The Sele School

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About The Sele School


Name The Sele School
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Christopher Quach
Address Welwyn Road, Hertford, SG14 2DG
Phone Number 01992581455
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 423
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and safe in this inclusive, welcoming school.

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, are respectful to each other and to staff. They celebrate their individual differences. Sixth-form students act as good role models for younger pupils.

Negative attitudes, such as hurtful language, discrimination or bullying are not tolerated in this community. If these occur, they are dealt with effectively by staff.

In and out of class, pupils get along with each other.

When poor behaviour and disruption happen, they are dealt with consistently and fairly. Lessons are generally calm places to learn. Pupils want to do well and to succeed.

...The school's 'electives' programme supports all pupils, and students in sixth form, to access a range of engaging wider curriculum experiences. From bowling to pottery, to studying mythology, there is something different for everyone to take part in.

While students in the small sixth form access a good-quality curriculum, this is not the same for the pupils in the rest of the school.

Pupils experience a variable quality of education where some areas of the curriculum are working better than others.

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

Against the background of the pandemic, the headteacher and his leadership team have made changes to how the school is run. While leaders' actions to address poor behaviour have had a positive impact on school life, planned curriculum improvements are at varying stages of implementation across subjects.

Leaders have reviewed the curriculum plans with subject leaders. The revised plans identify the important knowledge that pupils will learn. This knowledge is arranged in a logical order from Year 7 to Year 13.

Planned assessment is matched appropriately to the knowledge and skills taught. Where the curriculum is most effectively delivered, subject leaders and teachers know the plans well. They choose resources and activities in class that support pupils' knowledge and skills to build sequentially over time.

However, this is not the case across all subjects. Some curriculum leaders and teachers are new. Others are still developing their thinking about the best teaching approaches to support pupils' learning.

Too often, in a range of subjects, resources are not well chosen, or teachers do not check pupils' understanding thoroughly. Despite senior leaders' intentions, the curriculum is not yet implemented in a way that is consistently effective. Consequently, pupils do not achieve as well as they could.

The curriculum in the small sixth form is stronger than it is for younger pupils. Here, students benefit from well-chosen learning activities that support their learning well.Teachers have the right subject and teaching knowledge to support students.

Work is demanding and teachers help students to make connections with other learning, so they build on what they already know. As a result, students achieve well.

Leaders identify the individual needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately.

While many teachers make effective adaptions to their lessons to support pupils with SEND, this is not consistently the case. Some teachers do not plan effectively in order to support these pupils well enough. Sixth-form students with SEND achieve well, but some younger pupils with SEND do not.

Leaders identify pupils who need extra help with their reading. However, plans to support these pupils have only just been put in place. It is too early to tell whether this will help the weakest readers to catch up with their peers.

Staff have high expectations of how pupils should behave. Consistent approaches to dealing with poor behaviour have resulted in a decline in negative conduct around the school. Short-term suspensions have reduced.

Learning is not disrupted very often. Pupils' positive behaviour choices demonstrate the school's motto of 'I am not led, I lead'.

The personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum is a strength of the school.

Pupils and sixth-form students access a range of topics that promote their personal development. Pupils learn, for example, about relationships, different cultures and religions. Assemblies and form time support the PSHE curriculum by reinforcing key themes and building on pupils' experiences in class.

Independent careers information is shared with all pupils and students to help them make the right choices about their next steps in education, employment or training.

Leaders are on the right track to improve the curriculum. They have the backing of many parents.

Some subject leaders, however, need further training to ensure they are confident to support curriculum improvements effectively. While trustees have a good understanding of most aspects of the school's work, they have not yet restarted their curriculum monitoring since the pandemic. They have only recently had training in how to do this well.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Effective training ensures that staff know when a pupil may be at risk of harm or abuse. Reporting processes are clear and well understood.

Leaders' safeguarding records show accurate chronologies of concerns. The information recorded is analysed to spot safeguarding trends and patterns. Records show appropriate actions to address any concerns.

Leaders work closely with a range of agencies to get pupils the help they need.

Staff know the risks to pupils in their community. Pupils can explain confidently the dangers associated with issues such as e-safety, knife crime and gang culture.

Leaders have effective processes in place for safer recruitment and to manage allegations against adults.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some staff, including some middle leaders, have not had the training they need in order to implement and evaluate the impact of curriculum changes effectively. As a result, teachers do not always plan activities that are consistently matched well to subject content, or to checks on previous learning.

Gaps in pupils' knowledge and skills are missed, so they do not achieve as well as they should. This variation is not systematically addressed by some middle leaders. Senior leaders and the trust must ensure that all staff have access to the training they need to implement the intended curriculum consistently well and for middle leaders to evaluate the quality of provision accurately so it continues to improve.

• Some teachers do not use the information about support for pupils with SEND in order to adapt the curriculum to meet pupils' needs. This means that pupils with SEND do not always achieve well across subjects. Leaders should ensure that all teachers have the knowledge and skills they need to adapt the curriculum effectively so that pupils with SEND achieve well from their different starting points.

• Strategies to support the weakest readers are very new. Consequently, those pupils who need extra help to read well are not catching up with their peers quickly enough. Leaders should expedite the implementation of the new approach, evaluate its effectiveness and make any further changes necessary to continue to improve the capacity of weaker readers to access the curriculum.

• While trustees have had training to monitor the curriculum, they have not yet put this into practice. This means they are not clear where the weaknesses are in the curriculum, or which subject leaders need further training and development. Trustees should implement their programme of curriculum monitoring quickly so that they have the information they need to hold leaders to account and to support them in improving the quality of provision over time.


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