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Pupils are proud to attend this school. They demonstrate the school's values, which include courage and confidence.
Pupils can express their views, for example through the house system. This develops their understanding of community. It also gives them the opportunity to grow their leadership skills.
Staff know pupils well and have high expectations of them. Pupils rise to this and are ambitious for their futures. They receive strong guidance to help them to consider their next steps after school.
Most pupils show a positive attitude to learning in lessons. Behaviour around the school is calm and orderly. Pupils are respectful towards each other and in the wa...y they speak to adults.
Bullying is rare. Pupils are confident that the school acts quickly to resolve any problems if they occur. Pupils say they feel safe and have a trusted adult in the school to whom they can talk.
Pupils enjoy participating in a range of clubs outside of lessons. These include the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Warhammer and an LGBTQ+ club. There are opportunities to go on trips, such as the recent snow sports trip to Italy and a trekking expedition in Morocco.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum is broad and well planned. Pupils study a wide range of subjects, including some vocational options at key stage 4 and 5. Leaders have carefully sequenced learning so that pupils can build on their knowledge successfully over time.
Assessment is effective in telling teachers what pupils know and what knowledge is less secure. Teachers guide students particularly well in the sixth form. This helps students to address areas for improvement.
Teachers adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in some subjects. However, in other subjects, teachers do not provide the necessary support to help pupils learn well. Where this is the case, pupils with SEND cannot follow the curriculum successfully and find it difficult to work independently.
This leads to some low-level disruption and lack of engagement.
Leaders use alternative provision for some pupils and check its quality regularly. However, leaders have not reviewed the school curriculum carefully enough to check that it can meet the needs of such pupils moving forwards.
This would allow more pupils to be able to stay at school to access the intended curriculum.
Leaders recognise the importance of reading. Staff prioritise the reading of topical and diverse texts with pupils.
Some sixth-form students are reading mentors to younger pupils. This promotes the importance of reading and strengthens the relationships between pupils at the school. Pupils at the early stages of reading learn phonics and have additional support to help with comprehension.
However, leaders do not ensure that every literacy intervention is suitably matched to the needs and interests of pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND.
The proportion of pupils studying GCSEs in the suite of subjects known as the English baccalaureate is rising rapidly. Leaders are encouraging more pupils to study a modern foreign language at GCSE.
This is proving successful in supporting pupils to follow a broad curriculum. All pupils continue to study a humanities subject in key stage 4.
Leaders have a strong commitment to produce well-rounded citizens who can assess risk in the world around them.
The strong personal, social, health and economic curriculum reflects this. Pupils value these lessons and discuss what they have learned about topics such as online safety, consent and the rule of law. Leaders have made changes to the curriculum to reflect pupils' needs following the pandemic.
Pupils benefit from a well-considered, extensive careers programme. This includes university visits in Year 9 as well as meeting professionals from the world of work. Pupils say they feel well prepared for their next steps in education or employment.
In the sixth form, there is a variety of support available to help students with university applications, key skills, literacy and well-being. The school meets the requirements of the Baker Clause, which requires schools to provide pupils in Years 8 to 13 with information about approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.
Those responsible for governance have high expectations of school leaders.
They know the school well and are ambitious for pupils. They fulfil their responsibility to support staff workload and well-being. Staff say that leaders support them effectively.
They take the opportunities provided by the trust for further training on school improvement.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that staff, including governors, receive regular safeguarding training.
They keep up to date with any new or emerging concerns on a local and national level. Staff are vigilant in recording and reporting any concerns.
Leaders provide a termly safeguarding bulletin to parents and carers, written with the local police community support officer.
This leads to a greater shared understanding of local safeguarding concerns.
The school has suitable policies in place to raise awareness among staff and parents about the dangers of sexual harassment, online sexual abuse and sexual violence. Pupils are aware of safeguarding risks.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In some subjects, the curriculum is not reviewed well enough to ensure that it supports all pupils. Therefore, some pupils find it hard to understand the work or complete it independently. Leaders should ensure that teaching supports pupils to be successful in their learning.
• Leaders use alternative provision appropriately but do not evaluate carefully enough why this is necessary in the first place. Leaders have not been incisive enough when reviewing the curriculum offer for all pupils. Leaders should ensure that they regularly evaluate the intended school curriculum so that all pupils can learn with confidence and success.
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