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Pupils flourish at Queen Elizabeth's School. They love to learn. Pupils are happy and safe.
They take great pride in their work. Pupils are determined to succeed in all aspects of their school life and are ambitious for their futures. Leaders ensure that pupils study a broad range of academic subjects.
They make sure the highly academic environment of the school is also a nurturing one. Leaders strive to develop pupils into confident, able and responsible young people.
The behaviour of pupils is exemplary.
In class, pupils are focused on learning and lessons are purposeful. The school encourages pupils to adopt the study habits of professionals withi...n their subject areas. Pupils attend the wide range of lunchtime clubs and societies on offer to them.
Many of these are organised and run by the pupils themselves.
The school has a strong sense of community. Staff and pupils celebrate their achievements.
Older pupils provide academic and emotional support to younger pupils. Sixth-form students act as ambassadors for the school by volunteering in the local community. Pupils report that bullying is rare.
If it does happen, staff are quick to address it.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school's curriculum is academic, broad and balanced. All pupils study English, maths, science, humanities and a modern foreign language in Years 10 and 11, the English Baccalaureate range of subjects.
Alongside this, many pupils choose to study economics and Latin, as well as arts subjects and technology.
Leaders prioritise reading. Pupils read often and widely.
Leaders make links between the books that pupils read in English and other subject curriculum content. In Year 9 art, for example, portrait drawing is themed around pupils' reading of 'Frankenstein'.
The curriculum is highly ambitious in all subject areas.
Pupils regularly complete work that goes far beyond what would normally be expected for their age. Leaders are keen to engage pupils in global issues and debates. For example, in technology, pupils learn about the United Nations' sustainability goals when designing products using plastics.
Teachers are experts in their subjects. They check pupils' understanding throughout lessons. Assessment is thorough and proportionate.
Teachers use assessment information and ensure pupils know how to improve their work. They swiftly support pupils to catch up if they fall behind. They also offer a range of clubs and competitions for pupils who excel.
These are popular with pupils. Elite clubs in mathematics, robotics and cricket are particularly note-worthy.
The quality of pupils' work across subjects is exceptional.
Teachers help pupils to embed learning in their long-term memory. Pupils recall key knowledge with accuracy. They use technical vocabulary with fluency.
Teachers help pupils to develop sophisticated skills in analysis, evaluation and research. This supports pupils to be ready for their next stage of education.
Leaders have high ambitions for all pupils.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve exceptionally well here. Leaders ensure that all pupils access the wide range of opportunities on offer at the school. The school's online learning platform is an additional resource where pupils can develop their areas of interest further or get extra practice.
Pupils are polite and courteous. They are well mannered and respectful to all members of the school community. Pupils listen attentively to their teachers and work hard.
At breaktime and lunchtime, pupils play games together. The atmosphere is lively and pleasant. Students in the sixth form are role models to younger pupils.
Leaders place great importance on pupils' personal development. They ensure that pupils gain a deep understanding of the issues that affect wider society. Pupils explore topics such as personal identity, future careers and financial management.
They engage in debate about current affairs.
Pupils hold democratic elections to determine pupil leadership roles. They explore the rule of law through mock legal trials.
Leaders encourage pupils to take action about issues that affect wider society and the environment. For example, they are undertaking a re-wilding project within the school grounds. Pupils support each other through the school's peer mentoring programme.
The school's curriculum enrichment is extensive. Clubs take place at lunchtime so that all pupils can be involved. The range on offer includes medical society, forensics, chess and drama clubs.
Many pupils play in competitive sports teams, including cricket and rugby. Pupils take part also in a range of extra-curricular sports, including water polo, fencing and volleyball.
School improvement priorities are ambitious.
Leaders and governors are determined to improve the school's work. They engage staff, pupils and parents in evaluating the school's current provision and in making plans for the future. Leaders are aware of the pressures faced by staff, particularly around assessment.
Staff appreciate the efforts of leaders to support their well-being.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that policies and procedures for safeguarding are robust and well communicated to all staff.
They train staff to identify when pupils may be at risk. Leaders responsible for safeguarding work well with local outside agencies to support any vulnerable pupils and their families. Governors are aware of their statutory duties towards safeguarding.
They ensure that procedures for the safe recruitment of staff are secure.
Staff are acutely aware of the pressures that pupils in the school may face. They prioritise teaching about mental health, managing stress and online safety.
Pupils are aware of the sources of support available to them, such as the school counselling service. The school teaches them the importance of respecting others. This includes age-appropriate information about healthy relationships, what constitutes sexual harassment, and consent.
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