SGS Forest High School

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About SGS Forest High School

Name SGS Forest High School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Alan Dane
Address Causeway Road, Cinderford, GL14 2AZ
Phone Number 01594822257
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 281
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

SGS Forest High School is improving rapidly. Routines are carefully considered, so pupils make the best use of their time.

For example, pupils practise their reading skills each morning and many older pupils attend revision classes at the end of the day. Expectations of what pupils have the potential to learn and achieve are high. Pupils recognise that, through the curriculum, they learn powerful words and ideas.

Increasingly, they take confidence from this and their aspirations are growing.

There is a strong sense of community in the school. Relationships are based on mutual respect and trust.

Pupils' strengths, achievements and differences are cele...brated. Pupils receive valuable support with their personal challenges. This helps them to feel safe and settled.

If pupils notice any disrespectful behaviour, they report this. They have confidence that the school's approach will be fair.

Many pupils represent the school in sporting tournaments and competitions.

A recent performance of 'Matilda' was a great success, providing pupils with a valuable opportunity to perform drama and music for a live audience. Experiences such as these give pupils a sense of self-belief and an appetite for success, including among pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who speak English as an additional language (EAL).

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

The school offers a full and ambitious curriculum.

The school's inclusive culture ensures that the benefits of this are felt by all pupils. The quality of education has improved in many subjects. This has encouraged more pupils to choose to study the subjects of the English baccalaureate.

The school's published outcomes do not fully reflect the impact of the improvements made to the quality of education. Pupils have not yet learned enough of the school's curriculum to fully realise its aims. Many pupils acquire a scholarly vocabulary, of which they are rightly proud.

However, the curriculum does not provide enough opportunity for pupils to use this vocabulary in extended discussions or writing. This limits the development of the independent thinking and writing skills necessary for success in GCSE examinations and for post-16 study.

Assessment is not used precisely enough in some subjects.

Therefore, the school does not always know how to adapt the curriculum to best meet pupils' needs. Consequently, some pupils are left with insecure knowledge and others miss the chance to deepen their understanding. When pupils have not understood new curriculum content or difficult concepts, teaching is not consistently responsive.

This inhibits their ability to learn the curriculum successfully and has a particular impact on pupils with SEND and those who speak EAL.

The school is determined that all pupils read accurately and fluently. Pupils read widely, gaining cultural capital as they go from text to text.

There is a phonics curriculum for pupils in the earliest stages of reading. This includes specialist teaching for pupils who speak EAL. As a result of the school's sustained focus on improving reading, pupils follow more of what the wider curriculum has to offer.

Pupils usually learn without disruption. They receive effective support to improve their behaviour if they struggle with this. The school has a precise, strategic understanding of the reasons why pupils do not attend school regularly and the families affected.

Pupils who are persistently absent receive well-focused support. This often helps them to re-establish regular school attendance. Nonetheless, high rates of absence prevents many pupils from fulfilling their potential.

As part of the personal development curriculum, pupils explore relevant, age-appropriate topics. Pupils recognise the value of this learning, which helps to keep them healthy and safe. They consider the school to be a welcoming place for all pupils and staff, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Pupils receive clear messages about British values, such as tolerance and democracy. Careers education is comprehensive. There are meaningful opportunities for pupils to meet with employers and training providers and this continues to grow.

Pupils' experiences at this school have improved significantly because of determined and resilient leadership. The local school board is sharply focused on improving outcomes for pupils with particular needs. The school provides highly effective support and career development to teachers who are new to the profession.

As a result, staff make a notable contribution to the ongoing improvements to the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils' understanding of the curriculum is not checked systematically.

As a result, pupils, including those with SEND or those who speak EAL, do not always understand the language or the ideas that they need to follow the curriculum confidently. This also means that pupils who have already securely understood curriculum content do not deepen their knowledge further. The trust must ensure that teaching is responsive to pupils' level of understanding.

• In some subjects, assessment is not used with enough precision to rectify insecurities in pupils' knowledge and skills. This means that gaps in pupils' knowledge persist, making it difficult for pupils to integrate new learning. The trust should ensure that information as to what pupils know and can do informs what is emphasised and revisited within each subject.

• Pupils do not have sufficient opportunities to discuss or write about what they have learned. This limits their ability to apply what they know and develop the skills to independently think and write confidently about curriculum ideas. The trust should ensure that pupils learn how to discuss and write about subject ideas and concepts in an extended way.

• Pupils do not achieve as well as they could because they miss too much school. While the school is working with individual pupils and their families to secure better attendance, it remains the case that some pupils do not attend school well enough to succeed. The trust should support the school to continue their proactive work to secure high attendance for all pupils.

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