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Together with staff, they are proud of their school. Leaders encourage pupils to be themselves, respect the beliefs and cultures of others and be ambitious for their future.
The curriculum provides pupils with a broad education which includes the promotion of pupils' character development.
The academic curriculum is supplemented by a rich programme for pupils' broader personal development. The new sixth form provides pupils with a wide range of academic and extra-curricular opportunities. Parents and carers typically commented on the support pupils receive and said that the school helps pupils to become 'all-rounders'.
Pupils w...ear their uniforms smartly and behave courteously. Pupils are safe here. Should any bullying occur, leaders address it swiftly.
Should pupils occasionally not meet leaders' expectations, leaders swiftly intervene and correct any misbehaviour.
Pupils participate regularly in a range of competitive sports, including rugby union, rowing and athletics. All pupils are involved in singing during regular whole-school assemblies.
Pupils have access to impartial careers advice, which helps them to make informed choices about their future studies. Partnerships with employers and activities such as 'Enterprise Week' enhance the careers advice and guidance that pupils receive.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The headteacher and governing body ensure that the school provides a broad curriculum for all pupils.
Leaders ensure that the school's curriculum includes a wide range of subjects for pupils to study at GCSE and at A level. The proportion of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate is high, and increasing year on year.
Leaders have worked hard over the last few years to strengthen the school's curriculum across subjects and in the sixth form.
The curriculum is well thought through and sets out the key subject content and skills that pupils need to learn as they progress through the years. For example, what pupils learn in history in Year 7 prepares them for further study in history in subsequent years.
In most subjects, teachers deliver the curriculum effectively.
Explanations are clear. This helps pupils to build curriculum knowledge and skills securely over time. In subjects such as art, teachers regularly check pupils understand what has been taught, and adapt future teaching if necessary.
By Year 13, the curriculum in English has enabled students who study English A level to be ready to attempt very demanding work.
However, in a few subjects, pupils do not learn the intended curriculum as effectively as in other subjects. Sometimes, teaching does not routinely check that pupils know and understand what has been taught before moving on to more advanced knowledge.
In other cases, class activities and resources are not well selected to support pupils to learn and memorise the subject content set out in the curriculum.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Leaders with responsibility for SEND have made sure that staff help pupils with SEND to learn and keep up with their peers.
Pupils with SEND also have an equal opportunity to participate in all that is on offer at the school. As a result, pupils with SEND access the full curriculum. Pupils who require help learning to read receive appropriate support.
Pupils have positive attitudes about their education. Sixth-form students are mature and reflective. In the majority of the classes, pupils are focused in class and meet the high expectations set by leaders.
Pupils said that their teachers are 'firm but fair' and that they like the clarity of the school's behaviour system. In a small number of classes, low-level disruption interrupts the delivery of the curriculum. This occasionally prevents pupils from learning.
Pupils are generally sensible when they move between classrooms at lesson changeover times and during breaktime. However, outside of classes, expectations for behaviour are not as routinely upheld by staff. This occasionally leads to over-excited and boisterous behaviour in corridors, especially when pupils are not directly supervised by staff.
This behaviour makes younger pupils sometimes feel uncomfortable.
All pupils take part in a wide range of different activities each day after curriculum classes finish. Pupils can choose to try new activities each year.
Clubs include rock climbing, ballet and martial arts. Pupils' personal development is enhanced through these activities and through the school's work to promote pupils' personal and social skills. Teachers also arrange trips and activities that deepen pupils' understanding of curriculum subjects.
Sixth-form students regularly take up these opportunities and speak highly of how much they learn from them.
Leaders and the governing body know the school well and are determined to improve the quality of education. Teachers are loyal and supportive of the leadership at the school.
Leaders consider teachers' well-being and provide them with well-organised professional development opportunities.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Pupils are taught about risks in the local area and about how to stay safe, including online.
All staff receive regular safeguarding training. Staff report any concerns they have about pupils' welfare to leaders. The school provides support to pupils who require it, including counselling.
Leaders are in regular contact with outside agencies. Whenever necessary, additional support is provided to pupils who need it.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a few subjects, the planned curriculum is not fully realised.
In these subjects, teaching does not systematically check that pupils know and remember what has been taught or moves on to introduce new content too quickly. This means pupils struggle to complete more complex work because they do not have the required knowledge. Leaders should ensure that all staff routinely check that pupils understand what has been taught and address any gaps or misconceptions before moving on to new learning.
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