The Thomas Hardye School

Name The Thomas Hardye School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Queen’s Avenue, Dorchester, DT1 2ET
Phone Number 01305266064
Type Academy
Age Range 13-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 2166 (48.9% boys 51.1% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.2
Academy Sponsor Wessex Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Dorset
Percentage Free School Meals 13.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3%
Persistent Absence 12.6%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.3%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (19 March 2015)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.

Information about this school

The Thomas Hardye School converted to become an academy in February 2012. When the predecessor school, The Thomas Hardye School, was last inspected by Ofsted in October 2007 it was judged to be outstanding overall. The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school. It has a large sixth form. Students join the school at the start of Year 9. The school is organised as four colleges. Each college consists of 15 mixed-age tutor groups which include students from Year 9 to Year 11. Almost all students are of White British heritage and the majority speak English as their first language. The proportion of students supported by the pupil premium is lower than average. The pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are looked after. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is lower than average. The school has specialist provision for students with speech and language difficulties and for those with physical disabilities. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics. A small number of students attend alternative provision at Weymouth College, Kingston Maurward College and Dorchester Learning Centre.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. The headteacher has set a very clear direction for the school to provide a first-class education for all students. He is adeptly supported by highly skilled senior leaders. Together they ensure that the school is fully inclusive and that discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. Leaders, managers and governors are highly ambitious for the school. They work as a team to make sure that all students, including those who are disabled or who have special educational needs, are supported exceptionally well to develop their skills and achieve the very high expectations set for them. Governance is very strong. Governors play a key role in ensuring the highest quality teaching and standards of achievement. Students’ behaviour is exemplary. They display a thirst for learning and this ensures that levels of engagement in lessons are exceptionally high. The school’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Students are highly respectful of difference. They actively promote equality of opportunity and this ensures that they are exceptionally welcoming and supportive of others. The quality of teaching is outstanding and this enables all students to learn exceptionally well and make outstanding progress. The specialist provision for students with disabilities and with statements of special educational needs is outstanding. It reflects the school’s determination to ensure that each student is successful. Outstanding teaching assistants and the skilful deployment of pastoral staff play a key role in helping students to overcome their learning or personal difficulties. Students’ achievement is outstanding. By the end of Year 11 they achieve standards significantly above those found nationally, especially in English and mathematics. In 2014 standards in science were not as strong. Leaders have taken effective steps to remedy this and current attainment is now high. School leaders thoroughly evaluate the performance of the school. There is rigour and determination to their work and this leads to swift actions to tackle any identified area for development. Staff are overwhelmingly positive about the school. They value the opportunities provided for them to enhance their skills and improve the quality of their teaching. They plan interesting activities to engage students in learning and to motivate them to achieve very well. Students benefit from an exceptional range of enrichment activities. This, together with the wealth of opportunities for the development of their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, ensures that they are very well prepared for life in modern Britain. The leadership of the sixth form is outstanding and inspirational teaching in the sixth form ensures that all students make outstanding progress.