The Calder Learning Trust

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About The Calder Learning Trust

Name The Calder Learning Trust
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Anthony Guise
Address Brier Hey Lane, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge, HX7 5QN
Phone Number 01422883213
Phase Other
Type Foundation school
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1353
Local Authority Calderdale
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

At The Calder Learning Trust, pupils are respectful towards each other.

Pupils say that they feel safe and they know that adults will help them on the rare occasions when bullying happens. Heads of year refer concerns to a well-trained pastoral team. This ensures that pupils get the social and emotional support they need.

Relationships between staff and pupils are strong.

The school's approach to teaching and learning is described as the 'Calder classroom', and is helping pupils to learn in a consistent way. Staff are encouraged to share good practice, supporting pupils to achieve well.

Expectations of all pupils are high.

Pupils' attitudes their learning are positive. Behaviour in classes enables learning to take place uninterrupted.

However, pupils' behaviour on the corridors and at social times is not always as positive. Not all staff apply the school policies consistently. Pupils are particularly enthusiastic about the lessons they receive in form time.

All Year 9 pupils are given access to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

Pupils are given opportunities to express their views freely. Pupils speak confidently about healthy relationships.

They know what a good friend is. They use words such as 'loyal' and 'caring', and understand the importance of being a good listener.

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

Leaders have faced significant challenges in recent years.

However, the determination of the leadership team has helped ensure a continued focus on improving the school.

The curriculum is ambitious and well sequenced, and allows pupils to know and remember more. Teachers plan together and their opportunities for professional development are helping to deliver lessons that pupils enjoy.

For example, in history, pupils learn about industrial Britain through the lens of the local area. In Reception, children are developing their understanding of Spanish words and phrases to develop their love of language. However, the work to link lessons in the primary phase with those in the secondary phase are less developed.

Teachers of older pupils do not always embrace opportunities to build on the knowledge and skills taught to younger pupils.

Teachers use assessment accurately to identify gaps in pupils' knowledge and address their misconceptions. This is helping pupils to improve their understanding.

For example, pupils are using assessment in English to develop their love of reading. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported effectively. Most parents and carers agree.

The special educational needs coordinator has a clear vision for the pupils in her care. Teachers are benefiting from this expertise. They know these pupils well and make appropriate adaptations to meet their needs.

A 'secondary ready' curriculum is supporting a group of pupils with particular social and emotional needs. The small number of pupils who are supported by the medical needs team are supported effectively by a team of professionals.

Currently, too few pupils in Years 10 and 11 study the group of subjects that collectively make up the English Baccalaureate.

However, leaders were able to demonstrate through their planned options process that this is being addressed.

Leaders are aware of the importance of reading. Staff deliver a phonics programme with accuracy and consistency.

Leaders use assessment to ensure that the books that pupils read are well matched to the sounds that they already know. This ensures that almost all pupils leave key stage 1 as confident and fluent readers. Daily story time fosters their love of reading.

Leaders from the primary and secondary phases have worked closely to develop a whole-school reading curriculum. Daily phonics teaching ensures that children get off to a strong start with their reading. The school is proud of the use of reading mentors.

Pupils in Year 10 provide effective support for pupils in Year 7 to improve their reading.

The early years curriculum is built around books. Staff use this model to engage children in their learning and help them discover the wider world around them.

During the inspection, for example, children visited a local supermarket to buy ingredients for the sandwiches they later made for 'the tiger who was coming to tea', prompted by the book by Judith Kerr. Pupils in the primary phase enjoy their lessons and parents agree.

The personal development curriculum is used to promote pupils' character development.

There are increasing opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. For example, pupils now have access to a key stage 3 science enrichment club, and all pupils are encouraged to participate in school performances.

Leaders have developed a strong programme of support to help pupils decide on the next steps in their education, employment and training.

This includes interviews with local colleges and careers events. The school meets the eight Gatsby benchmarks of good careers guidance.

Leaders take account of staff workload and their well-being.

The link between school and home is a particular strength of the school. Parents talk very positively about the way the school interacts with them, and the quality of information that they receive about their child's progress.

Governors meet with leaders regularly.

However, they do not have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school. As a result, they are not always able to challenge leaders effectively. Governors do not check safeguarding records regularly enough, or always discuss safeguarding issues at governing body meetings.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The school has a positive culture of safeguarding. Staff and governors have received the training they need to identify pupils who need help.

They have a keen understanding of the risks pupils face, both locally and nationally. Pupils who are at risk are identified quickly and leaders take actions necessary to safeguard them. The records leaders keep are robust.

Pupils are aware of whom they should talk to if they are concerned. Pupils use an online reporting system to report incidents to teachers if they feel unsafe. This is helping leaders to identify safeguarding issues quickly and effectively.

During the inspection, minor defects in safeguarding were identified. These were resolved before the inspection ended.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Governors do not monitor the work of leaders with enough rigour.

They do not know the strengths and weaknesses of the school in enough detail. As a result, they do not hold leaders to account for the impact of the actions they are taking. Governors' oversight of the school needs to improve.

Governors need to ensure that the information they receive from leaders allows them to challenge more effectively. ? In some subjects, such as English, the curriculum is not sequenced between all key stages. While there has been some work in curriculum development, the links between what pupils are expected to know and remember in the primary and secondary phases respectively are not yet fully established.

As a result, curriculum progression is not as effective as it could be. Leaders need to ensure that the curriculum consistently flows from early years through to Year 11. ? Behaviour at the school is good, but not all policies are applied consistently.

This is particularly the case with the policy on the use of mobile phones. Pupils and staff are often confused about the expectations of the policy. Leaders should ensure that expectations are clear, fully understood, consistently applied and followed by all pupils and staff.

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