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OFSTED Inspection

The school was inspected by OFSTED on the 10th and 11th of September 2014. We were visited by a team of 3 inspectors led by Sue Frater HMI. The inspectors complimented the staff and students on their cooperation and openness

The Overall Effectiveness of the school was judged to be REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

Leadership and Management GOOD
Behaviour and Safety GOOD
Quality of Teaching REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT
Achievement of Pupils REQUIRES IMPROVEMENT

The full report can be found on the OFSTED website at the following address:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/137202

Paper copies of the report can be provided on request from school reception.

The report is fair and only told us what we already know and are working hard to improve. However, I am delighted that the report recognises our rapid and significant improvement since the last inspections only 16 months ago. The following quotes are particularly heartening;

  • There is a positive climate for learning in the school and staff morale is high
  • Self-evaluation is becoming increasingly accurate
  • Previous gaps in students’ learning are beginning to close
  • Students with weaker reading skills are supported well by reading programmes
  • Learning mentors are effective in engaging underachieving students in their work
  • The curriculum is enhanced well by a variety of sporting and other activities
  • The parents who responded to Parent View and who wrote to the inspectors were overwhelmingly positive about the work of the school.
  • The behaviour of students is good. It has improved since the last inspection
  • Students’ attitudes to learning are positive. Good working relationships with their teachers encourage students to contribute to lessons confidently,
  • Students respond very quickly to the staff’s instructions and requests, allowing lessons to flow smoothly. Low-level disruption in lessons has decreased significantly
  • Staff have created a positive ethos in and around the school. Students conduct themselves well at different times of the day, including at lunchtime. They are tolerant of each other’s differences.
  • There are few instances of bullying in the school and any concerns are dealt with effectively by the staff.
  • Students say they feel safe at school …. because they know everyone and teachers know them well.
  • Teaching is improving because more teachers are getting better at using assessment to inform lessons
  • All teachers mark students’ work regularly and accurately. Their consistent use of the school’s new marking policy across subjects is helping students to know what to do to improve their work. Students respond well to the teachers’ comments, and this is beginning to raise standards.
  • Teachers and teaching assistants create a positive climate for learning in their lessons.
  • The learning of groups of students, particularly those who are disabled, those who have special educational needs, and disadvantaged students, is beginning to improve.
  • The learning and progress of the most able students is also beginning to improve
    In her feedback, the lead inspector, stated that she was confident that our current rate of improvement could secure GOOD in all categories in 6-12 months.

An inspection marks a snapshot in time and I would encourage you to read the report in the context of our ‘direction of travel’ and recognise how far we have come in such a short space of time. The report highlights both our ability and our aspiration to provide the best standard of education here at St Dunstan’s.

On another note, but not unrelated, our 2014 GCSE results have increased to 62% 5+ A*-C (including English and Maths) following the appeals process. Although the results have yet to be fully validated we have maintained our attainment compared to last year and it could be argued that it has improved when compared to national results which suggest a 5+ A*-C (including English and Maths) pass rate of only 55%.

Of 29 secondary schools (not including special schools) we are the only school with 100% 5+ A*-G in the county. We have achieved this for the second year running.

Our 5+ A*-C GCSE pass rate (including English & Maths) of 62% puts us 9/29 schools in Somerset and in the top 1/3 for the second year running. The national figure is going to be around 55% and Somerset 53%.

Our 5+ A*-C GCSE pass rate is 4/29 schools (top 14% of Somerset schools).

Our Capped Average Points Score (the score generated by the best 8 exam grades) puts us 4/29 of Somerset schools (top 14%).

If you would like to discuss the OFSTED report or any aspect of our work at the school please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Griffiths, the Headteacher.