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Shepshed High School : Ofsted Report

Reporting Inspector: 
Dilip Kadodwala HMI
Description of the school: 

This is a smaller than average school when compared with 11-16 schools nationally. The majority of students are from White British backgrounds. A few are from minority ethnic groups and all speak English fluently. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is below average. The proportion of students identified with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those who have a statement of special educational need, is above average. The school moved into its new premises in September 2007.

Overall effectiveness and Average across all judgements

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Leadership, management and capacity for school improvement

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Overall achievement & academic performance

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Care, Guidance and Personal development

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Ofsted assessment

The school provides a good quality of education for its students. The headteacher, senior staff and governors provide a very clear vision, and this is shared by all staff. Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school. They say that their children enjoy school and they make good progress because the teaching is good. One parent's comment reflects the view of many others: 'It is nice for my child to come home smiling at the end of each day and want to go back the next day'.

Students enter the school with levels of attainment that are below average. In the relatively short time that the students spend in Year 6 before they take national tests, they make satisfactory progress, although standards remain below recent national averages in mathematics and science. By the end of Year 9, students' attain standards that are average in mathematics and science and well above average in English. In mathematics and science, this represents good progress, and in English students' progress is outstanding. The school recognises that standards could be even better by the end of Years 6 and 9, particularly at the higher levels. The school is taking suitable action, for example through the focused use of information and communication technology (ICT) in mathematics. However, the results of the national tests do not yet demonstrate the impact of the school's actions. Students who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities make good progress because of the school's effective provision. Parents are rightly very complimentary about the school's personal and academic care and support for students who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

The school takes good care of its students. As a result, students' personal development and well-being, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, are good. Students' behaviour around the school and in lessons is good. They are proud of their new school and enjoy the challenges set for them. Their consistently good rates of attendance also reflect their sense of achievement and enjoyment. Students say they feel safe, happy and secure in school. They also report that if there are any incidents of bullying, they feel confident to talk to adults. The few reported incidents are dealt with effectively and quickly. Child protection and risk assessment procedures are robust and staff are aware of their responsibilities. Students understand the importance of eating healthily and many adopt healthy lifestyles. 'It helps you to learn better!' is a comment made by many to the inspector. The school offers a good curriculum that meets the needs of students well. The provision enables students to make a positive contribution to the local, and the wider global, community, through, for example, the school's links with Ethiopia. Students particularly enjoy the many opportunities to take part in sport and other extra-curricular activities that enhance the good curriculum they experience. The school council members are active and students feel that its work makes a real difference to the quality of life in school. In lessons, and in other aspects of the school, students show a good sense of responsibility and are prepared well for their future economic well-being.

The quality of teaching and learning is good. Across the school, there is a strong emphasis on identifying precisely what students will learn. Senior leaders have successfully improved the quality of teaching and learning so that it is good. Typically, lessons are geared well to match students' needs and there is a good range of activities to stimulate their interest. For example, an analysis of students' attainment identified that the gap in boys' performance was much greater than that found nationally between boys and girls. Teaching strategies aimed at engaging boys more in learning has resulted in successfully reducing this gap. Good tracking systems ensure that assessment is thorough and informs teachers' planning. Teachers set clear targets for students and review their progress regularly. This process involves teachers and staff with pastoral responsibilities, as well as parents and students themselves. As a result, barriers to effective learning are identified quickly and action taken is increasingly leading to successful outcomes. Students receive good guidance on how to improve their academic performance and, in the best examples, rigorous follow up by teachers ensures that improvements are sustained.

The leadership and management of the school are good. The leadership provided by the headteacher is very good and the senior leaders work effectively as a team. One of the school's strengths is the way that senior staff and governors keep a very close check on the school's work. Subject leaders and staff at all levels respond positively to the senior leadership team's high expectations. Managers at all levels have a good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in their areas of responsibility. This ensures that they set challenging targets. The majority of students meet these targets and some exceed them because the monitoring and tracking of students' progress is rigorous. There is a strong culture of review in the school and improvement planning takes account of the views of parents and students. There are good links with local schools and support agencies to ensure that students experience minimal disruption at the point of transition in Years 5 and 10. The school is good at evaluating its performance and it provides good value for money. The school has good capacity for further improvement because it has successfully tackled the issues from the previous inspection and has identified the right priorities to build further on its successes in a new learning environment.

What can be improved

  • Raise standards in mathematics and science across the school so that many more students reach higher levels of attainment.

Annex A

Inspection judgements

Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate School Overall
Overall effectiveness
How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? 2
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection Yes
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being? 2
The capacity to make any necessary improvements 2
Achievement and standards
How well do learners achieve? 2
The standards1 reached by learners 3
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners 2
How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress 2
1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.
Personal development and well-being
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? 2
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2
The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles 2
The extent to which learners adopt safe practices 2
How well learners enjoy their education 2
The attendance of learners 2
The behaviour of learners 2
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community 2
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being 2
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of the learners' needs? 2
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? 2
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 2
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? 2
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education 2
How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards 2
The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation 2
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination tackled so that all learners achieve as well as they can 2
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money 2
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities 2
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements? Yes
Does this school require special measures? No
Does this school require a notice to improve? No

Annex B

Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection

Dear Students

Inspection of Shepshed High School, Shepshed, LE12 9DA

As you know, I recently inspected your school and this letter summarises the results of the inspection. However, first, I would like to thank you for your cooperation during the visit. I was very impressed with those of you I met and valued your comments. You represented your school extremely well.

The inspection found that your school is good. It is very well led by the headteacher and staff work well together. This means that you make good progress in mathematics and science by the time you leave in Year 9. In English, your progress is outstanding. It is not surprising therefore that you enjoy coming to school and learning. The great majority of you behave well and care for, and support, each other. Your teachers know you very well, care for your welfare and progress, and provide good teaching. You are aware of how to lead safe and healthy lives. As many of you said to me, in response to my question about why it is important to lead healthy lives, 'It helps you to learn better!' Many of you are involved in team sports, including girls' football and rugby, and you value the wide range of extra-curricular activities available to you. You show responsibility through the many opportunities the school provides, including through the work of the school council, which you feel makes a real difference to the quality of life you experience at school.

Although you make good progress overall, the headteacher and senior staff agree with me that standards could be higher in mathematics and science, to match those attained in English. I have asked for improvement so that you attain even higher levels in these subjects. You can play your part by giving helpful feedback to teachers and asking how you could do better.

I wish you all the best and hope that you continue to enjoy life in your new school.

Yours faithfully

Dilip Kadodwala
Her Majesty's Inspector

Progress of Special Needs learners, and equality of opportunity

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Behaviour & attendance of learners

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Curriculum and Teaching

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