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This is a good school The headteacher, leaders and governors have created a positive culture in the school. Pupils are keen to succeed, take pleasure in their learning and make a full contribution to the life of the school.
Leaders have high ambitions for the school. They have strong integrity and recognise that some aspects of the school need further development for their ambitions to be met. Governors hold leaders to account effectively.
They challenge leaders through their sharp and incisive questioning. Subject leaders make an effective contribution to developing pupils' learning in the subjects they manage. Similarly, heads of house keep close tabs on the... pupils in their houses to support pupils in overcoming any barriers to success.
Broadly speaking, the progress of current pupils is strong, and in some subjects it is very strong. It is improving in science and modern foreign languages, following carefully planned changes to the curriculum. Key stage 4 pupils' attainment is above average in English, mathematics and the suite of GCSE subjects known as the English Baccalaureate (EBacc).
Teaching, learning and assessment are generally effective and, in some areas, such as mathematics, are impressive. Teachers make good use of their strong subject knowledge to engage pupils. Around the school, pupils behave very well.
They have good relationships with their peers and teachers. Many pupils benefit from the extra-curricular and leadership opportunities which the school provides. Pupils say they feel safe, and, although this is a large school, staff know pupils well.
There is a strong sense of harmony and order in the school. A large majority of Year 11 pupils choose the school sixth form. It provides effective support for all students that is bespoke and carefully planned.
New approaches introduced to reduce variation between the rates of progress made in different subjects are having a positive impact. In some classes, teaching does not enable disadvantaged pupils to make the strong progress they need to catch up with their peers. Similarly, most-able pupils are not always provided with enough challenge.
Some senior leaders are not precise and timely enough in identifying the approaches that are working most effectively.
Information about this school
The school is a larger-than-average-sized comprehensive with a bigger-than-average sixth form. It is a national teaching school and along with St Paul's Catholic School is the lead school in the Tommy Flowers SCITT (school-centred initial teacher training).
In March 2011, the predecessor school with the same name converted to become an academy. The predecessor school was graded outstanding when it was inspected in May 2009. In September 2014, Denbigh School was established as the lead school for the Enigma Maths Hub, working across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
It provides professional development for mathematics teachers from early years to post-16. In 2017, the school became the lead school in a new multi-academy trust (MAT), known as The Denbigh Alliance multi-academy trust. The other school in the MAT is in the process of being built and is scheduled to open in 2020.
There have been changes to governance structures following the creation of the MAT. The school has a chair of trustees and a chair of the local governing board. Both these appointments have been made in the last 18 months.
The headteacher was appointed in 2014. The school has a vertical tutoring system and is split into five houses, each one led by a head of house. In September 2015, the school increased its pupil admission number from 200 to 260.
The proportion of disadvantaged pupils eligible for pupil premium funding is below the national average. The proportion of pupils with SEND is below average. The proportion with education, health and care plans is broadly in line with the average.
A lower-than-average-proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. Just over half of the pupils are White British and the other half come from 15 of the 17 ethnic minority groups. The school makes use of two alternative providers: four pupils are currently placed at Bridge Academy and four at Milton Keynes College.