Sir John Talbot’s School

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About Sir John Talbot’s School

Name Sir John Talbot’s School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Tim Stonall
Address Prees Road, Whitchurch, SY13 2BY
Phone Number 01948660600
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 816
Local Authority Shropshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, are made to feel welcome at Sir John Talbot's School, where all are included.

The school's vision of 'achievement through caring' underpins everything it does to ensure a quality education for all. The school has high expectations for all pupils' achievement, and addresses any barriers faced by those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged in any way.

Pupils experience first-rate opportunities for personal development throughout their time at the school.

They enjoy a range of high-quality experiences that include learning about relevant topics, a wide range of different clubs, visits and other school events. These add to pu...pils' enjoyment of school. They are extremely well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Pupils feel safe at school and know that they could talk to staff if they had any problems with regard to themselves or concerns about others. The school ensures that pupils know how to keep themselves safe and well.

The school's high expectations for behaviour are achieved by most pupils.

However, a small number struggle to meet these expectations. Suspensions have been too high in the past but have recently started to fall as a result of the school's actions to support pupils when needed.

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

The school is ambitious for all pupils, including those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The school has a well-planned curriculum that identifies the important knowledge that teachers want pupils to know. Consequently, teachers know what they want pupils to achieve over time. Teachers are knowledgeable about their subjects.

As a result, learning is progressive and builds on what pupils can already do, including in the sixth form. Teachers take opportunities to recap on previous knowledge and remind pupils which aspects of their previous learning are relevant. Where teachers identify gaps in knowledge, or misconceptions, they take steps to address these.

As a result, pupils learn more and can do more over time.

The school has effective processes to identify any pupils who have SEND. Constructive relationships exist between the school, parents and external agencies to ensure pupils get the support they need.

Strong communication and relevant training ensure that staff understand and consider pupils' needs. The school carefully checks the impact of additional interventions outside the classroom to make sure that these are meeting pupils' needs.

The school has re-evaluated how it supports weaker readers and has made positive changes as a result.

Pupils participate in whole-school reading time. Pupils who require support to become better readers have opportunities to develop their phonics skills and to practise their reading. Their progress is celebrated.

Pupils have a positive attitude towards their learning and most attend school regularly. Pupils benefit from relevant support and a quick response to address any concerns with their attendance. The school provides a range of enhanced support for pupils to improve their behaviour, for example assistance with managing emotions.

These approaches are contributing to the recent reduction in the number of pupils who are suspended from school, although a small number of pupils continue to be suspended repeatedly.

Pupils engage well with the wide range of exceptional personal development opportunities. The school's approach to personal, social, health and economic education is very well planned and relevant to pupils' needs.

Important topics are experienced through valuable learning opportunities and are appropriate to pupils' needs. For example, sixth-form students learn first-aid skills. Pupils are highly respectful of the views of others.

They are empowered to make informed decisions about a wide range of topics, including their physical and mental well-being. The school ensures that pupils experience an enriched and enhanced curriculum through relevant trips, speakers and extra-curricular activities.

Pupils experience relevant and useful careers education which provides them with the skills to move on to the next stage in their education.

For example, students in the sixth form benefit from work experience related to their interests. The school's approach to careers education is integrated well into the curriculum so pupils can see how their studies support and inform their future aspirations. They are well prepared for their next steps.

The trust provides highly effective support and validation of the school's actions. Carefully targeted resource provides the school with additional capacity that is used well to support its work. Governors understand their responsibilities and make an excellent contribution to the school.

They have a clear understanding of the school, and challenge robustly and support effectively in equal measure.

Staff feel well supported by the school and are confident that their workload is considered when decisions are made, for example in relation to the school's approach to assessment.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The proportion of pupils suspended from the school has been too high in the recent past, and some pupils continue to be suspended on repeated occasions. As a result, some pupils miss out on learning time. The school should continue to develop its work to support pupils who struggle to meet the expectations for behaviour so that less learning time is lost for pupils as a result of suspension.

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