The Nobel School

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About The Nobel School

Name The Nobel School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Martyn Henson
Address Mobbsbury Way, Stevenage, SG2 0HS
Phone Number 01438222600
Phase Secondary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1474
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


The Nobel School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to be 'Nobelians'.

They know they must strive to achieve their best, build their characters and care for their community. They like receiving rewards and being given additional responsibilities for demonstrating these qualities. Pupils treat each other with respect and kindness.

They enjoy a happy, safe environment.

Teachers ensure that pupils work hard, and they have high expectations of what pupils can learn and remember. Pupils appreciate that every lesson has familiar elements, which helps them to meet these expectations.

They get lots of opportunit...ies to practise new skills and use and recall content from previous learning.

Pupils attend well and move calmly and promptly to their lessons. Pupils know they can learn in lessons because they are rarely distracted by poor behaviour.

If the normal high standards of behaviour slip, teachers address it quickly and effectively. On the rare occasions when bullying occurs, pupils know who they can talk to so that it is dealt with.

Pupils love the wonderful range of high-quality clubs and societies that are available.

They can take part in activities as diverse as anime, karaoke, Lego, and dog care. Lunchtimes have been made longer so that pupils can spend more time pursuing these interests.

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

The curriculum is well planned across all key stages.

Subject leaders think carefully about the order in which knowledge is taught. They ensure that key ideas, skills and content are revisited. This helps to ensure that new learning always builds upon what pupils have learned before.

Teachers ensure that the curriculum is delivered through interesting and engaging lessons. They ensure that pupils know what they are expected to learn. Teachers use a range of activities to help pupils remember the most important information.

They always attempt to check pupils' understanding during a lesson. However, they do not always notice if a small minority of pupils have not kept up with their peers. This leads to some pupils developing gaps in their understanding.

Leaders have ensured that there is a broad curriculum in place across all key stages. They have successfully increased the number of pupils who follow the strong academic foundation of the English Baccalaureate at key stage 4.

The behaviour policy is consistently applied.

It promotes calm and respectful relationships between all members of the school community. Staff model these expectations well when they talk with pupils. As a result, relationships between teachers and pupils are largely positive.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Teachers know the most effective strategies to support pupils to access the curriculum successfully. 'The Bridge' is a central base where pupils can receive extra help and support from expert staff.

This ensures that pupils can continue their learning productively outside the classroom. In some lessons, teachers and teaching assistants do not share information well enough. This slows the learning of some pupils with SEND.

Leaders carefully identify which pupils are behind with their reading, and why. Teachers then use a range of well-judged strategies to help pupils catch up. Teachers check whether these approaches are having a helpful impact.

Pupils read regularly in tutor periods and subject lessons. This contributes to a positive culture of reading in the school, including the sixth form.

Leaders provide a variety of leadership opportunities for pupils.

Every teaching group has a class ambassador. They greet any visitor to the classroom to explain what they are learning. They do this confidently.

These positions are rotated regularly, so they are shared widely among pupils. Sixth-form students are excellent role models for the rest of the school. They chair the school council and act as reading and mathematics mentors for younger pupils.

Leaders have made a large number of changes since the previous inspection in order to strengthen pupils' achievement through the challenging curriculum. The positive impact of these changes is supported in the results of national examinations. The majority of staff feel that these changes have been made with appropriate consideration of the impact they will have on their workload and well-being.

Leaders prepare pupils well for the next stage of their lives. Pupils follow a well-planned careers programme. This provides clear information and guidance about future options to ensure they are successful in their choice of work or study after school.

Leaders have very high expectations about the destinations to which young people should aspire. For example, a large number of sixth-form students go on to attend high-status universities.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff are well trained and vigilant at keeping pupils safe. Staff are knowledgeable about the risks pupils may encounter, both online and offline. If staff have a concern, they are quick to report it.

Leaders act swiftly to ensure that pupils and their families get the support they need, including when required from outside agencies.

Clear record-keeping enables staff to take shared responsibility for keeping all vulnerable pupils safe. Staff within the safeguarding team work tenaciously to ensure that all pupils get timely help when required.

Pupils learn through the curriculum how to make safe choices, inside and outside school, including online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers have not received enough training to help them check how far every pupil has understood key learning. As a result, they do not always identify when some pupils have not understood important elements of this learning.

Consequently, these pupils have gaps in their knowledge and understanding. Leaders need to ensure that staff are sufficiently trained to monitor the understanding of all pupils effectively during lessons. ? Leaders have not established consistent routines for teachers and teaching assistants to communicate effectively.

As a result, teaching assistants do not always know the best way to support the learning of pupils with SEND. Leaders need to ensure that teachers and teaching assistants share information effectively so pupils with SEND develop good levels of understanding in all areas of the curriculum.


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 first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in February 2018.

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