The John of Gaunt School

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About The John of Gaunt School

Name The John of Gaunt School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Ben Rhodes
Address Wingfield Road, Trowbridge, BA14 9EH
Phone Number 01225762637
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1254
Local Authority Wiltshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


The John of Gaunt School continues to be a good school.

The headteacher of this school is Ben Rhodes. This school is part of Equa Multi Academy Trust, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school. The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Paul Skipp, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Roger Townsend.

What is it like to attend this school?

The John of Gaunt School has a strong sense of community. The values of kindness, positivity and belonging underpin school life. The school teaches pupils to be respectful of adults and each other.

It is an inclusive school. Bullying is rare and is not tolerated. The school has ...set out clear behaviour expectations.

Pupils appreciate this clarity and the fairness of the behaviour system. As a result, pupils behave well, enabling classrooms to be calm and focused on learning.

The school is ambitious for pupils to achieve well and be prepared for adult life.

It nurtures the talents and interests of pupils and students in the sixth form. For example, there are opportunities to join the orchestra, choir and steel drum bands. Pupils perform in drama productions and compete in a range of sports.

Pupils can complete the Duke of Edinburgh's Award as well as enter outdoor competitions that test their navigational skills and resilience. Visits, such as astronomy fieldtrips, bring the curriculum to life.

Pupils are proud to welcome visitors to their school and talk passionately about their experiences.

No school tour is complete without a visit to the school goats or an introduction to the school pets. 'Once a student of JOG, always a student of JOG' is a phrase used by staff that epitomises the sense of belonging at this school.

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

The John of Gaunt curriculum is ambitious.

Subject areas aim for pupils to gain life skills as well as study for external qualifications. For example, the English curriculum develops pupils' communication skills, and the geography curriculum prepares pupils to be global citizens. The school has recently made significant alterations to the modern foreign languages curriculum.

Leaders aim to increase further the number of pupils continuing with languages into key stage 4. This will increase the proportion of pupils studying the suite of subjects known as the English Baccalaureate.

Assessment is woven into the curriculum design.

The school has set out exactly what pupils will learn and in what order. Across the curriculum, pupils take part in regular 'GEM' assessment activities. These enable teachers to identify the gaps in pupils' knowledge and understanding.

Activities are then planned to embed learning so that pupils can achieve mastery. However, some pupils lack confidence in remembering their learning over time. This hinders their ability to grasp new content quickly or reapply knowledge to new situations.

The school accurately identifies pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Teachers and support staff know the needs of these pupils well. The specialist resource base enables pupils to study the same broad curriculum as their peers while also receiving specialist support.

For example, pupils get extra help with speech and language or reading.

The John of Gaunt School values reading. Pupils read a broad range of books.

These are deliberately chosen to include classic literature, diverse authors and non-fiction texts. Sixth-form students are reading buddies for younger pupils. Students share their love of stories and provide opportunities for pupils to connect across the school.

The school identifies the weakest readers quickly. It provides effective support that builds pupils' confidence, accuracy and fluency with reading. The impact of this intervention is closely monitored so that pupils both catch up and continue to keep up with their peers.

The school is currently developing a character education curriculum based on the school aims. While this is in its infancy, it is building on the opportunities already provided by the school. For example, the school has a wide range of pupil groups that celebrate diversity and ensure that pupils have a voice.

However, some pupils are reluctant to take up these enrichment activities or additional study support opportunities.

Pupils follow an age-appropriate personal, social and health education curriculum. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe and to look after their own physical and mental health.

Sixth-form students receive mental health training so that they are equipped to help themselves and support others.

Pupils receive extensive support to raise their aspirations and plan their future steps in education or employment. This includes work experience, local employer visits and higher education programmes.

Students in the sixth form particularly value the personal advice and guidance they receive. They take part in a volunteering programme to help develop transferable skills. Students enjoy the feeling that they are giving back to the school and local community.

The trust provides staff with a wide range of continuous professional development. This work is enhancing curriculum design and developing teaching skills. Leaders consider the workload and well-being of staff.

The Equa Multi Academy Trust values collaborative working across schools. It is providing both challenge and support to the school. The school and trust staff are working together well to raise outcomes so that all pupils achieve well.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils have difficulty recalling their learning over time. This hinders their ability to link together concepts and ideas.

As a result, these pupils do not successfully reapply their knowledge and skills to new situations. The trust should ensure that pupils are given sufficient opportunities to recall and embed their learning. ? Some pupils are not taking up the additional opportunities provided by the school.

This means they do not benefit from aspects of the wider curriculum for character development or the study support programmes offered. The trust should further encourage pupils to take part in all aspects of school life.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in March 2014.

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