Great Marlow School

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About Great Marlow School

Name Great Marlow School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Kevin Ford
Address Bobmore Lane, Marlow, SL7 1JE
Phone Number 01628483752
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1434
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Great Marlow School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

The school delivers on its vision to create opportunities that enable all pupils to fulfil their potential. Pupils gain a good all-round education, where academic success and well-being are equally valued.

They enjoy learning across a broad range of subjects and take part in an impressive range of clubs and activities. The opportunity for all pupils to take part in Olympic sports such as rowing is a very distinctive feature of this school.

Pupils are actively encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and behaviour.

They conduct themselves well in lessons and around... the school. There is a studious atmosphere in many classrooms. Pupils move promptly to lessons at the end of breaktimes without the need for bells.

Pupils are respectful to their peers and the adults who they work with. Bullying is rare and is dealt with promptly if it does occur. Pupils appreciate the help and support they receive from staff.

They trust the school's student support officers to keep them safe and help them if they have any problems.

Pupils are extremely proud to attend their friendly and inclusive school. Pupils from different backgrounds, including many Ukrainian pupils, are warmly welcomed.

Staff make great efforts to ensure that these pupils are fully involved in school life and access the whole curriculum.

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

Pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), learn well across the school. They remember the knowledge that they need to be successful in subjects and develop a broad range of skills.

Staff have high expectations for pupils' learning and behaviour. They encourage and challenge pupils to achieve 'their personal best'. Staff know their subjects well.

They plan activities that build on what pupils have been taught before and check carefully that important knowledge has been learned. Pupils with SEND receive good support. Staff know the needs of these pupils well.

They adapt teaching skilfully to help these pupils to keep up with others in their learning. Staff make good use of mobile technology to help pupils with SEND access the curriculum.Pupils are well prepared for the next steps in their education.

The broad and ambitious key stage 3 curriculum provides a strong foundation. Pupils are able to choose from a wide range of GCSE option subjects. Students achieve well in a broad range of subjects in the sixth form.

After sixth form, high proportions of students enter further education, employment or training successfully. However, there is a low take-up of subjects needed to achieve the English Baccalaureate because small numbers of pupils choose to continue to study modern foreign languages in key stage 4. Leaders are prioritising improving the curriculum so that more pupils are confident to take up languages as a GCSE option.

The school is doing much to promote and develop a love of reading. Pupils enjoy reading together with their teachers during tutor time. These sessions help pupils to appreciate an ambitious and diverse range of literature.

During the inspection, a Year 8 class was enthusiastically discussing issues of prejudice that they were exploring in the book that they were reading together. Leaders carefully identify the pupils who are struggling with reading. Specialist teaching for the weakest readers ensures that these pupils are catching up quickly.

The school's work to ensure that pupils become active and confident citizens is a significant strength. For instance, pupils' and staff's enthusiasm for improving the school environment has led to the school receiving a national eco award. Leaders go to great lengths to ensure that all pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged and pupils with SEND, take part in extra-curricular activities.

The physical education department organises many activities for pupils who are not involved in sporting activities out of school. Sixth-form students make a useful contribution to the rest of the school. All Year 12 students help younger pupils with their learning in lessons.

Pupils regularly debate ethical issues and celebrate the diversity of other cultures. Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is taught in all year groups. However, pupils sometimes struggle to remember what they have been taught in these lessons as well as they do in other subjects.

The school is very well led and managed. Leaders and governors have integrity and are determined to ensure that pupils receive the very best opportunities. This strong vision is shared by the whole school community.

Staff feel valued and well supported by leaders. They appreciate that leaders take their well-being seriously. Leaders are always available if they have any concerns.

Parents express great confidence in the school. As one parent commented when they wrote via the Ofsted Parent View survey, 'The school has been amazing. They ensure pupils not only make progress academically but they also make sure that your child grows in confidence and widens their social skills.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a well-established safeguarding culture. All staff are vigilant and know what to do if they have concerns about a pupil because they receive regular training and guidance.

The safeguarding team is experienced and is knowledgeable about risks in the local area. Leaders ensure that all systems and records are organised meticulously so that nothing is missed. Leaders work relentlessly to ensure that pupils and their families get the support they need from other agencies.

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders have strengthened the pastoral support available for pupils. This includes the promotion of mental health.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The number of pupils taking a modern foreign language is well below national averages and well below the government's national ambition.

This means that too few pupils gain the qualifications to achieve the English Baccalaureate. Leaders should continue their efforts to promote languages, to ensure that more pupils achieve the English Baccalaureate and benefit from the future opportunities that studying a language provides. ? Leaders do not have a sufficiently precise understanding of what they want pupils to know and remember in PSHE lessons.

This means that pupils do not have a secure understanding of some aspects of this curriculum. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum for PSHE is of the same high quality as that in other subjects.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in April 2013.

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