Ofsted

This is a good school where pupils get a high quality education.

 

We were exceptionally proud to welcome Ofsted to our school community for a Section Eight Inspection on the 12/13th October 2021.

Ofsted confirmed that this is a good school, where pupils get a high quality education and that they develop the knowledge they need to achieve well in all subjects and that this is the same for all pupils,  with nobody being left behind.

They noticed that our pupils are keen to learn and concentrate hard in their lessons and that our pupils behave well because they understand what they’re learning.  They said that behaviour is calm around the school site and that pupils say their teachers are helpful in dealing with their concerns and make them feel safe at school.  Pupils told Ofsted that they are happy at this school because their welfare is carefully supported.  They told Ofsted that bullying is rare, and where it does occur, the school is good at dealing with it.

Ofsted found that pupils understood The Hemel Hempstead Experience, that it was effective in improving students personal development,  and that this provided them with many opportunities to study, and that pupils got the opportunity to lead in so many areas of school life.   Inspectors were very pleased that all pupils were able to take part in all of these activities, including the most disadvantaged.

Ofsted looked in great detail at our curriculum, which they praised as well planned, and that we clearly identify the most important knowledge and  skills and  make sure that pupils’ learning builds on what they already know. Because of this,  pupils confidently apply what they know in a wide range of contexts and situations.  They said that our pupils are well prepared for their next steps and to be successful in the wider world.  

Ofsted recognised that we are an ambitious school; ambitious about a high quality of education for all our pupils, including the disadvantaged and those with SEND

Looking at our teaching they said that teachers have a strong subject knowledge and that they show skill in their teaching.  That we prioritise reading and when pupils are behind in their reading, we support them to get caught back up.

Like any school report there are things that we have done well, but Ofsted also set us some challenges. They felt,  during all the pressures and additional constraints of the Covid pandemic, that our administration and paperwork around safeguarding was not as thorough as it could be.   This is something  we have already taken steps to address, and  we now have more robust systems and procedures in place. 

We have also already taken steps to help students with the fact that they sometimes speak to others unkindly.  We recognised this challenge from Ofsted, and in fact were already very aware of it as a post-lockdown phenomena which you will recall we wrote to you about in a newsletter in May, tackled initially through working with Kidscape, then launched the Advocate Programme and continue to work with students on through PACE, mentoring, with  external experts and via student leadership.  We will continue to work very hard in this important area, as previously planned.

We are very pleased that our next inspection will be a ‘full section five’. The last time this school had a full section five report was in 2011, since which we have only had short inspections, which only really look at curriculum and safeguarding.  We are excited, therefore,  to have  the chance to show off all the other elements of the school that are not covered in a ‘short section eight’.

We are looking forward to being able to show off our fantastic careers package, the critical role of student leadership, demonstrating the full impact of the The Hemel Hempstead Experience,  inspectors visiting more  than just four faculties and the fantastic teaching therein, and looking in much greater depth at the attitudes and values of our students.  

Although not in this report, in the extensive verbal feedback we got from the lead inspector he spoke highly about the leadership opportunities that we deliver, the high expectations that they saw, the clear behaviour for learning and positive attitudes in lessons, our values and how they linked to our curriculum, and how all of that comes together to help our students to realise our school motto, Esse Quam Videri.

Ofsted’s report can be found,  here, on our website

All Oftsed reports for this school can be found, here, on the Ofsted website