Headteacher Blog – 27th April 2017

OFSTED inspection. Wollaston school remains Good.

I am delighted to report that following our one day OFSTED inspection on 30th March 2017, I have received a letter from Mr Daniel Burton, HMI, to confirm that Wollaston School remains Good. Overall, staff and governors were delighted with the report, which identified further progress that the school has achieved since its previous Inspection in 2013. I was delighted that the inspectors captured our core values and these are reflected in our report. I would like to take the opportunity to provide a few of the most pleasing extracts from the report, which reflect our school in an excellent light.

The pupils inspectors met with were polite, articulate and keen to tell us about their school. They told us that behaviour is almost always very good and that poor behaviour affects their learning only rarely. In the lessons visited by inspectors, the strong relationships between staff and pupils made a very positive contribution to pupils’ learning. The pupils were motivated, well behaved and keen to join in discussions about their work.

Strong achievement in English and mathematics has been sustained. From starting points which are typically average, the proportion of pupils achieving good GCSE grades in both English and mathematics is consistently higher than the national average. The improved achievement that is seen in other subjects has resulted in a year-on-year increase in the proportion of pupils completing Year 11 with a good suite of GCSE qualifications.

All of the pupils reported that they feel safe and well supported at school. They said that bullying is rare and is dealt with effectively if ever it occurs.

Inspectors found that the school’s arrangements to support disadvantaged pupils are effective. The attainment of these pupils has risen considerably since the last inspection. For example, the proportion of disadvantaged pupils attaining good GCSEs in both English and Mathematics has risen from 28% in 2014 to 60% last year.

The Sixth form is a key strength of the school and almost all students achieve well from their different starting points. The most able sixth-form students achieve particularly well and over 50% of grades at A level in 2016 were at grades A* to B. Sixth-form students are excellent ambassadors for the school overall and the sixth form in particular. They speak very positively about the quality of teaching they receive and have a strong understanding of what they need to do to achieve their target grades in their examinations.

Pupils, staff and parents are proud of their school. Of the 158 parents who completed the Ofsted questionnaire, Parent View, 94% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘My child is happy at the school’, and 92% indicated that they would recommend the school to other parents. Many of the parents who responded to the Ofsted free-text service commented very positively on the quality of teaching and pastoral care provided. One, typifying the views of many others, commented, ‘My children are happy, engaged and love being involved in the many life enhancing extra-curricular activities and opportunities that Wollaston offers.’