Icknield High School

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About Icknield High School

Name Icknield High School
Website http://www.icknield.beds.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr John Noble
Address Riddy Lane, Luton, LU3 2AH
Phone Number 01582576561
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1461
Local Authority Luton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud of their school. They value the opportunities the school offers to learn about themselves, their community and the wider world.

Pupils have a positive approach to learning. They concentrate well in lessons. They are determined to live up to the school's high expectations.

This is reflected in the high standard of their work and achievement in national assessments. The school prepares pupils well for their next steps in education, employment and training.

Pupils enjoy school.

They build strong relationships with each other and staff. Pupils follow the school's well-established routines. They appreciate the 'fives' they receive in reco...gnition of their good conduct and achievements.

Bullying at school is rare. When concerns arise, staff from the 'year rooms' ensure that issues are resolved promptly.

The school has robust measures in place to ensure pupils are safe.

Safeguarding has a high profile across the school. Pupils learn how to avoid the risks they face as young adults. They look out for each other and know how to find help from staff when needed.

Staff are vigilant to signs of potential harm. They act swiftly when necessary. The school works well with external agencies to ensure vulnerable pupils receive the support they need.

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

In September 2022, the school introduced a new curriculum across the school. Prior to this, leaders ensured that staff had effective training to prepare them to make the necessary changes. The curriculum is well designed and informed by the latest research in education.

The knowledge pupils need to remember is organised clearly to ensure that pupils understand and remember what they study. Staff deliver the curriculum effectively. They regularly check what pupils know and can do.

They provide timely support when pupils forget or misunderstand something. However, in some lessons across the curriculum, teachers do not provide sufficient opportunities for pupils to discuss what they are studying. As a result, pupils do not get enough meaningful chances to articulate or debate what they have been taught.

This can hinder the depth of understanding they acquire in these aspects of the curriculum.

The school's approach to reading is well developed. Staff encourage pupils to enjoy reading.

They ensure that pupils read appropriate and challenging texts across the curriculum. Staff celebrate pupils' achievements, such as awarding the status of 'millionaire readers' to pupils who read a million words in a year. Pupils who find reading difficult receive the support they need to become capable readers and access the curriculum successfully.

The school's effective approach to supporting pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is recognised in the local authority as worthy of sharing with other schools. Leaders work well with feeder primary schools and external specialists to identify the exact needs of the pupils with SEND. Staff use leaders' precise guidance when planning and delivering support for pupils with SEND.

Staff expertly deliver the help these pupils need to thrive. The school provides effective support for deaf pupils, which enables them to achieve well in lessons and ensures they can also succeed in enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities.

The school's value statement, 'Icknield CARES', is evident in pupils' conduct towards each other.

Pupils are well behaved in lessons, when moving around the school between lessons, and during social times. Disruptive behaviour in lessons is rare. When it happens, teachers apply the school's behaviour policy consistently well, and unwelcome behaviour stops.

Pupils sensitively and enthusiastically explore the different beliefs, lifestyles and social issues found in society. They learn the importance of respecting the differences of others. Pupils willingly take positions of responsibility within the school community.

These include serving as prefects or as anti-bullying ambassadors. All pupils follow the school's personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) programme. However, due to the school's structure for GCSE options, some pupils in key stage 4 have less experience of this programme compared to some of their peers and those in younger years.

Some staff are also less confident in teaching some aspects of PSHE. As a result, some pupils in key stage 4 are not gaining the depth of knowledge they need.

Pupils, including pupils with SEND, have ambitious career goals for themselves.

The school works well with local employers to enable pupils from early in Year 7 to learn about the many career opportunities they could pursue.

Leaders and governors have built positive relations with parents and staff. Staff enjoy working at the school.

They appreciate leaders' commitment to ensuring staff have reasonable workload.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Staff do not always give pupils enough opportunity to discuss what they are learning.

This leads to pupils in some lessons not being able to practise articulating their ideas, debating issues or sharing their reasoning about aspects of their studies. This can hinder their depth of understanding. Staff must give pupils meaningful opportunities to discuss what they are learning across the curriculum.

• Some pupils in key stage 4 have variable access to the PSHE programme. As a result, these pupils are not taught elements of the PSHE programme in the detail needed. The school must ensure that all pupils receive the full PSHE programme in the depth and detail intended to be fully prepared for adult life.

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