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Cheshire Studio School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Leaders and staff have appropriate expectations for pupils and students in the sixth form at Cheshire Studio School.
From their varied starting points, pupils benefit from an education that is carefully designed to meet their needs and aspirations.
Staff understand the individual circumstances of pupils. Pupils benefit from a range of well-matched opportunities and experiences to nurture their engagement in education.
For example, pupils appreciate and enjoy the practical, work-related or sports-focussed opportunities that they receive.
Staff model the behaviours ...and traits that they expect pupils to demonstrate. This helps pupils to learn how to form and sustain positive relationships.
Pupils are mostly calm and polite in their daily lives. They treat other pupils and staff with respect. Positive behaviour is the norm.
Pupils know where to turn if they experience unpleasant behaviours such as bullying. When these happen, staff promptly and effectively tackle these behaviours.
Pupils feel well looked after by staff.
They trust staff to care for and help them if they need it. They feel happy and safe in school. Most pupils enjoy attending school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Governors, leaders and staff understand that pupils and students in the sixth form at Cheshire Studio School need a carefully designed set of experiences to strengthen and sustain their engagement with education. They are committed to providing pupils with the unique education they need. They demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that pupils from all starting points strive for appropriately aspirational achievements.
Leaders ensure that pupils, including students in the sixth form, benefit from an appropriate range of academic and vocational opportunities. Pupils appreciate this curriculum, which meets their needs and interests. Most pupils are well prepared for suitably aspirational next steps in education, employment or training.
Experienced and well-trained staff think carefully about the order in which they deliver subject curriculums. They carefully identify the knowledge that pupils should learn.
Staff have strong subject knowledge.
In lessons, they recap, introduce and explain important curriculum content well. They select activities that support pupils to gain and confidently use a growing body of knowledge. Pupils enjoy learning and are keen to engage positively in lessons.
Where relevant, pupils benefit from well-placed opportunities to learn about practical aspects of the subjects that they are studying. Furthermore, pupils also understand how their subject applies to the world of work, where appropriate.
Staff check and identify with rigour what pupils know and can do.
They provide clear and well-focussed guidance to help pupils acquire and use new knowledge.
Published information about the recent progress and attainment of pupils at Cheshire Studio School does not provide a meaningful insight into the impact of the education that they receive. This is because many of these measures do not show the progress that pupils make from their low starting points during years 10 and 11.
Nor do they accurately portray the attainment of the small cohorts of students in the sixth form.
In the main, pupils and students in the sixth form make secure gains in what they know and remember across the subjects they study. This includes pupils who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
For the most part, they are well prepared for, and go on to, suitably ambitious next steps in their education, employment or training.
Staff identify and understand the needs of pupils with SEND, including students in the sixth form. Teachers make effective use of relevant information to provide appropriate support for these pupils in lessons.
Leaders ensure that pupils who need it get additional support for their wider personal and social needs.
Leaders carefully identify specific gaps in pupils' reading knowledge. Suitably trained staff provide targeted support to help pupils strengthen their knowledge of word recognition, fluency and comprehension.
As a result, these pupils make positive gains in their reading knowledge.
Pupils' attendance is uneven. Staff make appropriate use of systems to identify barriers affecting pupils' attendance.
Increasingly, they use this information to tailor the support that many of these pupils receive. Consequently, the attendance of many pupils is improving. Despite this, the attendance of some pupils is still not as good as it should be.
Pupils enjoy the opportunities that leaders give them to explore and discuss important aspects of their personal development. They also benefit from well-planned opportunities to acquire new knowledge and skills that will help them secure and retain employment.Pupils learn well from these.
This is because staff carefully consider pupils' needs and interests across the range of opportunities that they provide.
Pupils have access to a suitably broad range of opportunities to develop their wider talents and interests. Some pupils are keen to take advantage of these opportunities.
However, many pupils do not participate in these opportunities as much as they should.
Staff appreciate the professional development that leaders arrange for them. This is carefully matched to staff needs.
Staff feel that leaders consider their workload and well-being proactively. They speak highly of the changes that leaders make to support them in their roles. Furthermore, they value leaders' thoughtful consideration of their personal circumstances.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders and staff have a secure understanding of the risks that pupils might experience in their lives. They ensure that pupils benefit from regular opportunities to learn about, explore and discuss how to keep themselves safe.
Leaders ensure that staff feel confident to spot concerns about pupils' safety. Staff are appropriately vigilant. They record and share concerns about pupils' welfare effectively.
Leaders carefully consider staff's concerns. They work closely with pupils and their families to support their specific needs. Leaders skilfully draw on an extensive range of expertise from other partners.
These partners provide well-matched additional support for pupils who need it.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The attendance of some pupils and students in the sixth form is not as good as it should be. This means that some pupils miss out on parts of the education and personal development that they need to be well prepared for their next steps in education, employment and training.
Leaders should continue their recent drive to fully understand the barriers affecting the attendance of these pupils. They should ensure that these pupils are better supported to attend school as often as they should. ? Some pupils and students in the sixth form do not take enough advantage of opportunities to nurture and develop their talents and interests.
Consequently, these pupils do not benefit from these experiences as much as others. Leaders should ensure that these opportunities are better matched to pupils' needs and interests, so that more pupils participate and engage in the life of the school beyond the taught curriculum.Background
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
This is called an ungraded inspection and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.
This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in March 2017.
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