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Pupils are proud to be a part of this vibrant school. Leaders have high expectations for all pupils, and pupils live up to these expectations.
Staff have developed positive relationships with their pupils and know them well. As a result, most pupils achieve well.
Pupils feel safe at school.
Bullying is rare, and when it does happen, pupils report it because they know that staff will deal with it. Pupils are well mannered and respectful and they engage well in lessons. They behave well and know that the staff have their best interests at heart.
If pupils get distracted in lessons, staff support them to focus again.
Pupils and sixth-form stude...nts are very prepared for their next stages of education, employment and training. This is because they receive relevant careers education and have opportunities to visit education and training providers.
Many are successful in gaining university or college places to study their chosen courses.
Pupils enhance their wider development through extracurricular activities. There is a wide range of clubs on offer and there is something for everyone.
These include LGBTQ+ club, debate club and eco-club. These are attended well by all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have planned a curriculum that helps most pupils to build on their knowledge over time.
The curriculum across most subjects is planned well and sequenced in a logical order. This helps pupils to make links between prior learning and new learning. However, in a small number of subjects, this is not the case.
Leaders have ensured that staff have secure subject knowledge and expertise in the subjects they teach. When pupils do not understand the work, they have the confidence to ask teachers for help. However, some teachers do not routinely check that pupils have a secure understanding before introducing new learning.
This means that some misconceptions and gaps in knowledge go unnoticed for longer than they should. Leaders are aware that more work needs to be done here.
Leaders have prioritised reading.
Pupils use the school library often, and all pupils in Years 9 and 10 borrow a book to read at home. Leaders provide support for pupils who struggle to read. These pupils get the help they need so that they can read with confidence and fluency.
Pupils appreciate the support they are given for reading. All of this helps pupils to develop a love of reading.
Leaders have high expectations for pupils' behaviour and conduct.
These expectations are applied consistently and fairly by staff. Many pupils live up to these expectations. When pupils' behaviour falls below the expectations, leaders take appropriate action.
There is an active focus on teaching and supporting pupils to improve their behaviour and become active, positive citizens. This means that pupils rarely make the same mistake again.
The personal development curriculum is ambitious.
It supports pupils to become confident and independent so that they can develop their strength of character. Pupils learn about healthy eating and healthy relationships and are ready for life in modern Britain. Pupils are regularly updated about any issues in the local area.
This means that pupils have an increased awareness of current affairs.
The careers programme is planned well. Pupils in Year 10 and students in Year 12 benefit from work experience.
This helps them to make clear choices about their next steps. All pupils have opportunities to meet with a range of employers, visit universities and learn about apprenticeships. All of this means that pupils are prepared well for their next steps in education, employment and training.
Sixth-form students prosper throughout their time at the school. They are motivated and engaged in lessons. The curriculum they study is ambitious, and its content is regularly reviewed.
This means that planning and teaching are adapted to ensure that students get the best deal. Many students use their enrichment time to give something back to the school. For example, many volunteer to help and support their younger peers to prepare for exams or to complete subject coursework.
The new headteacher has introduced many new initiatives to the school. Some of these are already having the desired impact. For example, more pupils are regularly attending school to benefit from the good quality of education.
However, some initiatives need further support. Governors have a clear oversight of the school and are aware of what the school must do to be even better. Leaders recognise that the number of pupils studying the suite of subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is low.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have instilled a culture of safeguarding across the school. This means that staff are vigilant and act in the best interests of pupils.
Pupils know how to stay safe when online and offline. Pupils know whom to speak to if they have any worries about themselves or their peers.
Leaders have carried out appropriate recruitment checks on their staff.
Staff receive regular training and updates. As a result, staff report any concerns, and leaders ensure that pupils get the right help at the right time.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The number of pupils who choose to study a language at key stage 4 is low.
This means that pupils are not studying a range of EBacc subjects. Leaders should do more to encourage pupils to continue to study these subjects after key stage 3. ? In some subjects, the curriculum model is not sequenced and planned well.
This means that in these subjects, pupils cannot make links between prior learning and new learning as well as they might. Leaders should ensure that all subjects have a coherent and progressive curriculum model, so that pupils learn equally well across all their subjects. ? Teachers do not consistently check pupils' understanding before moving on to new learning.
This means that, at times, misconceptions and gaps in knowledge persist for too long. As a result, pupils are not fully secure in their learning. Leaders should ensure that teachers use assessment effectively to check pupils' understanding and adapt their teaching to meet the needs of all pupils.
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