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Pupils enjoy coming to this inclusive and vibrant school.
Their education has substantially improved over the past three years, due to the substantial changes that leaders have made. Leaders, including trustees, are extremely ambitious for pupils. The school is a caring community where staff know pupils well.
Staff have high expectations for pupils' behaviour. The school is calm and purposeful. Pupils behave well and are respectful towards each other.
Those who need extra help to manage their behaviour respond well to it.
Pupils feel safe. They understand whom to talk to if they are worried about something.
Pupils can ask for help by using t...he 'worry button' on the school website or the 'worry boxes' in school. Bullying is uncommon. When it does happen, staff deal with it effectively.
Leaders are committed to promoting equality and diversity. Pupils and staff readily celebrate difference. Pupils enjoy a wide range of rich experiences that help them to develop their interests.
For example, pupils are keen to be involved in the school's Combined Cadet Force. Others are keen to take part in the school's talent show or to go on visits to the theatre.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders and trustees have worked tenaciously to improve the school.
They are unwavering in their determination to ensure that pupils are provided with the very best education, particularly disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the school community. Leaders have managed these challenges extremely well and ensured that their plans for improvement have remained on track.
Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum. They structure and organise learning carefully. Leaders identify the needs of pupils with SEND accurately and quickly.
Pupils with SEND achieve well because staff use thoughtfully constructed education plans to support pupils effectively.
Pupils study a broad range of subjects. Leaders recognise the need for more pupils to study the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects at GCSE.
Progress has been made towards this aim and most pupils in key stage 4 now study history or geography. However, not enough pupils study languages at GCSE.
Teachers use their strong subject knowledge to make learning interesting and engaging.
They are extremely positive about the high-quality training provided by leaders and the trust. Teachers work closely with each other and with teachers from other schools in the trust. This has helped teachers to reflect on and improve their teaching.
Consequently, pupils achieve well across a wide range of subjects.Students in the sixth form are supported in achieving increasingly high outcomes through the high-quality care and guidance they receive from staff.
Reading is a priority.
Weaker readers in key stage 3, including some pupils with SEND, benefit from a phonics-based approach. Staff deliver extra support for pupils effectively. This helps pupils who struggle with reading to catch up quickly.
Pupils behave well in lessons and around school. Staff provide well-tailored support for pupils who need to modify their behaviour. Leaders' changes to behaviour systems have significantly reduced the proportion of pupils receiving fixed-term exclusions.
Leaders' strategies to improve pupils' attendance have reduced the proportions of pupils who are persistently absent. However, overall attendance needs to improve further, including in the sixth form.
Leaders promote pupils' personal development well, including in the sixth form.
The school's personal, social, health and economic education programme is well considered and designed around the needs of pupils. High-quality careers guidance prepares pupils to make well-informed choices about their potential next steps after Year 11 and Year 13.
There is a wide range of opportunities for pupils to develop their confidence and talents.
For example, several pupils in Year 7 apply to join the creative arts scholarship programme. This provides enrichment opportunities in creative arts, such as subsidised trips to dance performances. Pupils are beginning to benefit from the trust's recently introduced 'Turner 25' programme, which provides 25 wider curriculum activities for all pupils.
Staff feel very well supported by leaders and the trust. Leaders design school policies so that they contribute to making staff's workload manageable. Staff feel valued and motivated.
Early careers teachers receive high-quality training and guidance.
Trustees and governors are experienced and highly reflective. They are committed to promoting the well-being of staff and pupils.
The trust has provided leaders with extensive support. Trustees understand what needs to improve further and how funding should be used to achieve the trust's ambitious aims.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that appropriate checks are carried out on employees and volunteers and that robust systems are in place to safeguard pupils. Staff have secure knowledge of safeguarding procedures and know what to do if they are worried about a pupil. Leaders provide pupils with appropriate support in school and refer pupils to external agencies if needed.
Clear systems are in place to record staff's concerns about pupils and the actions that are necessary to make sure pupils are supported effectively.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders are ambitious for pupils. However, not enough pupils study the full range of EBacc subjects at GCSE.
Leaders should further improve the ambition of the curriculum so that higher proportions of pupils study all EBacc subjects by the end of Year 11. ? Although leaders' strategies to improve pupils' attendance have reduced the proportion of pupils who are persistently absent, pupils' attendance needs to improve further. Leaders need to continue to strengthen the strategies they have put in place to improve pupils' attendance, so that attendance improves.
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