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Parents and carers, staff and pupils have a high level of confidence in the principal. He has made significant changes. Pupils and parents appreciate the improvements in behaviour and learning.
Changes to teaching staff have reduced. There are now fewer temporary teachers. Leaders communicate well with parents.
They have good links with those in the community.
Teachers challenge pupils to increase their knowledge across a full range of subjects. Teachers have clear expectations.
They are fair and consistent in dealing with pupils' behaviour. Most lessons proceed without interruption. Most pupils co...operate, take part in lessons and enjoy learning.
Teachers make sure that they include pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in their lessons.
Staff and pupils have positive relationships with each other. Pupils and parents praise the help that adults give pupils when they have a problem.
Parents are happy with their children's move from primary school into Year 7. Parents and pupils say that pupils are safe. Bullying is uncommon.
There are fewer incidents of bullying. Most pupils say that teachers deal with bullying well when it occurs.
Pupils enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular activities, especially in sports and music.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders and staff want all pupils to achieve well. Curriculum leaders have planned what pupils will learn in each subject in detail. Staff training has helped to improve teaching and the curriculum.
In most subjects, detailed planning supports current pupils to remember the knowledge they need. These improvements have focused on key stage 3 and are recent. They have not helped to improve GCSE outcomes at the end of Year 11.
Leaders have identified the subjects where the curriculum has not been fully developed. For example, pupils know a lot of historical facts but are not good at using them to explain or analyse historical events. Leaders are improving the curriculum in weaker subjects by bringing in subject experts from within and beyond the trust.
Teachers have good subject knowledge, which they share with pupils enthusiastically. Pupils develop knowledge, skills and confidence in most subjects. In some lessons, pupils lack focus when teachers try to cover too much ground.
Teachers have good relationships with pupils. Staff use school routines, rewards and sanctions fairly. Most pupils work well and concentrate in lessons.
Pupils contribute well in lessons. Teaching staff know about the individual needs of pupils with SEND. Staff meet these pupils' specific needs well.
Many subjects have well-considered approaches to assessment. Science tests check pupils' knowledge of current and previous work. In mathematics and science, assessment accurately identifies what individual pupils do not know.
Teachers plan learning to give pupils time to address these gaps in understanding. In a few subjects, approaches to assessment are at an early stage of development. Sometimes, teachers ask pupils how confident they feel, instead of checking what they know and understand.
Teachers use tutor time to support pupils' reading or to practise recalling what they have learned. A programme for weaker readers at key stage 3 has improved their reading. Leaders plan to better promote the library to help pupils to enjoy reading more.
Pupils enjoy social studies. They like the opportunity to discuss issues such as sexuality and drugs. Pupils have good opportunities to learn about work.
Governors know that careers education and work experience are important. Almost all pupils leaving the school entered education, training or employment last year. More pupils are taking up an apprenticeship.
Leaders have improved attendance. Attendance is good. Leaders have also reduced exclusions.
Fewer disadvantaged pupils miss school. This has benefited pupils' learning.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders are well informed. They are thorough in their approach to safe recruitment, identifying risk and helping pupils. Staff receive appropriate training.
Staff have a good awareness of local risks and of the individual needs of pupils. Staff use the school's clear procedures and well-kept records to identify and act promptly on any safeguarding issues. Staff and pupils know who to inform if they have any concerns.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Most subject leaders plan learning accurately. Assessment identifies clearly what pupils know and remember. However, in a few subjects, pupils do not acquire all the knowledge they need to achieve well.
Attainment at GCSE is lower in these subjects. Senior leaders should ensure that all subject leaders are expert in planning the small steps in pupils' learning to help them achieve more highly. Leaders of weaker subjects should ensure that gaps in pupils' knowledge are closed so that attainment at GCSE can rise.
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