The Marlborough Science Academy

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About The Marlborough Science Academy

Name The Marlborough Science Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Annie Thomson
Address Watling Street, St Albans, AL1 2QA
Phone Number 01727856874
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1290
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are polite, respectful and behave very well. Excellent relationships are evident between staff and pupils. Behaviour and attitudes to learning are very positive.

Breaktimes are calm and lessons are productive. Pupils appreciate that leaders prioritise their well-being and safety. As a result, pupils feel safe, cared for and happy in school.

The school is ambitious for all pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils enjoy rising to the challenges they are presented with and consequently engage with their learning and achieve well. As a result of their education, almost all students in the sixth form go on to further... education or employment.

Pupils have many opportunities to build important leadership skills and to take on positions of responsibility. Older pupils work alongside younger pupils in developing the work of the student parliament, for example. Pupils have a strong voice throughout their school community.

One example is how pupils produce the exceptional school magazine.

Pupils benefit from high-quality extra-curricular activities, including table tennis, swimming, Latin and drama. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss and debate important issues.

Pupils demonstrate open-mindedness and respect towards those who are different from them. As a result, they develop into thoughtful young people.

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

The school has carefully considered their local and pupil context when designing their curriculum.

Leaders have set out what pupils should know and by when. Staff teach new knowledge so that pupils can build on their prior learning. The majority of teachers use leaders' curriculum plans consistently well so that pupils learn what they should.

The majority of teachers provide pupils with lots of opportunities to review what they have studied previously. This helps pupils to remember important information over time. In the majority of lessons, teachers consistently check what pupils remember and understand.

Staff are skilled at identifying gaps in pupils' learning. Leaders check for gaps in pupils' reading skills. Staff use a range of successful strategies, such as morning reading to help pupils to become confident and fluent readers.

They provide precise and targeted support for pupils who need to catch up with their reading.

In a few instances, a small number of teachers do not always check well enough what pupils have learned before presenting new knowledge. This means, at times, a minority of pupils do not achieve as highly as they should.

Staff in the sixth form teach students the specific skills needed to be successful. Teachers have strong subject knowledge. Through skilled questioning, they encourage students to combine a range of knowledge and more complex ideas in their responses.

Consequently, students acquire an exceptional understanding of the curriculum.

Pupils receive a wide range of information about further study and employment opportunities before they start sixth form and during. Study programmes reflect the local employment background.

All students undertake work experience in the sixth form. A high proportion of pupils go on to study at university.

The school identifies the needs of pupils with SEND quickly.

Staff across the school provide precise support to overcome the specific challenges they face. Teachers adapt learning as necessary so that these pupils can achieve well, which they do.

Behaviour around the school and in lessons is exemplary.

Pupils enjoy their learning and engage positively with their work. They are respectful and polite. Staff support pupils who find learning challenging to access the curriculum and become successful in their studies.

Pupils are diligent, present work to a high standard and are proud of their achievements. For example, pupils' artwork is of an exceptionally high standard throughout all year groups.

The school maintains a sharp focus on improving attendance.

They diligently work with pupils and their families to remove barriers and to foster positive habits of regular attendance among pupils.

The school's commitment to supporting pupils' personal development and well-being is exemplary. Any incidents involving pupils are promptly addressed, and efforts are made to incorporate solutions within the curriculum whenever possible.

Pupils learn to respect different cultures and religions. The school ensures a constant and strong focus on diversity and inclusion, with many associated pupil support groups such as the Diversity group and a group for young women that addresses sensitive issues.

The school provides valuable support to pupils, fostering a safe space for discussions on a wide range of topics.

The leadership has delivered life-changing and invaluable support for extremely vulnerable pupils and families.

Staff well-being is a priority for school leaders and governors. Staff highly value leaders' consideration towards staff workload and well-being.

Staff, pupils and parents speak highly of the leadership at the school. Parents overwhelmingly express their support for staff and leaders and the excellent work they do to support pupils and families.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a very few instances, teachers present too much knowledge and do not check routinely pupils' understanding. When this happens, pupils do not learn as well as they should. The school should ensure that staff requiring support are sufficiently supported and trained to deliver lessons that enable all pupils to make strong progress throughout the curriculum.

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