Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre

About Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre Browse Features

Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre

Name Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre
Website http://www.highdown.reading.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Surley Row, Emmer Green, Reading, RG4 8LR
Phone Number 01189015800
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1417 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.5
Academy Sponsor Highdown School And Sixth Form Centre
Local Authority Reading
Percentage Free School Meals 6.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 13.9%
Persistent Absence 11%
Pupils with SEN Support 14.3%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (30 April 2015)
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Information about this school

The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school. It has a sixth form. The headteacher took up post at the time of the previous inspection in 2013. Nearly all members of the senior leadership team have been appointed within the last two years. Approximately half the teachers have been appointed since the last inspection. The proportion of students supported by the pupil premium is below the national average. The pupil premium is additional funding for students who are known to be eligible for free school meals or who are looked after by the local authority. The proportion of students who are disabled or who have special educational needs is similar to the national average. The school funds and manages a specially resourced provision for students with visual impairment. These students are taught in mainstream classes, supported by specialist teaching assistants. A small number of students attend alternative education off-site at Hero’s Farm, Aspire and Path Hill. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The headteacher provides outstanding leadership for this rapidly improving school. She is very ably supported by senior leaders who work together well as a team to drive forward improvements in the quality of teaching and in the standards achieved by students. Governors support school leaders effectively and ensure that the work of the school leads to sustained improvements in students’ achievement. School leaders have unwavering high expectations for students’ progress and behaviour. The determination to secure good outcomes for students is shared across the school. Regular tracking of students’ progress is used to identify quickly where they need additional help or support. This is helping to sustain improvements in students’ achievement. The very strong relationships between students and their teachers mean that students behave well and have high aspirations for their futures. The quality of teaching has improved and is now good. Very effective use has been made of training to enable teachers to develop their skills. Leaders have taken firm and decisive action to eliminate any teaching that is inadequate. The highly inclusive nature of the school makes it a harmonious place in which to work and learn. Students are very welcoming of difference. All students, regardless of ethnicity, faith, additional need or sexual orientation, are fully integrated into the life of the school. The school’s unit for visually impaired students provides extremely high quality care and support, which results in students’ developing the resilience necessary for independent living. Students benefit from high quality careers advice and guidance which helps them to prepare well for their future education, training or employment. The school is a safe and inviting place to work and learn; students feel safe. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Achievement in the sixth form is not yet as high as it could be. The progress of disadvantaged students in mathematics is not as rapid as it is in English. Teachers’ marking and feedback do not always provide precise guidance to students about how to improve their work. Not all teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect on the advice given.