Action to remove poor teaching at Diss High School results in better achievement, says Ofsted

PUBLISHED: 19:05 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 19:06 25 March 2014

Headteacher of Diss High School Jan Hunt,

Headteacher of Diss High School Jan Hunt,

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Action taken by governors and leaders at one of South Norfolk’s main secondary schools to remove poor teaching has led to better achievement throughout the school, government inspectors have said in a report.

A five-strong inspection team lead by Caroline Pardy said the steps taken at Diss High School had led to better teaching and that students achieve well.

In giving the school a “good” Ofsted rating after their visit on February 26 and 27, inspectors said pupils particularly achieve well in English, adding: “They make better progress in English than in many other schools.”

But to become “outstanding” - the highest grade a school can receive from Ofsted - Diss High must use marking and feedback in lessons to show students what they need to do in order to improve.

“Not all teachers provide helpful guidance to enable students to improve their work so they make more rapid progress,” said Ms Pardy in her report.

She also asked staff at the school, based in Walcot Road, Diss, to “improve teaching and learning, including in the sixth form, by helping students to develop the research and problem-solving skills essential for later life”.

Reacting to the report John Wooddissee, chairman of the governors at Diss High School, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has seen the very real strengths of this school.

“We look forward to building on these strengths in the future.”

Headteacher Jan Hunt added: “Ofsted is a rigorous process and staff and students should feel justifiably proud that their achievements have been recognised.”

In her summary, Ms Pardy said: “Most teaching is good and improving.

“As a result, students concentrate well in lessons and are generally enthusiastic about their learning.

“Teachers use their good knowledge of what students know and can do to provide interesting and well-planned lessons so that students make good progress.”

She also said behaviour was good and that students have “positive attitudes to learning”, while also highlighting the “effective systems” used to track students’ progress, so that those in danger of falling behind quickly receive support.

Governors were said to be “well-informed” and “challenge the work of senior leaders”.

Ms Pardy also said the governors are “actively involved in the school” and highlighted how the proportion of students leaving school with five GCSE passes at grades A* to G was above average.

However she said: “Students are not encouraged enough to develop their problem-solving, planning and research skills.”

What do you think of the teaching at Diss High School? Tell EDP reporter Andrew Papworth by calling 01379 651153 or email

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