Holmfirth High School

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About Holmfirth High School

Name Holmfirth High School
Website http://www.holmfirthhigh.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mr Ben Stitchman
Address Heys Road, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth, HD9 7SE
Phone Number 01484691460
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1314
Local Authority Kirklees
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils significantly benefit from both the academic and wider opportunities available to them at Holmfirth High School. Pupils overwhelmingly meet adults' high ambitions for them. Pupils' detailed knowledge of the curriculum prepares them well for when they leave school.

The wider skills that they learn support them to become rounded young people who are well prepared to make a positive contribution.

Pupils are considerate of their peers. The relationships between adults and pupils are warm and grounded in respect.

In lessons, pupils are focused and supportive of each other. They understand the importance of learning opportunities. Disruption in lessons is ex...tremely rare.

At social times, pupils make good use of extra-curricular opportunities available to them. Bullying rarely happens. When it does, adults address it effectively.

The school has a well-structured and diverse personal development offer. Teachers look for ways to expose pupils to different cultures and experiences. In personal, social and health education (PSHE) lessons, pupils discuss important issues such as democracy.

Leaders reinforce what they want pupils to know with a detailed programme of extra-curricular visits and visiting speakers.

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

Leaders have extremely high aspirations for all pupils. Leaders have created a well-structured, ambitious curriculum.

In many areas, the curriculum exceeds the demands of the national curriculum. For example, pupils learn three languages and many pupils' knowledge in mathematics extends beyond the GCSE curriculum. This substantially enhances pupils' learning.

This contributes to pupils being extremely well prepared for the next stages in their education.

Teachers are experts in their subjects. They use their expertise to ensure that when pupils encounter new knowledge, it is clearly explained.

Teachers anticipate the misconceptions that pupils are likely to encounter in their subject and support pupils to avoid these. Teachers routinely and skilfully check what pupils know. They use the information they gather from these checks to adjust their teaching to meet the needs of pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, have an extremely strong understanding of the curriculum.

Pupils who do not read at the expected standard for their age receive support that is precisely matched to their needs. Leaders prioritise these pupils to meet with visiting authors.

Pupils are articulate when discussing their ideas. They use subject-specific vocabulary with precision. Some pupils develop their oracy skills further, for example by participating in the bar mock trial or the classics society.

Pupils' behaviour is consistently excellent. They interact respectfully with their peers and adults. Teachers are skilled at ensuring pupils remain focused on learning.

The small number of pupils who do not meet teachers' high expectations receive effective support to improve their behaviour. Pupils attend school regularly. Leaders have strong systems which help individual pupils to improve their attendance further.

Pupils have a secure understanding of knowledge from their PSHE lessons. What pupils learn in these lessons is effectively reinforced in other subjects. For example, some of the key texts that pupils learn about in English lessons deepen their understanding of the protected characteristics.

Pupils learn about the wider cultural context of what they are studying in subjects such as languages or when learning about artists and designers in technology.

Pupils are highly engaged with the rich and diverse enrichment offer available to them. Subject leaders enhance their curriculum with well-considered educational visits.

For example, in science, pupils visited the theatre to learn about Tim Peake's experiences. Many pupils benefit from opportunities such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, sports leadership roles or support their peers as mathematics ambassadors. Leaders use these opportunities to help pupils develop leadership experiences.

Leaders carefully plan how they develop pupils' character. Leaders reinforce this through the 'Holmfirth code' which highlights the behaviours and values they want pupils to acquire.

Leaders engage with stakeholders in the school.

They use this feedback to inform their decisions. Pupil leaders describe themselves as 'a bridge' between pupils and leaders. These partnerships have strengthened the school's relationship with the community.

Leaders and governors have a very clear understanding of the school. They use this to continually inform their actions to improve the school further.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Safeguarding leaders have a detailed understanding of the pupils who attend the school and the risks that pupils could encounter. Leaders ensure that staff understand their roles through well-structured induction processes and ongoing training. The expertise that leaders have created within the staff team has enriched the support for pupils.

For example, there is now strong support for pupils with anxiety or who need additional help to improve their mental health.

Leaders ensure that there are regular safeguarding updates for pupils and staff. For example, pupils have a clear understanding of the risks associated with county lines from their work in the PSHE curriculum.

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