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.