Ofsted Reports

Herne Bay High School’s most recent Ofsted inspection was carried out over the 6th and 7th March 2014 (to read the full March 2014 report and the previous two Ofsted reports of June 2011 and May 2008, please see the links below).

The Ofsted team graded all aspects of the school’s work as ‘Good’, which Dr Owen and the governors believe to be a fair evaluation of the school, with the school’s own internal grading mirroring Ofsted’s exactly.  From the feedback given by the inspectors, it was evident that the school was very close to achieving an Ofsted grading of ‘Outstanding’, particularly in the areas of the ‘behaviour and safety of pupils’ and the ‘leadership and management of the school’, again this aligns exactly to the school’s own self-evaluation grading.

The March 2014 Ofsted report highlights many areas of considerable strength including:

  • Students achieve well in a range of subjects, including English and mathematics.
  • GCSE pass rates have risen in recent years and students make good progress from their starting points.
  • Teaching is consistently good, with examples of outstanding practice.
  • Teachers know their subjects well, relate well to students and have high expectations of them.
  • Students behave well and feel safe in school.
  • Students have few concerns about bullying.
  • Students’ attendance has risen considerably over the last three years.
  • The school’s promotion of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong.
  • Students have many opportunities to develop their abilities in art, music, dance, drama and sport.
  • School leaders have established effective systems for monitoring students’ progress and the quality of teaching.
  • School leaders act swiftly if any students are in danger of underachieving, making sure that teaching is consistently good and continues to improve.
  • Governors know their school well.
  • The Governors willingness to support and to challenge school leaders has contributed significantly to the school’s continuing improvement.
  • Parents are supportive of the school and would recommend it to others.
  • The school works well with other local institutions to develop and to share good practice in teaching.
  • The sixth form is good.
  • Students achieve well in the sixth form.
  • Students in the sixth form benefit from a good range of courses and are very appreciative of the help their teachers give them.

The inspection team reported that students were making good progress from their starting points, including disabled students and those with special educational needs and those from different backgrounds.  It praised the quality of teaching and support for students, identifying the follow key aspects:

  • Teachers are expert in and enthusiastic about their subjects.
  • Teachers succeed in sharing their enthusiasm with students so that they are keen to learn and acquire knowledge quickly.
  • Teachers make sure that lessons proceed at a good pace.
  • Teachers give students activities which challenge them at the right level so that they can make good progress from their different starting points.
  • Teachers in a range of subjects such as history and geography make sure that students develop their reading and writing skills well.
  • Teachers ensure that students understand and can use correct technical vocabulary, and emphasise the need for correct spelling and grammar.
  • Teachers explain tasks clearly and use questioning successfully to deepen students’ understanding of topics and ideas and to develop their communication skills.
  • Teachers in the sixth form are skilled in helping students to build on the knowledge and skills they have acquired in Key Stages 3 and 4 and to develop those they need for higher-level study.
  • Students are highly appreciative of their teachers’ willingness to give them extra help when they need it. They understand the tasks they have been given and know what to do to complete them successfully.
  • Teachers and school leaders assess students’ progress at regular intervals and make sure that students receive extra support if they are in danger of underachieving.
  • Teachers mark students’ work regularly and give them written feedback about its strengths and weaknesses.

The inspection team also reported that the behaviour of students is good, not only in lessons where students are keen to take part in classroom discussions and to answer teachers’ questions, but also around the school, where students respond positively to school leaders’ emphasis on smart presentation, and courtesy towards and consideration for others.

The inspection team noted that the school’s work to keep students safe and secure is good with students confirming that bullying is uncommon and that staff deal with any occurrences promptly and firmly.

With regard to the leadership and management of the school, the inspection team were highly complementary. They recognised that Dr Owen, her senior team and leaders at all levels know and understand the school’s strengths as well as its relative weaknesses and are strongly committed to ensuring that standards continue to rise by improving teaching still further. The team were impressed that the weaknesses identified by the school’s last inspection have been successfully addressed, including students’ attendance, and the strengths have been built upon, demonstrating good capacity for further improvement.

Ofsted found that the school promotes equality of opportunity very well and that students in all year groups, including the sixth form, are provided with a good range of courses which are well matched to their needs, abilities and career intentions. This helps to ensure that students achieve well and are well prepared for the next stage of their education and for future employment. The inspection team were amazed at the extra-curricular opportunities seen with students benefiting from a very wide variety of after-school clubs and out-of-school activities, with this enabling very many of them to pursue their interests in sport, music, art and drama and to develop their skills in these areas, often to a high level. It also contributes strongly to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

The governance of the school was also commended during the inspection.  The inspectors found that governors make sure they are well informed about students’ performance by carefully examining examination results and the school’s own data about students’ progress and that they challenge leaders to account for what they are doing to address any variations in achievement compared with that of students in other schools. This has helped the school to improve. It was also noted that the governors are fully aware of the quality of teaching in different areas and subjects, and they know what leaders are doing to bring about improvement. The governing body also meets all statutory requirements, keeping a close eye on the school’s finances to make sure that it makes good use of available resources, and ensuring that the school meets all requirements with regard to safeguarding its students.

Ofsted supported the school’s own evaluation of the areas in which the school needs to focus on the next stage of its journey, namely for teachers to ensure that classroom tasks are always pitched at the right level to match the learners’ needs and for teachers to give more detailed feedback on students’ work.

Parental Feedback using the Ofsted Survey Questions

In order to establish how parents regard the work of the school, we carry out regular parental surveys, using the questions Ofsted ask parents. This approach ensures that parents/carers have an opportunity to feedback on their child's experiences at school etc. As at June 2015 (for the period Jan 2013-June 2015) parents have completed around 730 surveys:

  • To the question 'My child is happy at this school', 93% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 6% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'My child feels safe at this school, 95% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 4% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'My child makes good progress at this school', 94% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 5% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'My child is well look after at this school', 95% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 4% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'My child is taught well at this school', 95% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 4% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'My child receives appropriate homework for their age, 82% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 14% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'This school ensures the pupils are well behaved', 84% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 11% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement. On further investigation the 11% who did not express an opinion either way in regard to this question were made up of parents/carers who stated that they had no knowledge on which to base a decision, hence their neither agree nor disagree choice.
  • To the question 'This school deals effectively with bullying', 74% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 20% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement. On further investigation the 20% who did not express an opinion either way in regard to this question were made up of parents/carers who had no experience of the content of this question on which to base a decision, hence their neither agree nor disagree choice.
  • To the question 'The school is well led and managed', 95% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 4% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'The school responds well to any concern I raise', 88% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 10% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement. On further investigation the 10% who did not express an opinion either way in regard to this question were made up of parents/carers who had no experience of the content of this question on which to base a decision, hence their neither agree nor disagree choice.
  • To the question 'I receive valuable information from the school about my child's progress', 90% of the 730 parents who completed the survey either strongly agreed or agreed with the statement and 7% neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.
  • To the question 'I would recommend this school to another parent', 96% of the 730 parents who completed the survey said that they would.

 

Name Date File Size  
Ofsted Report June 2011 15th March 2013163 KB Download
Ofsted Report March 2014 27th March 2014209 KB Download
Ofsted Report May 2008 15th March 2013252 KB Download

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