Penketh High School

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About Penketh High School

Name Penketh High School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr John Carlin
Address Heath Road, Penketh, Warrington, WA5 2BY
Phone Number 01925722298
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 895
Local Authority Warrington
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The headteacher and trustees promote the highest of ambitions for all pupils. They are determined to provide the best for them. The hard work of staff contributes to the good quality of education that pupils receive.

Pupils' learning is strong across the curriculum and this helps them to do well in their examinations. This includes those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Disadvantaged pupils have recently done much better in their GCSE examinations than those in previous years.

Over time, their results are catching up with those of other pupils nationally.

The pupils that we spoke to said that they feel safe in the school. They are co...nfident and happy.

Bullying is rare. If this does happen, it is sorted out quickly. Pupils say there is always an adult to talk to if they need help or support.

Pupils are prompt for lessons. They feel that staff care about doing a good job, so they teach them well. Pupils try hard and conduct themselves sensibly in class.

Pupils also behave well at break and lunchtime. They enjoy socialising or taking part in the many clubs that run. Staff ask pupils about their interests and hobbies, such as yoga, performances, and The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, to make sure there is something provided for everyone.

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

Parents and carers, pupils, and staff say the headteacher has transformed school leadership. He and many other leaders have been appointed to their roles since September 2017. This has made a big difference to pupils' experience at school.

The expectations of pupils are higher. Pupils now benefit from a good quality of education, day in, day out.

Trustees and the chief executive officer understand and fulfil their roles well.

Their focus is on securing positive experiences for pupils, in lessons and other activities. They support staff to investigate new ways to improve pupils' education. Some staff are undertaking a research project with Oxford University.

This is to better support pupils, especially disadvantaged pupils, to excel in languages and science. Leaders want to prepare more pupils for study at Oxford, Cambridge and other prestigious universities.

The education pupils receive is, almost always, well planned and delivered.

Where the curriculum is delivered at its best, teaching is well organised so that pupils' knowledge is built up in a helpful order. Teachers help pupils to remember by placing emphasis on ambitious and interesting activities. These opportunities stretch and excite pupils' thinking, so they achieve especially well.

In the past, the curriculum at key stage 3 left pupils short of important knowledge about their different subjects and to help them have a wider understanding of the world. Subject leaders have used their expertise to overcome this weakness in the curriculum. They have designed new plans with the breadth and ambition which pupils need.

These plans are now in place in all but a few subjects.

The school provides pupils in key stage 4 with a suitable range of courses to match their interests and help them to achieve their ambitions. This includes disadvantaged pupils and those pupils with SEND.

Leaders have tackled disadvantaged pupils' weak attendance and poor achievement. Many disadvantaged pupils are attending more regularly and being more successful. However, some disadvantaged pupils continue to be absent too often.

They miss out on important learning.

Leaders provide effective education for pupils with SEND. This includes those who are part of the specialist-resourced provision.

These pupils enjoy learning with one another and with other pupils. They also benefit from the strong wider curriculum which they are offered. The well-planned activities, which include more than 50 clubs and trips, meet such pupils' interests and needs.

They help pupils to be successful once they have left the school.

Pupils' personal development is an important part of the curriculum. Pupils are provided with time and opportunities to find out about and think about the society in which we live.

They learn how to become involved in and make a positive difference to the things that they care about, locally and more widely.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff take pupils' safety and emotional well-being seriously.

Leaders provide regular training, so that staff know what to look out for if pupils might be at risk. Staff know how to deal with safeguarding concerns. Leaders ensure that, when such concerns are identified, vulnerable pupils and their families receive appropriate support.

Pupils know how to keep themselves safe, including when they are online. They know who to contact if they are unhappy or are worried about others.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have taken action to overcome previous weaknesses in the key stage 3 curriculum.

The key stage 3 curriculum in English, mathematics and the English Baccalaureate subjects now provides a broad and ambitious experience. However, the key stage 3 curriculum does not yet fully match the requirements of the national curriculum in a few other subjects. These include art, performing arts and technology-based subjects.

This means that pupils do not develop their knowledge and skills in these subjects as well as they should. Leaders must complete their review and implementation of the key stage 3 curriculum, so that it meets all pupils' needs and entitlement in all subjects. .

Most pupils attend school regularly. This helps them to achieve well. The attendance and achievement of disadvantaged pupils has increased markedly since September 2018.

However, a minority of disadvantaged pupils do not attend regularly. This means that they miss out on important learning. Leaders should continue to improve the attendance of these pupils, so that they attend regularly and achieve well.

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