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The school's motto of 'Be kind, aim high, work hard' embodies pupils' exceedingly high aspirations and outcomes. Leaders set very high aspirations for all pupils, then do all they can to help pupils achieve and exceed them. Parents, carers and pupils know that staff care profoundly about pupils' success.
One parent told inspectors, 'Our daughter has really flourished since joining the school.'
A plethora of deliberately planned opportunities extend and enhance the curriculum. Together, they forge unforgettable memories.
The House system is central to this. House competitions are deeply competitive, and highly valued by pupils. The annual performing arts prod...uctions characterise the dedication of pupils and staff.
Extra-curricular sports activities engage and enthuse a significant proportion of pupils. Individual talent is recognised and celebrated. Clubs such as chess, coding and cooking are heavily oversubscribed and used by pupils from all backgrounds.
Pupils relish many opportunities to raise money for local and global charities.
Bullying is not tolerated. Leaders resolve any very rare bullying incidents with a swift and appropriate response.
Pupils learn how to cope with the pressures of growing up in a technology-rich environment. Older students readily take on the responsibilities of mentoring and leadership positions. This helps to maintain exceptionally high standards of behaviour in and around the school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders are unashamedly ambitious for all pupils. A carefully crafted curriculum ensures that pupils build new knowledge and skills at an impressive rate. Teachers deliver lessons exceptionally well.
They use a range of highly effective strategies and high-quality resources to enhance effective learning of the curriculum.
Pupils regularly rehearse and embed new knowledge. Teachers' assessment of pupils' deepening understanding is accurate and timely.
This helps teachers to identify gaps or misconceptions in learning swiftly. Teachers use knowledge of pupils' progress to plan subsequent lessons. Leaders have taken decisive action to ensure that the curriculum is inclusive.
For example, in physical education, all pupils have broad and ambitious opportunities to maintain engagement with the subject and to participate in a range of carefully considered qualifications.
Leaders consider the needs of all pupils meticulously. As a result, pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities, achieve remarkable outcomes.
Almost all pupils study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects. A small number of pupils study a bespoke curriculum appropriate to their needs. Expert staff support them.
Leaders prioritise reading. Pupils often read extensively in class. Staff encourage them to read widely.
Very few pupils struggle with reading. Those who do receive expert support. This helps them to catch up quickly.
Aspirational texts inspire pupils in English. At A level, students study texts suitable for undergraduate study.The sixth form is small but highly effective.
Pupils in Year 11 receive tailored, unbiased guidance to help them select the most appropriate post-16 destinations. Many choose to stay at The Holt School to complete their studies. Leaders ensure that there is a balanced programme of vocational and academic subjects on offer.
Staff know students extremely well and provide appropriate aspirational challenge and support. A learning mentor provides bespoke academic support where needed.
Pupils are highly respectful of each other.
Relationships between staff and pupils are exceptionally positive, which leads to exceedingly strong attitudes to learning. Staff manage behaviour calmly and consistently. While attendance is strong, leaders maintain a rigorous and ambitious focus here.
Expert staff provide excellent pastoral support. Many parents told inspectors that the support they receive from the school is highly valued.
Alongside their strong focus on academia, leaders prioritise the wider development of pupils to prepare them for their next steps.
Pupils develop confidence and resilience through carefully planned character education. Leaders actively promote the celebration of success. Pupils relish the wide range of opportunities to learn life skills such as debating and effective communication.
Careers information and guidance is strong throughout the school. Seminars in the sixth form prepare students for learning at university or the workplace. Students appreciate lessons in finance, the global career market, consumer rights and forming professional relationships in the workplace.
Governors are keenly aware of the school's strengths and the need to refine their practice further. The recent review of the school values reinvigorated their commitment to continuing excellence. Individual governors bring expertise to their respective roles.
They are mindful of staff's workload and take appropriate action to ensure that they provide support for the mental health of staff. Governors provide focused challenge to leaders' unswerving ambition of continued improvement. Staff are loyal to the school.
All staff seek to provide an exceptional quality of education and experience for pupils. The co-headteachers are ambitious and highly effective in fulfilling their roles.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders are vigilant, and rightly view safeguarding as a high priority. Leaders are extremely well organised, and maintain a constant focus on the well-being and safety of pupils. Leaders ensure that all staff receive regular and up-to-date safeguarding training of the highest quality.
This equips all staff to identify pupils who may be at risk of harm. Leaders forge strong relationships with local and national agencies. This enables them to ensure that any pupils who may require specialist support access it quickly and appropriately.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe from risks such as online abuse, unhealthy relationships and sexual harassment. Older students participate in regular workshops and discuss issues that are most relevant to them. Pupils know what to do if they are worried and know whom to go to for support and advice.
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