Pupils know that standards of behaviour are given a high priority in this school. Leaders expect nothing less than excellent and that is what they get. All staff, parents and carers are on board to ensure that this happens.
It provides the right foundation for strong learning to take place. It also means that pupils feel very safe inside the school.
Leaders have a clear vision for pupils from the start of Year 7 to the end of Year 13.
Whatever their background, pupils go on to achieve very well in GCSE examinations and in a wide range of courses in the sixth form. The wider opportunities provided in the sixth form are exceptional. Students know this, which is... why so many choose to stay on after Year 11.
In key stage 3, however, pupils do not study a broad enough range of subjects in depth. Leaders have suitable plans in place to change this for next year.
Pupils know a great deal about different types of bullying.
They told us it is very rare for bullying to happen in the school. That is because it is dealt with swiftly and effectively on the rare occasions it does happen. Staff and parents agree.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders, governors and trust directors have made a significant impact on all aspects of the school. They apply their values of 'dedication, determination and destiny' to all that they do. One of their biggest successes has been in developing pupils' attitudes to learning.
All staff are well trained and supported in promoting pupils' impeccable behaviour. Teachers build pupils' knowledge and skills effectively. All pupils benefit, in particular those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Disadvantaged pupils achieve very well in the GCSE subjects they take, including English and mathematics.
The trust provides high-quality support for teachers and subject leaders. For example, subject consultants work across the federation to provide guidance for improving the quality of the curriculum.
Teachers have strong subject knowledge and plan the teaching of concepts effectively. They know what it means for a pupil to do well in their subject. As a result, pupils build their knowledge and skills in a logical order.
This is true for a range of subjects, including English, mathematics and science.
The school teaches the key stage 3 curriculum in Years 7 and 8. Pupils choose two options for Year 9 and, consequently, study fewer subjects in greater depth.
There are pupils in Year 9 who do not study history, geography, art or music, for instance. Pupils in Year 9 are taught and assessed well in the subjects they choose. Most go on to achieve well in these subjects by the end of Year 11.
Leaders have already started to plan changes to the arrangements for Years 7 to 9 through their 'Curriculum 2020' review. This aims to ensure that all pupils are taught a broad range of subjects in depth, as exemplified by the national curriculum.Pupils prepare for adult life through a wide range of experiences in school.
Additional music and drama activities, for instance, encourage pupils to develop their confidence and belief in themselves. Many take part in the annual school productions, such as 'Bugsy Malone' and 'School of Rock.' Pupils work hard to prepare for these productions, maintaining high attendance and good punctuality for rehearsals.
Sixth-form students are excellent role models for younger pupils and are rightly proud of their own achievements. They rise to the challenges staff set them. Students are taught concepts in a lot of depth and frequently think about the links between different ideas.
This does not happen accidentally. In large, it is the result of a well-crafted curriculum. This is supported by teachers who have in-depth knowledge of their subjects.
Unsurprisingly, almost all students go on to higher education, many to top universities, including disadvantaged students.
Morale in the school is high. Staff appreciate the actions that the trust has taken to manage workload better and improve their well-being.
The partnership with parents is strong and they are highly supportive of the school.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders are very knowledgeable about the community they serve.
Staff have regular training and updates so that they know what to do when a pupil may be at risk. They report concerns quickly. Staff know about the local risks, such as knife crime and the negative influence of gangs.
Pupils know about these risks too and are taught how to keep themselves safe. The school works effectively with external agencies, including the local authority, to provide good care for vulnerable pupils.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
In Years 7 to 9 some subjects are not taught in enough detail.
Leaders, governors and trust directors have not ensured that all pupils in key stage 3 receive a broad and balanced curriculum that is as ambitious as the national curriculum. Leaders have reviewed their current offer and have suitable plans in place. These plans should be realised so that all pupils have universal access to the full curriculum.