders do not consider carefully enough the crucial concepts needed to deepen pupils' knowledge. Therefore, the curriculum does not always build well enough on pupils' prior knowledge. Leaders need a clearer focus on the key content of the curriculum to support pupils to remember more over time.
Some pupils are not able to read fluently. This hinders their ability to follow the full curriculum. Leaders need to ensure that a suitable phonics scheme is put in place to support all pupils to read accurately and confidently.
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