Dorothy Stringer School

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About Dorothy Stringer School

Name Dorothy Stringer School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Matt Hillier
Address Loder Road, Brighton, BN1 6PZ
Phone Number 01273852222
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1640
Local Authority Brighton and Hove
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Staff are ambitious for all pupils and have carefully considered appropriate ways to support them to flourish. They are dedicated to inclusivity and aim to reduce the barriers that can prevent pupils from achieving well.

Increasing numbers of pupils are entered for the English Baccalaureate each year, and outcomes for all pupils continue to improve.

Many pupils enjoy school and learning. They feel cared for and safe at school.

There are high expectations for behaviour. As a result, behaviour is typically calm and respectful across the school. Incidents of bullying are dealt with sensitively and effectively by adults who know their pupils well.

Howeve...r, a small number of pupils are less confident that swift action is taken to address disrespectful behaviour.

Opportunities for all pupils to extend their learning outside their curriculum subjects are extensive. The before-school sports clubs bustle with pupils keen to participate.

In addition to sports clubs, a range of activities is available, providing something for everyone. Pupils also benefit from a range of external speakers to complement the learning taking place in lessons. For example, during 'Black Excellence Week', a national news reporter spoke to all pupils in assemblies.

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

The curriculum for all pupils is ambitious and wide ranging. Knowledgeable staff have thought carefully about the important content to teach in their subject and the order in which to teach it. In many subjects, the curriculum takes pupils beyond the ambition of the national curriculum.

This is underpinned by a strong focus on all pupils becoming confident and fluent readers.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are provided with the support that they need to access the curriculum. As a result, many pupils spoken to enjoy learning and achieve well.

Many lessons include clear explanations and models to help pupils understand new knowledge. Where teaching is strongest, pupils' misconceptions are identified and addressed quickly by teachers. Despite these strengths, the implementation of the curriculum is not yet consistent across all subjects.

This means that on a small number of occasions, pupils' engagement in learning is not yet meeting leaders' high expectations.

Attendance is monitored and tracked closely. The school is taking action to make improvements.

However, for some groups of pupils, these actions are not yet having the desired impact.

Most pupils meet leaders' high expectations for behaviour in and around school. Many pupils are confident that lessons are not frequently disrupted by poor behaviour.

However, a small number of pupils have more mixed views about behaviour.

There is a broad and detailed curriculum in place for personal, social and health education. The school responds carefully to pupils' needs and teaches age-appropriate lessons covering topics such as consent, safety and other aspects that might affect their daily lives.

Pupils value these learning opportunities. They confidently articulate what they have been taught, for example about social media and free speech. They also talk confidently about the comprehensive careers programme that provides unbiased support and advice to inform decisions about their next steps.

There is a vast range of clubs and activities at the school that enrich pupils' experience. Pupils benefit from an extensive programme that provides them with opportunities to develop and celebrate a range of talents and interests. This includes the annual school production and dance shows that involve large numbers of pupils from across the school.

Pupils enjoy a range of wider leadership opportunities too, including as mental health champions and well-being ambassadors.

Staff feel well supported by leaders. They enjoy working at the school and are passionate about providing all pupils with a well-rounded education.

Leaders take into account staff workload when planning further school improvements. Governors know the school well. They have a realistic understanding of the key areas for development and provide both support and challenge to school leaders.

The impact of leadership at all levels of the school is clearly demonstrated in improvements in outcomes. However, there is more to do to provide consistency across all aspects of the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some school policies are not implemented consistently across the school. This leads to some variability between what leaders expect and what is upheld in practice. The school must check that all policies in place have been clearly understood by all staff to reduce this variability in curriculum implementation and expected conduct.

• Some groups of pupils are not attending school as regularly as they should. This means that they are at risk of falling behind in their education. The school must ensure that the actions that leaders are taking to improve attendance are carefully monitored and that adjustments are made quickly where actions are not leading to the intended impact.

• Some pupils in the school share concerns about low-level disruption. A small number are not confident that staff respond effectively to their concerns. The school must evaluate the approaches that leaders use to communicate important messages to pupils to assure them that their concerns are handled appropriately.

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