Hailsham Community College

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About Hailsham Community College

Name Hailsham Community College
Website http://www.hccat.net
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Thomas Redman Natalie Chamberlain
Address Battle Road, Hailsham, BN27 1DT
Phone Number 01323841468
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1633
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils' experiences vary widely. Many pupils are eager to learn.

For instance, pupils in the primary phase, and students in the sixth form, focus on their work and routinely ask for help when they need it. Children in the early years take turns and work alongside each other happily. Pupils in these parts of the school are rightly confident that any unkind behaviour will be dealt with effectively.

However, in the secondary phase, while some lessons are calm and orderly, many are disrupted by pupils' poor behaviour. At social times, the conduct of a significant minority of pupils makes others feel vulnerable. Unlike the primary phase and sixth form, some pupils in Years... 7 to 11 are unhappy and do not feel safe.

They are not confident that staff will deal with bullying quickly or efficiently.

An interesting range of clubs and trips contribute well to pupils' personal development. Older pupils, including those in the sixth form, receive useful and unbiased careers advice and guidance.

This means they are well informed about different career pathways and future study options.

Pupils in the primary phase and sixth form achieve well. However, despite leaders' high expectations, pupils in key stages 3 and 4 do not achieve as well as they should.

This is because there is too much variability in the teaching of the curriculum.

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

Trustees have acted swiftly to stabilise the school's leadership after a period of turbulence. They have an accurate view of the significant weaknesses in the quality of the provision within the secondary phase.

However, it is early days and leaders are only just beginning to make the necessary improvements. They have not implemented a consistent approach to behaviour or provided sufficient training and guidance for staff.

Staff do not manage pupils' behaviour well enough.

For a significant minority of pupils, a lack of courtesy and mutual respect is too often the norm in Years 7 to 11. Too many pupils behave poorly or remain in corridors when they should be in their lessons learning. Many pupils who receive consequences for disruptive behaviour often repeat the same behaviours.

As a result, suspensions are exceptionally high.

In stark contrast, pupils in the primary phase and students in the sixth form behave well. Classrooms here are calm and purposeful.

Pupils have positive attitudes to their learning. Children in the early years get off to a flying start. Staff model kindness and support children to develop bonds with each other.

They ensure that children quickly learn the routines, and staff help them to develop their confidence and independence.

The curriculum is well sequenced, broad and balanced. Across subjects, leaders have carefully identified the essential knowledge that pupils need to learn and when they should learn it.

This should allow pupils to build their knowledge from the early years to the sixth form. However, the number of pupils opting for a modern foreign language (MFL) at key stage 4 is very low. As a result, too few pupils study the range of subjects known as the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) that keep their future options open.

In the secondary phase, some teachers lack expertise in implementing the school's curriculum. Not all staff have strong enough subject knowledge. Too often, they do not provide pupils with activities that help them build their knowledge securely.

At times, teachers do not check pupils' understanding carefully enough and so do not identify any gaps in pupils' learning. Where this happens, pupils do not develop their knowledge as well as they should. Across the early years and primary phases and in the sixth form, teachers deliver the curriculum much more effectively.

As a result, pupils achieve well at these stages.

Leaders identify the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately. They ensure that pupils in the specially resourced provision receive expert care and support.

In the primary phase, teachers make suitable adaptations to the curriculum. This means that younger pupils with SEND get the tailored support they need to learn in line with their peers. However, in the secondary phase, this is less effective.

Leaders place great importance on reading. This starts in Nursery. Children develop a love of reading through regular opportunities to listen to and retell stories, songs and rhymes.

Staff are well trained, and phonics is taught effectively. Pupils read books that are closely matched to the sounds they learn in lessons. Staff are quick to identify any pupils who are at risk of falling behind, including those in the secondary phase.

These pupils are provided with daily effective support that helps them to catch up quickly.

In key stages 3 and 4, some pupils' attendance is not high enough. Too many arrive late to school and to their lessons.

This is having a significantly negative effect on these pupils' achievement as they miss too much learning. While the strategies that leaders have introduced have led to some improvements, they have not had the necessary impact yet overall.

Leaders ensure that younger children learn about healthy relationships and what makes a good friend.

Pupils in the primary phase are considerate towards others. They talk about mutual respect, democracy and tolerance in a mature and thoughtful manner. In the secondary phase, some pupils do not conduct themselves as responsible citizens.

While there is a well-thought-through personal, social health and economic education curriculum, this is not implemented consistently well.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff receive regular training.

As a result, staff know the signs that indicate that a pupil may need extra help. Systems for reporting concerns are effective. Leaders respond promptly and make sound decisions about what to do next.

However, there are some aspects of record-keeping that could be strengthened further.

Appropriate checks are made on all adults who work with pupils. Leaders have ensured that the curriculum supports pupils to identify risks themselves, so they are able to keep themselves safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A significant minority of secondary-age pupils display poor behaviour in lessons and at social times. This has a detrimental impact on pupils' learning and sense of well-being. Leaders must establish a clear behaviour system that is understood by all and implemented consistently and fairly.

• In the secondary phase, many pupils have little confidence that incidents of bullying will be tackled successfully. They do not feel safe. Leaders need to make sure that they have strong systems in place for reporting and resolving bullying.

• In some subjects at key stages 3 and 4, teachers' implementation of the curriculum is variable. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they should. Leaders should continue to develop staff's knowledge and skills so that the delivery of the curriculum is as effective as it is in the primary phase.

• In Years 7 to 11, some pupils' attendance is poor. This means that these pupils regularly miss out on essential learning. Leaders should redouble their efforts to improve attendance to ensure that all pupils, particularly those with SEND or who are disadvantaged, attend school regularly.

• Very few pupils study a MFL at GCSE. The proportion of key stage 4 pupils who are entered for EBacc subjects is much lower than the national average. Leaders need to ensure that pupils study a broader range of subjects so that the EBacc is at the heart of the curriculum.

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