Fairlands Middle School

Name Fairlands Middle School
Website http://fairlandsmiddleschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 08 February 2012
Address Masons Way, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3PG
Phone Number 01934743186
Type Secondary
Age Range 9-13
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 483 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.4
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 7.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.9%

Information about the school

Fairlands is an average-sized middle school, with specialist status in technology, serving Cheddar and the surrounding rural area. Most pupils are White British and the proportion known to be eligible for free school meals is below average. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is in line with the national average; pupils’ needs include moderate and specific learning and communication difficulties. The proportion with a statement of special educational needs is below the national figure. The school meets the current floor standard for Key Stage 2, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. The school has achieved the following national awards: International School, Healthy Schools Plus and Eco-Schools Silver.

Key findings

This is a good school. The outcomes for Year 8 pupils, including English, mathematics and science, show clear year-on-year improvements since the last inspection leading to overall attainment which is above average. Taking pupils’ starting points into consideration, this indicates good progress across the school. This improvement has been driven by the headteacher and members of the school leadership group using the comprehensive progress-tracking systems within the school. Using data from these systems, school self-evaluation procedures have targeted subjects for improvement, which have led to demonstrable success, for example in the outcomes for mathematics. Curriculum team leaders have been involved in this process, and are fully committed to raising achievement, but the approach to the use of tracking data, and holding teachers to account for the progress for individuals, groups or classes, is inconsistent. Good teaching has led to the improvements seen in pupils’ attainment and progress. The school has worked effectively on the recommendations from the last inspection relating to teaching. However, assessment is not yet used consistently to ensure that tasks in lessons are sharply focused to ensure challenge for all groups, particularly more-able pupils. Moreover, whilst there are examples of effective feedback and marking, there is not a consistent approach which provides clear guidance on what pupils need to do to improve their work. Pupils are overwhelmingly positive about procedures to keep them safe and this is recognised by parents and carers. Attendance rates are above average and rates of exclusion low, reflecting the school’s strong culture of inclusion. Overall, behaviour is good and pupils are friendly and courteous with positive attitudes to learning. The headteacher’s commitment and drive is recognised and appreciated by pupils, parents and carers and staff. He is ably supported by members of the school leadership group and together they have successfully fostered a community where the talents and aspirations of individual pupils are developed and celebrated well.