Dame Alice Owen’s School

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About Dame Alice Owen’s School

Name Dame Alice Owen’s School
Website http://www.damealiceowens.herts.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Head Mrs Hannah Nemko
Address Dugdale Hill Lane, Potters Bar, EN6 2DU
Phone Number 01707643441
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1449
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Dame Alice Owen's school is a wonderful place to come to learn. It supports pupils to become independent and resilient individuals.

There is a palpable sense of community here, where pupils from all backgrounds thrive.

The school has high aspirations for its pupils. The curriculum is ambitious right from the very first day pupils arrive.

Teachers are passionate about what they teach and the pupils enjoy what they learn. Teachers carefully think about the best way to teach all their pupils. This means that pupils achieve exceptionally well.

Expectations for behaviour are very high. Pupils say that it is 'cool to do well here'. They show considerable e...nthusiasm for their learning.

In all year groups, pupils are supportive of each other. Sixth-form students help their younger peers by practising reading with them.

Pupils can enjoy a high-quality range of opportunities.

These include politics society, chess, chamber choir and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. These are very well attended by pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The school ensures that there are many ways in which every child can represent the school in music, sport and academic competitions.

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

The school's curriculum is carefully planned. It is ambitious and challenging. Teachers are highly skilled at adapting the learning to meet the needs of their pupils.

This ensures that pupils at all levels are challenged. Almost all pupils study an academic curriculum, with many taking languages at GCSE. Students in the sixth-form study ideas and concepts well beyond the A-Level curriculum.

Teachers are experts in the subjects that they teach. They explain new learning clearly so that pupils can build on what they already know. Teachers check pupils' understanding systematically.

They use this checking to ensure that they can identify any gaps in pupils' knowledge. Teachers then give precise guidance to ensure that this knowledge is learned. As a result, pupils make excellent progress.

Leaders prioritise ensuring that all pupils can read fluently. Pupils are regularly assessed to check their reading ability. Leaders ensure that the weakest readers receive the support that they need to improve their fluency and comprehension.

As a result, their reading improves. A culture of reading is promoted across the school. Pupils are confident and can articulate their ideas well.

This is because leaders develop speaking and listening throughout the curriculum and encourage pupils to articulate clearly what they know and remember.

Pupils with SEND access the same ambitious curriculum as their peers. They achieve highly because their teachers know their individual needs and apply effective strategies to support them.

Pupils' conduct around the building is exemplary. Learning is seldom interrupted by poor behaviour. They are enthusiastic about all aspects of their life at the school.

Consequently, pupils are keen to attend school and take part in all that it has to offer.

The personal development programme is extensive. Leaders ensure that pupils learn about important areas of life in contemporary society, including relationships education.

Pupils learn how to make a positive contribution and they aspire to improve the world around them. Leaders ensure that there are a number of opportunities for pupils to make a valued contribution to the school and local community. Pupils raise money for causes that are important to them.

Leaders ensure that all pupils can access a wide range of opportunities and experiences. This develops their leadership skills and confidence.

Leaders are successful in finding extra funding to help some pupils access opportunities like trips and music tuition.

This ensures that pupils' financial background is not a barrier to their success. Similarly, sixth-form students engage in the many extra-curricular and leadership opportunities. They are excellent role models for younger pupils.

Pupils receive a comprehensive careers education. All pupils receive impartial advice to make informed choices about their next steps. A high proportion of pupils progress to higher education.

Many are successful in their applications to the most selective universities and courses.

Leaders are relentless in their ambition. Governors know the school exceptionally well.

They provide a wide range of skills and experience. Governors regularly visit the school and speak to pupils about their school experiences to find out for themselves the differences the school's actions are making. This helps governors provide an equal balance of support and holding leaders effectively to account.

Staff overwhelming feel well cared for by the school. Staff are supportive of each other and enjoy what they do.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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