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Summary of findings

  • Leaders and governors have established a highly aspirational 11 to 16 school with a distinctive character and ethos.
  • Leaders are committed to providing a first-class standard of education for pupils. Pupils’ progress is good and continues to improve.
  • The school is highly inclusive. Pupils from a wide range of backgrounds come together as a single community. They know and uphold the school’s core values.
  • Staff work effectively to promote pupils’ welfare. The school’s tutoring arrangements mean that pupils of different ages socialise and work together. Younger children find this very reassuring.
  • School leaders have created a highly ambitious culture. They expect pupils to make progress which is similar to the top 5% of pupils nationally. Many pupils are on target to attain well because they aspire to these high expectations.
  • Leaders have a keen sense of moral purpose. The school’s core values are deeply embedded in everyday school life. Many staff strive to motivate pupils so that they aim for excellence.
  • A high number of parents and carers highlighted the impact of the headteacher on developing the school and raising standards. Parents commented, too, on the respectful way the headteacher works with pupils to encourage them and develop their potential. This was clear during the inspection, when the headteacher welcomed each pupil individually by shaking their hand as they entered assembly.
  • School staff offer an exemplary range of extra-curricular activities for pupils. Pupils from all backgrounds get involved in these opportunities. The quality of these activities is high, so pupils want to stay involved.
  • Leaders make sure that teachers are highly motivated. Senior leaders have considered the needs of staff carefully. Staff support the work of leaders to improve the school. Inspectors’ conversations with staff, and Ofsted’s online questionnaire, confirm that staff morale is high.
  • The arrangements for keeping pupils safe are effective. School leaders have created a culture where the safety of pupils is paramount.
  • Teachers’ planning for pupils with SEND is effective. Teaching assistants are well trained and support pupils well.
  • Pupils are proud of their school. They are happy and self-confident. Many pupils contribute well to lessons. Older pupils, in particular, are good at supporting each other’s learning.
  • The house system promotes healthy competition and develops pupils’ resilience. Pupils value the school’s mixed-aged tutor groups. Younger pupils benefit from the feeling of security that the arrangements provide.
  • Pupils come to school prepared to learn. They dress smartly and take the right equipment to lessons. Pupils from Year 9 onwards have consistently positive attitudes to learning, which helps them to make good progress.
  • Pupils attend school and lessons punctually. The school has high expectations of pupils’ attendance. Leaders reward pupils for good behaviour and attendance, and this encourages them to do their best.
  • Leaders have created a positive climate for learning. The school is a calm place. Pupils’ movement around school is orderly. They are courteous, friendly and welcoming to visitors. A high staff presence around the school contributes well to good order.
  • The school has a clear behaviour policy that sets high standards for pupils’ conduct. This policy has a positive impact on pupils’ behaviour.
  • A demanding, well-taught curriculum helps pupils of different abilities to make strong progress and attain well.