Ferndown Upper School


Name Ferndown Upper School
Website http://www.fernup.dorset.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 11 May 2016
Address Cherry Grove, Ferndown, Dorset, BH22 9EY
Phone Number 01202871243
Type Secondary
Age Range 13-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 789 (47% boys 53% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.0
Local Authority Dorset
Percentage Free School Meals 13.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 7.1%

Information about this school

Ferndown Upper School is a smaller than average upper school with provision for the sixth form. The newly appointed headteacher joined the school in September 2015. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for support through the pupil premium funding is below the national average. This is additional government funding to support pupils who are eligible for free school meals and those who are in the care of the local authority. The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and disability is below the national average. The proportion with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan is slightly above the national average. The school is working with the leaders from Thomas Hardy School as a prospective academy sponsor. This formal partnership facilitates a core action group made up of members from both schools’ governing body and school leaders. The school receives regular support from an external consultant, commissioned by the prospective sponsor school to regularly review the school and advise the headteacher. The school works in partnership with headteachers from local middle and first schools. The school uses alternative provision for a very small number of pupils: Christchurch Learning Centre, The Forum Centre and The Virtual School. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The impact of the new headteacher on the performance of the school has been tremendous. His drive, ambition and focus have secured improvements across the school. Governors are very effective. They have a strong understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. They are increasingly challenging school leaders to bring about further improvements. Pupils in all year groups, including disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs or disability, are making rapid progress. The provision for English has improved remarkably, resulting above-average attainment in the GCSE examination in 2015. Teaching, learning and assessment are good. Leaders have worked hard to improve classroom practice, secure accuracy of assessment and raise pupils’ achievement. Teachers and pupils form effective working relationships. These contribute well to creating classrooms where pupils want to learn. The school provides well for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. An effective curriculum prepares pupils very well for their future role in modern Britain. Pupils’ personal development and their pastoral care are real strengths. Staff know their pupils well and care about their well-being. As a result, pupils are very well supported. Pupils’ behaviour is delightful. The school is a very welcoming place. Pupils’ treatment of each other and the site is exemplary. The sixth form is good. A wide breadth of provision is well matched to learners’ interests and future aspirations. Progression rates are high. However, some learners do not have work-based opportunities outside of the school setting. It is not yet an outstanding school because : While teaching and pupils’ progress are now good, some inconsistencies remain in science and for the most able pupils in some subjects. Careers education, advice and guidance is not explicit or fully impartial across all year groups. Pupils’ literacy skills are not consistently well developed across the school. They are well developed in mathematics, humanities and arts. A small number of pupils do not attend the school regularly enough. Full report In accordance with section 13(4) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that the school no longer has serious weaknesses.