Ursuline College

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About Ursuline College

Name Ursuline College
Website http://www.ursuline.kent.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Miss Danielle Lancefield
Address 225 Canterbury Road, Westgate-on-Sea, CT8 8LX
Phone Number 01843834431
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 978
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Ursuline College are happy and proud to attend this school. They share respectful relationships with adults and their peers.

Pupils talk positively about the care and support they receive from the staff. They know that their heads of house are always available to talk things through when they are worried.

Pupils reflect the school's Catholic ethos by supporting and helping their peers within their mixed-age tutor groups.

They have learned to 'bear with' one another when pupils are sometimes unkind, so that issues are quickly resolved. Staff and pupils report very little bullying. Adults deal with it quickly and effectively if it does occur.

...>Leaders have high ambition for all pupils, including those in the sixth form, to achieve well. They ensure that pupils are prepared for their next steps through high-quality and impartial careers guidance. They encourage pupils to 'risk new things' and 'stick with it' when they are faced with new challenges.

For example, many pupils develop their resilience, and leadership skills, by participating in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

There are a range of extra-curricular activities on offer, including rock, drama and mindfulness clubs. However, not all pupils know when these take place.

Leaders do not currently track attendance at clubs, so they cannot be sure that those who would benefit the most take part.

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

Leaders have carefully constructed an ambitious and interesting curriculum, which is well suited to the needs of the pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Students choose from a wide range of vocational and A-level subjects in the sixth form.

Leaders have taken action to ensure that the number of pupils who study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects is increasing. However, pupils in key stage 4 are not currently given enough time to develop their knowledge and skills fully in physical education (PE).

Leaders have carefully identified the key knowledge that pupils must learn.

They have ensured that curriculum plans give pupils opportunities to build on their learning in a logical order. Teachers plan lessons which allow pupils to apply old learning to new contexts and ideas. For example, students in the sixth form use their knowledge of the Crown Prosecution Service to analyse and evaluate real-life criminal case studies.

Pupils in Year 10 explain, with accuracy, how their understanding of democracies and dictatorships helps them to understand life in Nazi Germany.

Pupils with SEND access the same work as their peers; however, teachers do not always adapt their learning resources appropriately for these pupils. Leaders know that there has not always been a consistent approach to supporting pupils with SEND.

They have taken recent steps to ensure that this improves quickly.In most subjects, teachers assess pupils' learning regularly to check for any gaps and misconceptions. They change their plans to address these effectively.

Pupils embed their knowledge through 'recap and recall' at the beginning of most lessons. However, in a small number of subjects, such as modern foreign languages and PE, pupils do not always have enough opportunity to embed their learning before moving on to the next stage.

Leaders have prioritised reading so that pupils read regularly and widely across the school.

They have used funding well to ensure that older pupils who find it more difficult to read are supported well to keep up. However, plans to support younger pupils further have been delayed. This means that a small number of younger pupils are not getting the help that they need as quickly as they should.

Leaders have worked to ensure that there is a consistent and positive approach to behaviour management. As a result, pupils are polite and friendly. They respect their environment and travel around the school sensibly.

Leaders know that some pupils miss school too often, including students in the sixth form. They have put actions in place to improve this; however, increasing the attendance of some pupils remains a priority.

Pupils in all year groups learn about healthy relationships in an age-appropriate way, through the well-sequenced personal, social and health education (PSHE) programme.

They know how to keep themselves safe online. Pupils demonstrate the school's motto of 'serviam' by undertaking community and charity work. They develop leadership skills and help to bring about positive change, for example to the school uniform, as part of student voice committee.

Trustees and governors have a clear understanding of what the school is doing well and what leaders need to do to improve it further. Governors ask pertinent questions to ensure that leaders are addressing pupil attendance and improving provision for pupils with SEND, for example. Staff feel supported by leaders, who they say are mindful of their well-being and workload.

They have access to well considered professional development opportunities.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding at the school.

Leaders ensure that staff are well trained to identify and report concerns about pupils swiftly. Leaders keep clear records and closely monitor pupils who they are worried about. They work well with outside agencies so that pupils and their families receive the most appropriate support quickly.

Leaders carry out the necessary checks so that they are sure all adults are safe to work in the school.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including online. They know who they can tell if they are worried.

Pupils have confidence that adults will take decisive action to make things better.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The offer for pupils in key stage 4 PE is limited. This means that pupils in Years 10 and 11 do not participate in physical activity or learn about healthy lifestyles as often as they should.

Leaders need to increase curriculum time in this area so that pupils in key stage 4 benefit from high-quality physical education. ? Some groups of pupils miss too much school, including in the sixth form. Although leaders have taken action to address this, rates of persistent absence remain too high for these pupils.

Leaders need to review and implement strategies that will have the most impact, so that attendance rates for all are swiftly improved. ? Pupils with SEND do not always receive the most appropriate support to help them achieve as well as they could. Governors and senior leaders need to continue with their plans to develop leadership capacity, so that there is a coherent approach to SEND provision, which is of a consistently high quality.

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