Heathfield Community College

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About Heathfield Community College

Name Heathfield Community College
Website http://www.heathfieldcc.co.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Caroline Barlow
Address Cade Street, Heathfield, TN21 8RJ
Phone Number 01435866066
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1470
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders have very high aspirations for pupils at this school. They are determined that pupils receive a great education. Staff meet the needs of pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), well.

The school values of 'Pride, Ambition, Community' are lived out in daily life.

Pupils flourish here. They are well mannered and polite.

Staff set a high bar in terms of pupils' conduct. Pupils feel happy and safe in this vibrant and nurturing school. They know that the well-regarded pastoral team will help them with any problems.

Bullying is rare. If it happens, pupils know how to report it. It is dealt with swiftly by s...taff.

Pupils benefit from a wealth of leadership opportunities. They relish taking on these important roles, including digital geniuses, sports leaders and eco-reps. Pupils make a real difference to continually improving life at their school.

Their views are sought, valued and acted on by leaders.

Pupils enjoy an extensive range of enrichment activities and educational trips. Many participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

Others represent their school in sports, music and arts. The school's radio, newspaper and TV station showcase pupils' interests and views on current affairs exceptionally well.

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

Leaders constantly look for ways to make the school even better.

They have designed an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those in the sixth form. This is now well embedded. Via the 'super curriculum', pupils undertake enrichment projects, such as in digital media.

This ensures that pupils receive a well-rounded education and continue to learn about subjects they do not study at GCSE.

Subject leaders have considered what pupils will learn carefully. There is a systematic and well-sequenced curriculum in almost all subjects.

Pupils have many opportunities to build on what they know and to develop their understanding further.

Nearly all teachers have deep subject knowledge. Teachers regularly check that pupils have understood and remembered the important ideas.

However, a small minority of staff do not always teach as effectively as the strongest. Here, some pupils do not learn as well as they could. Across the school, the judicious use of technology benefits pupils very well.

Pupils use their individual devices independently to enhance their understanding.

Pupils achieve well across nearly all subjects, including pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils. However, in 2022, due to staff instability in a minority of subjects, some pupils did not achieve as highly as they could.

Staffing in these subjects is now on a more even keel, and pupils' achievement is improving. The proportion of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate has dipped recently. However, it is now returning to its previously high level.

Leaders have ensured that the curriculum prepares pupils for the next stage in their education well. As a result of expert teaching, students in the sixth form achieve exceptionally well. Students immerse themselves in the wider life of the school.

They benefit greatly from the support, encouragement and opportunities provided.

Almost all pupils behave well around the school. They appreciate the rewards that they receive for showing positive behaviours.

Staff are quick to address any occasional overly exuberant behaviour during social time. During lessons, almost all pupils focus well and are keen learners. Staff act immediately to address the very occasional use of derogatory language.

They make it clear to pupils that this is unacceptable and make pupils aware of the wider issues in society.

Leaders have planned an exceptionally wide and rich personal development programme. They make sure that disadvantaged pupils benefit most from this.

Pupils are taught about equality and diversity very well. They have a mature understanding of healthy relationships and how to manage risks. Pupils are given helpful careers information and guidance.

They are very well supported by the school in making decisions about their futures. For many students in the sixth form, this leads to ambitious destinations. The school develops active, responsible young people, who are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Staff are proud to work at the school. Teachers, including those new to the profession, are well supported. Staff appreciate how leaders seek to reduce their workload.

Leaders make sure that staff are given very high-quality professional development.

Governors fulfil their roles effectively. They know the school very well and undertake regular training.

Governors provide the right balance of support and challenge to leaders. Parents and carers endorse the work of the school. The vast majority say that their child is happy, safe and doing well.

One parent, summing up the views of many, said, 'The school has high expectations, and staff are very encouraging and supportive.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of vigilance around safeguarding.

Pastoral staff know students well. Leaders ensure that staff are trained regularly. Staff make sure that any concerns about students are identified and referred to leaders swiftly.

Leaders communicate well with external agencies. They are determined to get students the support they may need. Any allegations about members of staff are handled appropriately.

Leaders make thorough checks on staff before they start working at the school. Students are taught through the curriculum how to keep themselves safe, including in the local area and online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A small minority of staff do not have strong enough pedagogical knowledge.

This means that, in some subjects, pupils do not learn and achieve as well as they could. Leaders know this and are supporting staff. Leaders should continue to provide less experienced staff with professional development so that the delivery of the curriculum is strong across all areas.

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