Harlington Upper School

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About Harlington Upper School

Name Harlington Upper School
Website http://www.harlington.org
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Helen Harris
Address Goswell End Road, Harlington, Dunstable, LU5 6NX
Phone Number 01525755100
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 13-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1209
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

In the main, pupils enjoy their time in school. They have confidence that the school wants the best for them educationally. Pupils generally learn well and reach the high expectations of the school.

In the sixth form, teachers and students develop effective partnerships, which ensures that students achieve well. Published examination results reflect the good quality of education pupils receive at this school.

There have been notable improvements in pupils' behaviour over time.

Expectations have been raised, and most pupils routinely respond positively to this. In lessons, pupils follow the routines set by their teachers and generally focus on their learning. ...While there remains some boisterous behaviour and examples of inappropriate language used when pupils are moving around school or socialising, careful monitoring of this shows that pupils feel this is improving.

Pupils think there are aspects of the new behaviour expectations that can be strict, but they believe they are making the school a better place.

Pupils are being given more opportunities to learn about the importance of diversity in modern Britain. The curriculum is helping pupils to better understand the need to be respectful to others and know the impact of their words and actions towards others, particularly those who are different to themselves.

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

The school's curriculum is ambitious for all pupils. In key stage 4 and the sixth form, pupils can choose from a range of qualifications that open opportunities to develop their interests and potential career directions. The number of pupils entered for the English Baccalaureate was lower than the national average in 2022.

This is improving. More pupils are choosing to study modern foreign languages at GCSE.

The school provides teachers with useful guidance to implement the curriculum in a logical order.

Teachers use this support consistently well so that pupils develop a good understanding of what they are learning. Teachers review with pupils what has been taught. This helps pupils to remember important subject knowledge over time.

Teachers in some subjects are developing more effective approaches to checking what pupils understand and remember.

The school has an effective approach to supporting pupils who are at an early stage of reading. Pupils who find reading tough get the help they need to become more fluent and confident readers.

The school provides teachers with a general overview of the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Where this guidance is more precise, teachers provide well-judged support, ensuring that pupils with SEND overcome the challenges they face. For example, hearing impaired pupils receive the support they need to follow the curriculum effectively.

In some instances, this guidance lacks the precision teachers need to adjust their teaching to meet pupils' needs well. This means there are occasions when the support for some pupils with SEND is not as effective as it could be.

Teachers spot the occasions when some pupils need support to focus on their learning.

Behaviour is much improved. However, a small minority of pupils do not follow the school's expectations of behaviour during social times. They do not apply what they learn about behaving acceptably.

A significant minority of parents feel that the behaviour policy is unfair and unhelpful in dealing with anti-social behaviour.

The curriculum ensures that pupils learn about healthy relationships and the expectations of living in modern Britain. The school has worked hard to overcome the challenges of having pupils join in Year 9.

Leaders have successfully put in place a personal, social and health education curriculum that is increasingly securing positive attitudes and respect among pupils.

In the sixth form, students are well prepared for the future. The curriculum is well planned, and students work hard to achieve well.

Students are role models for younger pupils and willingly take up positions of responsibility, such as serving as prefects.

The school provides effective careers advice to support pupils, including those in the sixth form, to make informed, positive decisions about their next steps in education, employment and training.

The governing body and trust board have experienced significant changes.

Governors have made improvements to their practice. Increasingly, they are holding leaders to account. A broad range of measures to communicate with parents are in place, and many parents are noticing the improvements being made.

However, there remain some parents who are not positive about the school's work. This is because the school has not ensured that parents have a clear understanding of the rationale behind the changes being made, and why.

Staff are proud of the improvements made.

They appreciate leaders' efforts to manage their workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The information provided for teachers about the needs of pupils with SEND sometimes lacks precision.

As a result, teachers' provision for some pupils with SEND is not as effective as it could be. The school must ensure that teachers receive precise information so that pupils with SEND receive consistent and effective support. ? A small number of pupils do not meet the school's expectations for behaviour at social times.

This means that, on occasion, boisterous behaviour, name calling, and inappropriate language are used by some pupils. While the behaviour of most pupils has improved, strategies have not worked for this small cohort. The school must continue its work to ensure that all pupils understand and comply with the school's expectations for behaviour, ensuring that strategies to improve behaviour at social times are effective.

• The school has not consulted with parents in enough depth about the changes it is making. Some parents are not confident in leaders' work and/or do not understand or support changes that have been made. The school needs to communicate effectively with parents to ensure that they understand the rationale behind the actions leaders take and the positive differences they are making.

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