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This is an outstanding school. This school is an exceptional place, where students flourish both academically and personally within a strong spiritual ethos.
The school's academic results have been sustained at a very high level since it became an academy; they are on track to be even better in 2014. It provides exceptionally well for its most able students through the level of challenge they receive in lessons and special activities. All groups of students make rapid and sustained progress through the school.
Students' behaviour is exemplary. Their positive attitudes, desire to learn and curiosity contribute in no small way to their excellent learning and pro...gress. The school ensures that students are well cared for in a safe and harmonious environment where they feel valued and happy.
The new headteacher has quickly gained the confidence of staff, students, parents and governors through her inclusive and collaborative approach. Staff feel valued and appreciate the opportunities to develop their teaching and leadership skills. School leaders are very effective in promoting high quality teaching and learning.
Teaching is outstanding. Teachers have high expectations and they use their excellent subject knowledge to engage and motivate students. The sixth form is outstanding.
AS- and A-level results are high, with well above average proportions of the top grades. Students follow a broad programme of study and receive excellent independent careers advice and guidance. Students in all year groups experience a wide range of subjects and an impressive variety of after-school clubs, educational trips and visiting speakers that make learning enjoyable.
These also help to promote students' outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The performing arts contribute very well to the creative atmosphere that permeates the school. The governors have contributed significantly to the continuing success of the school.
They have a wealth of expertise and experience. Their commitment is exemplary and they provide a very good balance of support and challenge to the school leaders.
Information about this school
The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school.
It converted to become an academy in September 2011. When its predecessor school of the same name was last inspected by Ofsted in November 2007, it was judged to be outstanding. The headteacher was appointed in January 2014.
The school is for girls in Years 7 to 11; boys are accepted into the sixth form. The largest ethnic group is White British. An above-average proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is made up of small numbers of students from a wide range of ethnic groups.
Nearly half of the students speak English as an additional language, although relatively few are at an early stage of learning English. Around 40% of students are eligible for the pupil premium (additional funds for students who are known to be eligible for free school meals, looked after, and those from service families), which is much higher than the national average. About 15 students are eligible for Year 7 catch-up funding, which is for students who did not achieve the expected Level 4 in reading or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2.
The proportion of disabled students and those with special educational needs supported at school action is below average, whilst the proportion receiving additional support through school action plus and those with statements of special educational needs is well above average. The school has a small number of students who join part way through their secondary education. The school uses off-site provision for a very small number of Year 11 students at a local further education college.
The school is a National Teaching School; it has been re-designated this year. It provides support to a number of other schools as well as training for teachers at all levels. The school meets the government's floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students' attainment and progress.