Turner Free School

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About Turner Free School

Name Turner Free School
Website http://www.turnerfreeschool.org
Ofsted Inspections
Ms Jennifer van Deelen
Address Tile Kiln Lane, Cheriton, Folkestone, CT19 4PB
Phone Number 01303842400
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 826
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this well-managed, calm and orderly school. They feel safe and everyone treats each other respectfully.

Staff know pupils well and have high expectations of them. Pupils live up to these expectations, concentrating and working hard in class.

At breaktime and lunchtime, pupils socialise and behave well.

They enthuse about 'family dining', where pupils organise dinner tables and sit together with staff. Bullying is not tolerated in this school community. Pupils are taught regularly about how to resolve conflicts, and they know the staff who they can talk to if they have worries.

Pupils relish being part of the school council, whe...re they can have a say on school issues.

Pupils are keen to be involved in extra-curricular activities. Last year, leaders introduced the 'Turner 25'.

This initiative aims to ensure that pupils complete five community-based activities each year over their time at the school. For example, pupils cleaned up the local area in a litter pick. Sports clubs are especially popular with pupils.

Many attend netball and football clubs, while others enjoy an increasing range of activities, including African drumming and science clubs.

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

Leaders, trustees and governors are ambitious for all pupils. The COVID-19 pandemic presented leaders with significant challenges that resulted in some of their plans being disrupted.

For example, pupils were taught in temporary buildings, with limited facilities for longer than was originally planned. Nevertheless, leaders have designed an ambitious and broad curriculum, and the proportion of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate subjects is increasing.

Pupils achieve well in most subjects because leaders have selected and organised the important knowledge that pupils need to know carefully.

However, in design and technology (DT) and computing, leaders have not organised learning precisely enough. Consequently, pupils do not deepen their knowledge as well as they could.

Teachers use their expert knowledge to explain subject matter clearly and design interesting activities for pupils.

Teachers set demanding work that often develops pupils' reading and oracy skills. Staff identify pupils' needs accurately. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve as well as their peers in almost all subjects because well-trained staff provide strong support and teachers adapt the curriculum successfully.

However, in physical education (PE), teachers' adaptations to the curriculum are not effective enough in ensuring that pupils with SEND achieve consistently well.

Leaders have made reading a priority. The weakest readers are supported effectively by well-informed staff.

Teachers use assessment well to respond to gaps that pupils have in their learning. Relationships between staff and pupils are strong and this supports pupils to develop positive attitudes to learning.

Pupils behave sensibly.

This helps them to remember and understand what they are taught. The small proportion of pupils who sometimes misbehave are supported increasingly well by staff. Leaders' strategies to improve pupils' attendance and reduce suspensions are effective.

Leaders support pupils' personal development well. Leaders design well-crafted personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education lessons, assemblies and tutor-time activities to ensure that pupils learn about consent, healthy relationships and making positive choices. Pupils' mental health is a key priority for leaders.

Pupils are positive about the well-thought-through careers programme, where they are informed about a wide range of career options available to them.

Staff feel valued and well supported by leaders. The trust organises an extensive range of training for staff.

Teachers also benefit from working with colleagues within the trust on areas such as moderation of work and sharing what works well. Leaders, trustees and governors prioritise staff well-being and workload. Staff appreciate this and feel that leaders support and develop them well.

Trustees and governors are skilled, knowledgeable and extremely well-informed about the school's standards. Consequently, they hold leaders to account very effectively. Trustees and governors are ambitious for the school and work well alongside leaders in developing the strategy for further school improvement.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have created a strong safeguarding culture. They provide high-quality training that ensures staff are knowledgeable and vigilant in identifying and reporting concerns that they have about pupils.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding records are well organised and that checks on the suitability of staff are completed rigorously.

Leaders ensure that pupils receive closely matched support from external agencies when it is necessary. Pupils learn about how to recognise risks and ways to keep themselves safe in PSHE and through assemblies.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum in DT and computing is not as well thought through as in other subjects. This means that pupils have gaps in their knowledge in these subjects.Leaders should ensure that they have precisely identified how pupils' learning should build over time in all subjects.

• The PE curriculum is not adapted well enough to meet the needs of some pupils. A small number of pupils with SEND do not develop their knowledge and skills as well as they could. Leaders need to ensure that teachers understand how to adapt the PE curriculum effectively.

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