The Folkestone School for Girls

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About The Folkestone School for Girls


Name The Folkestone School for Girls
Website http://www.folkestonegirls.kent.sch.uk/
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Mark Lester
Address Coolinge Lane, Folkestone, CT20 3RB
Phone Number 01303251125
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 1217
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils stand '10 feet tall' in this school because they learn to believe in themselves. An extensive range of opportunities develop pupils' many skills and talents such as abseiling and mountain biking. Many pupils join the cadets or Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, learning about self-defence, orienteering and survival skills.

Pupils act as 'global citizens', collaborating on learning projects with schools in Nepal and France. Pupils seize every opportunity, enabling them to develop into articulate and confident young women.

Pupils behave exceptionally well here because staff have clear expectations of pupils' conduct and effort.

School is a place for pupil...s to think in a scholarly way. They achieve well in many subjects. Pupils rise to the high levels of challenge in most lessons.

An extensive careers programme prepares pupils ambitiously for the next stages of education or employment. Students in the sixth form speak highly of the excellent work the school does to prepare students for independent living. Workshops on meal preparation on a budget and finance management help students learn valuable life skills.

Pupils feel well cared for by nurturing staff. Those who need additional help to manage their feelings receive sensitive support in 'The Loft' and from the extensive pastoral and well-being team.

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

The school has constructed an impressive curriculum which provides pupils with a rich set of learning experiences.

These opportunities help pupils put their learning into practice. For example, in science, pupils use their enquiry knowledge to conduct their own research based on their own areas of scientific interest. An increasing number of pupils study a GCSE in a modern foreign language.

This links to the work the school has undertaken to be an 'international school' with links to other classrooms in countries across the world. Consequently, an increasing number of pupils are now studying the English Baccalaureate.

In most subjects, the curriculum identifies the ambitious knowledge and skills that pupils need to become increasingly expert.

In these subjects, teachers design learning to help pupils connect ideas together. The curriculum design in the sixth form is meticulous in every subject. Sixth-form students make exceptional progress, enabling them to gain places in prestigious universities or apprenticeships.

The school recognises that the curriculum in mathematics is not yet designed in a way that develops pupils' mathematical fluency, particularly in key stage 3. This limits how well pupils secure an understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts, and has impacted on how well some pupils achieve at the end of key stage 4. The school is in its early stages of reviewing the curriculum to address this issue.

The school has developed its own 'FSGBacc', which provides pupils with wider opportunities to learn a broad set of skills. Much of this work weaves into the academic curriculum, helping pupils to apply what they know to real-world situations. The school places a strong emphasis on pupils' literacy and oracy.

Pupils learn a rich range of technical vocabulary, which they use to debate and communicate with eloquence. Pupils publish their own books, host radio shows on the school radio station and visit local primary schools to help primary pupils learn languages. All pupils benefit enormously from these opportunities, including students in the sixth form.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive thoughtful support to help them learn well. Staff review detailed plans regularly to ensure that support effectively meets pupils needs. Pupils who need help to manage their social, emotional and mental health receive sensitive support to help them improve attendance to school.

The school is tenacious in its work to promote good attendance for disadvantaged pupils. Effective interventions such as bush-craft and mentoring develop pupils' confidence and resilience. Consequently, most pupils attend school very well.

Warm, nurturing relationships between staff and pupils build on a culture of mutual respect. Pupils speak so highly of the time and care that staff dedicate to seeing pupils flourish. Plentiful opportunities to engage with student leadership mean that pupils make a tangible contribution to school life.

They listen intently as students in the sixth form deliver powerful assemblies to educate peers about sensitive subjects such as genocide. Pupils are incredibly mature and embrace every opportunity made available to them. Pupils feel spoilt for choice from the enormous range of clubs and trips on offer.

The school is outstanding in the way it provides additional support to disadvantaged pupils to enable everyone to benefit from this rich offer.

The school has a clear vision to see every pupil succeed in life. Staff receive purposeful training to prepare them to provide a high-quality education.

Currently, governance arrangements do not always effectively check how well the school is using plans to make improvements to the academic curriculum. Trustees recognise the need to review this to ensure that pupils excel in all aspects of their education.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Most trustees are new and do not yet have suitable expertise or training. This means trustees are not providing appropriate challenge to ensure the school continues to move forward in its school improvement journey. Trustees must ensure that they have training to enable them to be clear on their roles and responsibilities so they can ensure that the school is taking effective action where needed.

The school's ambition for a knowledge-rich curriculum in mathematics is not realised. This means that pupils are not learning as well as they could. The school should review the mathematics curriculum to ensure that knowledge and skills build in a systematic way to helps pupil to know and remember more over time.


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