Tuesday, 02 June 2020

‘The positive atmosphere in most lessons is remarkable’

THE Ofsted inspectors said Gillotts School’s leaders had created a strong ethos of a happy learning community where pupils were known, supported and cared for.

They said: “Pupils feel safe. They told us that bullying is extremely rare because it is not tolerated.

“Pupils’ exemplary behaviour in lessons and around the school reflects the school’s values of kindness and respect.

“Pupils benefit from a thoughtfully designed curriculum and are inspired by the broad range of subjects they study. They achieve very highly.

“The positive atmosphere in most lessons is remarkable. Teachers know their pupils well and ensure that all pupils gain the knowledge and skills to succeed beyond this stage of their education.”

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and others who need extra help with learning were supported very well by teachers, additional adults and their peers. They felt included and were proud of their achievements.

The progress that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities made by the end of year 11 was “exceptional”.

Pupils studied a wide range of subjects to prevent limiting their choices in post-16, higher education and employment and the proportion of pupils studying a range of academic subjects suitable for the English Baccalaureate subjects was much higher than the national average.

The inspectors also praised the support and commitment of the school’s leaders.

They said: “Leaders are highly regarded by staff, pupils and parents. Staff appreciate leaders’ steps towards reducing workload where possible. Teachers feel supported and listened to.

“Inexperienced teachers who come to the school as trainees are keen to continue their careers at the school because of the excellent support they receive.” The arrangements for safeguarding were “effective” and governors, leaders and staff worked closely together to maintain a strong culture of vigilance.

Pupils told the inspectors that they felt safe and parents who completed the online survey agreed their children were safe in school.

For the school to improve further, the inspectors said teachers should have the confidence to allow the most able pupils to “fulfil their thirst for learning and deepen their knowledge even further by researching more challenging materials for themselves”.

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