Leaders expect the very best from pupils. Pupils enjoy their lessons and appreciate teachers' enthusiasm for their subjects.
Pupils say teachers are always willing to help them improve their work.
There is a calm and productive atmosphere in lessons and around the school. Pupils can explain what the school motto, 'believe, respect, succeed', means for them.
They show a pride in their appearance. Both staff and pupils are proud of the inclusive nature of the school. Pupils show respect for each other and for adults in the school.
Pupils behave well. Their learning is rarely affected by pupil misbehaviour. Leaders have recently introduced systems to im...prove behaviour further.
Pupils feel safe in the school and very well cared for. They make good use of the expert advice and support available in the guidance centre. Pupils say that bullying occurs rarely.
When it does, they are confident that staff will sort out their problems.
The headteacher leads the school with passion and determination. He is ably supported by his senior team.
The school's good reputation and increasing popularity is well deserved. Pupils' transition from primary school is very smooth.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have high ambitions for what pupils can achieve.
Inspirational subject leaders expect pupils to be challenged. In most subjects, pupils progress well. Teachers show strong subject expertise and benefit from useful staff training.
Teachers work together to plan interesting lessons that help pupils build on what they already know. Teaching across the curriculum is generally strong, although it is more variable in some subjects than others. English and food and nutrition are consistently well planned and delivered, and pupils achieve well.
There are also strengths in geography, art and design and languages. Pupils' learning is improving in science and mathematics, but there is more to do.
Staff help pupils to prepare well for examinations.
GCSE results are higher than national levels. Pupils are keen to learn. Sometimes, they do not relate what they learn to their life beyond the examinations.
For example, in geography lessons, pupils were enjoying studying about two different cities' responses to environmental problems, but they knew little about the global concerns about climate change. Leaders are helping pupils understand the world around them better by studying a wide range of books in different subjects. Pupils are expected to read every day.
Pupils study a broad range of subjects at key stages 3 and 4. However, leaders have been unable to recruit a specialist, high-quality teacher of design and technology. For now, this subject has been amalgamated with art and design.
Leaders ensure that teachers receive training and pupils learn as much as possible about design and technology, but a few technical topics are missing.
At key stage 4, leaders have high ambitions for pupils' academic success. A higher proportion of pupils than in the past are taking subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate.
Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported by the special educational needs coordinator and her effective team in the specialist centre. Many teachers plan so that pupils with SEND learn well. However, sometimes teachers are not adapting their teaching to meet pupils' specific learning needs well enough.
Leaders aim to prepare pupils to become thoughtful members of the changing local community. Pupils who study citizenship for GCSE have a better understanding of life in modern Britain than others who do not. However, pupils are clear that everyone should be treated equally.
There are a range of clubs and other opportunities on offer. About half of pupils regularly participate, mainly in highly successful sporting activities.
Leaders, including governors, are committed to helping every pupil do their best.
They are determined to keep a strong sense of community as the school grows. Staff are very positive about improvements at the school but sometimes feel rather overwhelmed by the pace of change.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have established a culture where the well-being and safety of pupils is given the highest importance. Pupils are confident that there are trusted adults they can speak to if they are worried about something. Well trained staff know what to do if they have a concern about a pupil.
Members of the safeguarding team use their expertise and knowledge about individual pupils very well when assessing levels of risk and deciding on appropriate next steps. Leaders provide support in school and work relentlessly to help pupils and families get the support they need from other agencies.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders have worked with teachers to improve the quality of teaching across the school.
Sometimes, across and within subjects, the curriculum is less effectively implemented. Assessment is not used consistently well by teachers to adjust their planning. Leaders can draw on the strong practice that exists within the school to make further improvements to teaching.
. Not all teaching meets the learning needs of pupils who have SEND well enough. Leaders should ensure that all staff receive the necessary training to strengthen their support for these pupils.
. Leaders should continue their efforts to recruit a high-quality specialist teacher of design and technology so that pupils experience their full entitlement to the subject during key stage 3. .
Leaders have successfully implemented an academic curriculum at key stage 4 which leads to high outcomes. Governors should continue to challenge leaders to ensure that a broad curriculum is offered and cultural capital is developed. The curriculum could do more to promote pupils' wider cultural knowledge and understanding, especially in aesthetic and technical fields.