The Charles Dickens School

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About The Charles Dickens School

Name The Charles Dickens School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Warren Smith
Address Broadstairs Road, Broadstairs, CT10 2RL
Phone Number 01843862988
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1111
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school prides itself on being supportive, innovative and inclusive. Pupils are happy and safe. The personal, social, health and education (PSHE) programme complements pupils' academic studies and contributes to their individual development.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are suitably assisted to access the full curriculum. Disadvantaged pupils' progress is closely monitored and sensitively supported. Leaders have thought carefully about how to help pupils to know and remember more.

Behaviour and attitudes are very positive. A strong work ethic pervades. Pupils are focused on their lessons.

They listen attentively to the t...eacher and one another. Relationships are harmonious, kind and supportive.

The school provides many memorable opportunities, including visits to Chatham Dock Yards and the Imperial War Museum.

Pupils value these opportunities, as well as their roles and responsibilities. These include head students, school prefects and sports captains, as well as anti-bullying ambassadors.

Careers provision is strong.

The school has good links with schools and colleges to support all curriculum pathways, including apprenticeships. Increasing numbers of pupils are pursuing level 3 qualifications.

Leaders promote an inclusive environment by teaching pupils about protected characteristics.

The school has an extensive extra-curricular offer. This includes hospitality, well-being and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, as well as clubs for Latin, sports, young enterprise and creative writing.

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

The curriculum is ambitious and well planned.

It is suitably sequenced across all years. It is hierarchical and developmental. Content is carefully matched to the national curriculum.

Pupil progress is in line with national averages. Achievement in mathematics and science are improving fast.

The school operates a three-year curriculum in key stage 4.

Leaders say this is to maximise time on options and ensure pupils are suitably equipped for external examinations. The key stage 3 content is fully covered, although the school acknowledges shortfalls in design and technology which are being addressed.

The proportion of pupils taking the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is too low.

The uptake of languages is not high enough. The school is focused on raising the status of the subject, as well as ensuring that pupils choose languages as an option. The school appreciates the urgency of this.

Teachers' subject knowledge is strong, and pupils say that they are always happy to help. Lesson planning ensures that knowledge is revisited with an emphasis on remembering and retaining. Assessment is used effectively with regular reviews and evaluations so that gaps in learning are quickly addressed.

School leaders are focused on developing reading. They use a range of appropriate and well-established approaches. Literacy and reading have been prioritised across subjects.

Key terms and knowledge that pupils need to learn are usefully set out. The proportion of pupils whose reading age exceeds their chronological age is increasing.

The school has high expectations for behaviour and conduct.

These expectations are commonly understood and consistently applied. Leaders, staff and pupils create a positive environment in which bullying is not tolerated. When bullying does occur, it is dealt with quickly and effectively.

Attendance has improved, but the school is still working hard to reduce persistent absence. Suspensions are high and have increased since the last academic year. The school explains this in terms of raised behavioural expectations.

Pupils confirm these high expectations.

The PSHE programme allows pupils to discuss issues around mental health and healthy relationships. The school has an overview of the topics covered, but this is not mapped across the provision to ensure that knowledge is systematically built upon over time.

Trustees and governors are highly ambitious for the school. The trust provides valuable expertise and support. Governors are knowledgeable and encouraging.

Leaders value professional development. Staff recognise the heavy workload involved but feel well supported by leaders, with weekly checks on their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured a dedicated culture of safeguarding. Systems and processes are in place to ensure that safeguarding is managed appropriately. There is a strong focus on promoting pupils' welfare and well-being.

Staff and pupils are encouraged to report any concerns they have. Leaders act on reports and keep detailed records of actions taken. Leaders have strong links with external agencies.

They carry out checks on adults working at the school.

Pupils feel safe and know how to report safeguarding concerns. The school acts in the best interests of pupils to protect them online and offline.

All pupils can identify an adult who they can talk to when they are concerned.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The proportion of pupils taking the EBacc is well below national averages. The uptake of languages is not high enough.

Leaders should continue their work to raise the status of languages and ensure that more pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, achieve the EBacc in line with government expectations. ? The PSHE programme is not sufficiently mapped across the provision to ensure that knowledge is systematically built upon over time. The school should map the provision of PSHE across the whole school to ensure that the breadth of content provided is hierarchical, developmental and age appropriate, as well as suitably linked across all subjects.

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