The Archbishop’s School

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About The Archbishop’s School

Name The Archbishop’s School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr David Elliott
Address St Stephens Hill, Canterbury, CT2 7AP
Phone Number 01227765805
Phase Secondary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 722
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is passionate in wanting all pupils to achieve well, including the many who join having not achieved well in the past, or who join after Year 7. It does a good job from the point pupils start, including making arrangements to meet individual needs. As a result, pupils achieve well and learn to attend regularly.

Pupils feel safe and well cared for. Most enjoy learning and behave well. The school has grown since the last inspection.

It has become a more diverse community and is warmly welcoming to pupils from all backgrounds. The school now includes a large number of pupils from refugee families, some of whom attend for a limited time before families move on....

Most pupils settle quickly in lessons and treat others respectfully, both there and around the site.

Sixth-form students are good role models for younger pupils in the way they behave. The school provides effective support for pupils who find attending regularly difficult. They and their families typically receive close attention so that they know that attending school is vitally important.

Pupils feel their safety is a priority for the school and know who to turn to if they have concerns.

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

The curriculum meets pupils' needs well in key stages 3 and 4. The school has worked hard to ensure that the curriculum builds pupils' learning in a logical sequence so that their knowledge is secure.

This has helped address low past achievement at the school and tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Steps the school has taken are increasing the number of pupils studying subjects making up the English Baccalaureate, notably raising the numbers learning a modern foreign language. Targeted support ensures that the many pupils joining mid-way through a year, and the approximately 150 refugee children joining in the last two years, achieve well.

The curriculum in the sixth form does not meet students' needs as fully or effectively. The school has rightly identified that there are too few vocational options for prospective students.

Teachers have good subject expertise.

They typically explain new ideas well to pupils and use effective lesson activities to enable them to learn. Teachers usually check carefully how well pupils and students have understood new learning and tackle any misunderstandings. However, sometimes, this is not the case and learning is not as secure as a result.

In the sixth form, although some students achieve well, others do not have sufficient prior learning for their courses of study and find it hard to learn.

The school works hard supporting the many pupils who join the school with poor attendance records. This includes those pupils new in the country or struggling to attend after the COVID-19 pandemic.

This tenacious approach means that, from when they start, pupils' attendance improves securely. The school's analysis of which strategies are most effective is, however, not always precise enough to pinpoint the best ones.Staff reinforce the school's expectations for good behaviour and most pupils follow these expectations.

Effective support for pupils who find it hard to behave well means that their behaviour improves. Sixth-form students act as a good example for younger pupils, such as by taking a lead in volunteering opportunities.

The school identifies pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately.

Staff adapt lesson activities well to support them and offer suitable additional opportunities as needed. The school manages carefully and safely any study arrangements with providers external to the school.

Effective work by the school promotes reading well.

Staff identify pupils who need extra help and support them to catch up. The school promotes a love of reading well, with all pupils having a reading book.

A well-planned programme of personal, social and health education lessons, linked to tutor times and assemblies, supports pupils' and students' personal development.

This means the school's culturally and ethnically diverse community gets on well together. Spiritual development is supported well across subjects. There is a wide range of clubs and activities offering opportunities beyond the academic curriculum.

The school provides a good programme about the world of work. Guidance for future study is effective when pupils select GCSEs and for study after the sixth form. Guidance for Year 11 pupils about sixth-form courses has not always helped them choose courses they are able to tackle, an issue the school is starting to address.

Governors hold the school to account tightly but supportively to ensure its vision and values are realised. They check the school's work carefully, including that staff have a manageable workload. Staff are a cohesive team.

They feel well supported and trained. This includes in key areas like safeguarding, where they are vigilant.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The sixth-form curriculum does not meet all students' needs fully. Too many take courses for which they have insufficient prior learning, struggle to understand the course content and then do not achieve well. The school should review the range of courses offered and revise guidance for pupils in Year 11.

• The school's work is improving attendance, but it does not analyse actions taken closely enough to find what makes the most difference. This means some resource goes where it has less impact. The school should check more closely the difference made by the different strategies used, so as to identify the best and discard the least effective.

Teachers' work in checking that new knowledge is embedded in pupils' long-term memory is not always fully effective. As a result, achievement is not as rapid as it could be. The school should ensure that teachers always assess pupils' learning consistently well in order to adapt the next steps in their teaching.

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