Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith

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About Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith

Name Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Headteacher David Marchant
Address Ullswater Road, Penrith, CA11 7EG
Phone Number 01768864621
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1038
Local Authority Westmorland and Furness
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, including students in the sixth form, are happy to attend school each day.

This is reflected in their high rates of attendance. Pupils explained to inspectors that they value the trusting and respectful relationships they have with staff. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

Leaders deal with any incidents of bullying quickly and effectively.

Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum to ensure that pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), can live up to the aspirations that leaders have for them. For the most part, pupils rise to these expectations, try their best and achieve well.

When pupi...ls and students leave the school, they are prepared well for the next stage of their education, employment or training.

Staff have high expectations of pupils' behaviour. During lessons, pupils listen attentively to teachers' explanations and follow instructions diligently.

Pupils value the support that they receive from staff. For instance, they told inspectors that staff would 'go out of their way' to provide extra help if they find questions tricky.

At lunchtimes, the school is a hive of activity as many pupils join in with a wide variety of extra-curricular clubs.

For example, they enjoy taking part in lunchtime activities such as rugby, badminton, food microbiology, electrics and circuits, and dance club. Pupils are excited about performing in 'Shrek', their upcoming school production.

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

Leaders have designed an appropriately aspirational, academic curriculum for pupils, including students in the sixth form.

For example, most pupils study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects in key stage 4. Students in the sixth form study a wide range of A-level courses, including economics, environmental science and geology.

Subject leaders have thought carefully about what pupils should know and the order in which curriculum content should be delivered.

They have organised learning so that pupils can make links with earlier content and build logically on what they know already. That said, some subject leaders are better equipped than others to support staff to deliver subject curriculums well. This means that, in some subjects, including in the sixth form, some staff do not receive sufficient support to teach some aspects of curriculums with confidence.

Mostly, teachers are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects. They use their expertise to design learning well. Staff provide accurate explanations for pupils, presenting new ideas and concepts with clarity.

For the most part, teachers ensure that they emphasise, revisit and consolidate the learning that will be the most useful to pupils in the future. Pupils' learning is rarely disrupted by poor behaviour. This means that teachers can focus primarily on delivering the curriculum.

On the whole, teachers routinely use assessment strategies to check that pupils' earlier learning is secure. This helps staff to identify and address pupils' misconceptions quickly. As a result, most pupils and students progress well through the curriculum, deepening their understanding of concepts over time.

Leaders have ensured that there are effective systems in place to identify the needs of pupils with SEND accurately. Leaders provide staff with appropriate information about the additional needs of this group of pupils. This means that most teachers are equipped well to adapt how they deliver the curriculum so that pupils with SEND learn well.

Pupils, but particularly those in key stage 3, are enthusiastic readers. For example, inspectors observed pupils queuing out of the library door, keen to change the books that they had enjoyed. Leaders assess pupils' reading knowledge regularly.

This ensures that those pupils who find reading difficult receive appropriate support from staff to catch up with their peers. Staff encourage pupils, including students in the sixth form, to read widely.

Leaders have ensured that there is a suitable programme to support pupils' and students' wider development.

For example, pupils benefit from a well-planned programme of careers advice and guidance. Students in the sixth form are keen to raise money for local charities and a range of other good causes. Pupils learn about other cultures and religions that are different to their own.

They know about the importance of tolerance and respect for those who are different to themselves.

In recent months, the leadership of the school has been strengthened considerably. Those responsible for governance provide an appropriate level of challenge to leaders.

Members of the trust board have the knowledge and skills to hold leaders to account fully for the quality of education that pupils receive.

Staff are proud to work at the school. Many staff commented positively on the changes made in recent months.

For example, staff explained how some of these changes had helped to prioritise their well-being and better manage their workload. Staff also commented on the recent improvements in pupils' behaviour.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are aware of the risks that pupils and students may face. They ensure that staff receive regular and appropriate safeguarding training. This helps staff to remain alert to the signs that may indicate that a pupil is at risk of county lines exploitation or far right extremism.

Staff know what to do if they have concerns about a pupil. When needed, leaders make timely referrals to external agencies. Staff work effectively with external partners, such as mental health charities and the local authority, to ensure that vulnerable pupils and students get the help that they need.

Through the citizenship curriculum, pupils learn about how to keep themselves safe. For example, they learn about the dangers of drug misuse and vaping. Pupils also learn about the importance of consent and the key features of healthy relationships.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some subject leaders are not equipped well enough to support teachers to design and deliver some aspects of the curriculum with confidence. This means that some teachers, particularly those staff at the earliest stages of their teaching careers, do not receive sufficient support to design learning well. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders have the expertise necessary to improve teachers' subject and pedagogical knowledge to enhance the teaching of the curriculum.

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