The Grange School

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About The Grange School

Name The Grange School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Vincent Thomas Murray
Address Wendover Way, Aylesbury, HP21 7NH
Phone Number 01296390900
Phase Secondary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1404
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's values of 'equality, equity and solidarity' underpin daily life at The Grange. Pupils enjoy school and feel happy and safe here.

They learn to be respectful and considerate of others and diversity is celebrated. Older pupils and staff value the many positive changes to the school since the last full inspection in 2018.

The school offers a wide range of subjects.

Many pupils achieve well because subject leaders have raised expectations by setting out more clearly what pupils should learn and when. However, some pupils have gaps in their knowledge and skills. This is because there are differences in how well teachers implement these plans to meet t...he needs of all pupils, particularly the most able.

Standards in the sixth form are higher; teachers ensure sixth-formers are challenged and supported well in their chosen subjects.

Pupils understand and respect the school's behaviour system of consequences and rewards. Good relationships between staff and pupils have helped to improve behaviour.

Bullying happens much less now than it did in the past. Pupils say that there are trusted adults whom they can turn to should they have any concerns.

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

Senior leaders have raised expectations across the school.

They have brought about significant improvements to behaviour and the quality of provision for vulnerable pupils. They have also made some noteworthy improvements to the quality of education.

The Grange offers a broad academic curriculum, which leaders are currently making more ambitious for all pupils.

Curriculum plans have been improved across most subjects and are particularly strong in art and modern foreign languages. Here, subject leaders know just what they want pupils to learn and in what order, and teachers explain subject matter and check pupils' understanding well. Typically, similar practice in the sixth form enables most students to progress well in their chosen subjects.

In some subjects, such as history, recent staffing changes mean the curriculum is at an earlier stage of development. In others, including English, mathematics and science, teachers' delivery of what has been planned is variable. Not all teachers have sufficiently high expectations of what all pupils, particularly the most able, can achieve.

Too often, teachers do not check that pupils can confidently remember important knowledge and skills before introducing new information. When this occurs, some pupils are not sufficiently stretched and can chatter or become passive, while others find the work too hard.

Leaders are prioritising improving pupils' reading skills and have invested in new resources and approaches to support this.

The impact of this work has been adversely affected by the pandemic. However, work is ongoing and leaders have clear plans to achieve their aims. Leaders are aware of the need to ensure robust quality assurance of the new reading schemes and approaches being implemented across the school.

Leaders have improved provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and disadvantaged pupils. Better information is now shared with teachers to support pupils' learning in the classroom. Teachers work well with the team of skilled teaching assistants to meet pupils' needs.

The provision for pupils' personal development is a strength of The Grange. A team of staff have been trained to deliver personal, social and health education across the school. There is a genuine commitment across the school to promote diversity and equality.

Pupils benefit from careers fairs and events and regular opportunities for careers education, advice and guidance. Pupils and sixth-formers are well prepared for their next steps beyond school. However, the school is not meeting its statutory requirement to provide opportunities for a range of education and training providers to speak to pupils in Year 8.

While a minority of pupils' conduct and adherence to the school rules could be improved, behaviour is typically good across the school. In classrooms, pupils are typically keen to learn and actively engage with the tasks set by their teachers. Better communication and sharing of information between the leaders of behaviour, attendance and safeguarding have clearly led to improvements in all three areas.

The Grange's committed team of governors has a clear understanding of the strengths of the school and the further improvements required. The governors are seeking support to fine-tune their level of challenge to leaders to raise the quality of education. Leaders have fostered a real sense of teamwork at the school.

Morale is high and staff are justly proud of the improvements made during this particularly challenging last year.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that all staff receive regular and appropriate training on safeguarding.

There is a culture of vigilance at The Grange and staff are aware of the warning signs that a pupil might be being harmed or in danger. There are clear school systems to record and share any concern that staff may have about pupils. The records kept by safeguarding leaders demonstrate how the school responds in an appropriate and timely way.

Leaders proactively seek support from external agencies when necessary to ensure pupils get the help they need. Pupils say they feel safe here and parents confirm this.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Increased leadership capacity and new initiatives have boosted curriculum planning.

However, in many subjects, these new plans are not yet sufficiently well embedded, and some teachers do not understand and adhere to leaders' expectations. Consequently, pupils' experiences in lessons and the pace of curriculum improvement across and within subjects is too variable. More accurate monitoring and evaluation by leaders is required to diagnose, and then act upon, the specific issues affecting each different subject.

• Too often, the level of verbal and written challenge offered by teachers is not sufficiently well matched to pupils' existing knowledge and skills. Where this happens, pupils either are insufficiently challenged, or they struggle to understand and retain new information. Training is required to ensure all teachers make better use of assessment to deliver lessons that more accurately meet the needs of all pupils, particularly the most able.

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