Hartford Church of England High School

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About Hartford Church of England High School

Name Hartford Church of England High School
Website http://www.hartfordhigh.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Rachel Pickerill
Address Hartford Campus Chester Road, Northwich, CW8 1LH
Phone Number 01606786000
Phase Secondary
Type Voluntary aided school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1076
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy in this school. They say that they like their teachers and respect other pupils. Most pupils say that there is someone they can talk to if they have a concern.

Leaders usually deal with bullying effectively.

Pupils told inspectors that behaviour was not good in the past. However, they believe that it is much better now.

Most teachers have high expectations for pupils' behaviour. Classrooms and corridors are orderly and calm. Pupils are usually punctual to their lessons.

In most subjects, pupils rise to leaders' high expectations for their learning. Most pupils achieve well.

Pupils' personal development is supported well thro...ugh the curriculum.

Pupils understand the importance of equality and the impact of prejudice. They recognise the importance of healthy relationships. They know how to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

Pupils enjoy a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Pupils who play musical instruments often perform in assemblies. There is a range of sporting clubs, as well as wide participation in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

Leaders reward pupils with 'Caritas and Veritas' awards in key stage 3. These recognise the contribution that pupils make towards the school's core values.

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

Leaders have developed a curriculum that is broad and ambitious for pupils.

They have placed the suite of subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils also have the option of studying practical subjects. The curriculum is enriched further by the strong focus that leaders place on the arts.

In most subjects, leaders have identified and ordered the concepts and vocabulary that pupils need to know. However, in other subjects, leaders have not clearly identified the building blocks of knowledge that they want pupils to learn over time. In these subjects, pupils have difficulty remembering what they have been taught.

Most teachers have strong subject knowledge. They told inspectors that they really enjoy working together to determine the best way to teach the curriculum. Teachers typically present learning clearly to pupils.

Pupils make connections across their learning that help them to remember more. This enables them to achieve well across many subjects.

Overall, teachers use assessment strategies well to identify gaps in pupils' knowledge and quickly address any misconceptions.

Leaders accurately identify, assess and support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They make sure that teachers and staff are well informed about how to best meet pupils' additional needs. Pupils with SEND progress well through the same ambitious curriculum as their peers.

They achieve well.

Leaders have ensured that teachers identify key subject vocabulary. They teach key words to pupils as they move through the curriculum.

Reading for pleasure is built into curriculum time. However, leaders have not provided enough effective support for those pupils who are at the early stages of reading. This makes it difficult for these pupils to access other parts of the curriculum or to take advantage of the reading-for-pleasure sessions.

Most pupils engage well in lessons. They follow the school rules so that classrooms are usually calm. Many pupils attend school regularly.

However, this is not the case for some disadvantaged pupils who are persistently absent from school. These pupils are missing vital learning.

Leaders have developed a well-designed programme to promote all aspects of pupils' personal development.

Pupils are given opportunities to discuss tolerance, respect and the rule of law. They find out about the features of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Pupils receive suitable advice and guidance, from external visitors, about future careers opportunities.

A recent leadership restructure is proving helpful to ensuring that leaders and governors have the information they need to make effective decisions. This is contributing towards improvement at the school. Governors bring a range of skills to the school.

They provide leaders with appropriate support and challenge.

Most staff are supportive of the leadership of the school. They told inspectors that leaders carefully consider their workload and well-being.

They say that they feel valued and supported in their role. They are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders provide effective training to staff so that pupils in need of help are identified quickly.

Leaders have strong links with the local authority and other local organisations so that they can provide appropriate support to pupils. For example, pupils spoke positively about the mental health workers who give them immediate support when necessary.

Pupils are taught about risks, such as sexual harassment and abuse. They talk knowledgably about how to keep themselves safe, including when online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, leaders have not identified the small blocks of knowledge that pupils must know and remember.

As a result, pupils do not build their knowledge securely over time. Leaders should finalise their curriculum thinking in these subjects. ? Leaders do not provide effective enough support for those pupils who find reading difficult.

These pupils struggle to read with fluency or comprehension. This prevents them from accessing the curriculum. Leaders should ensure that pupils who have gaps in their reading knowledge receive the support that they need to become confident and fluent readers.

• Some disadvantaged pupils are regularly absent from school. As a result, they have gaps in their learning. Leaders should ensure that appropriate actions are put in place to support the individual needs of these pupils so that they can attend school regularly and benefit from all that is on offer.

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