April 25 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, December 5, 2013
A south Norfolk school is celebrating being judged good across the board after inspectors praised pupils’ achievement and behaviour and the quality of teaching and leadership.
Archbishop Sancroft High School, in Harleston, was previously judged as satisfactory by Ofsted and attributed its success to the commitment of those working at the school, as well as support provided by Norfolk County Council and other schools as part of a new programme.
The Norfolk to Good and Great (N2GG) scheme gives tailored support to schools which have been judged as satisfactory or requiring improvement by Ofsted.
It has supported Archbishop Sancroft by providing experts and advisers to support teaching in science, the analysis of data and support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Headteacher Richard Cranmer said: “We were judged as satisfactory in the last inspection, which was only February or March last year, and we had a dip in results this summer and I wanted to make sure we had the right response in place to ensure our results got back on an upwards trajectory.
“The support we have received from the N2GG scheme has had a significant impact and without it we could have been looking at a very different judgment from the inspectors. The key has been the school-to-school support which is so instrumental in the county’s strategy for school improvement.”
Ofsted inspectors praised the school for its strong sense of community, in which they said pupils thrived. They said the leadership team was “strong”, and had secured good improvements in teaching and learning, while pupils across the school made good progress.
They added that teaching was good, staff had high expectations of pupils and provided them with work that was interesting and varied. Pupils received good feedback, they said, were polite, friendly and mature, while the range of subjects taught together with a “wide variety” of extra-curricular activities gave them a broad education.
Inspectors said that the school was not yet outstanding because teachers provided too few opportunities for pupils to think for themselves, and in some lessons work was not closely matched to the ability levels of all pupils. They said that pupils did not always respond to written comments or questions when work was marked.
Mr Cranmer added that the school would continue to draw on the help of the N2GG scheme.
“Our focus now is to continue to improve so that we can become an outstanding school; we were very close to being judged outstanding for our leadership and behaviour and have a clear blueprint to ensure that next time we will be,” he said.
County councillor for Harleston, Martin Wilby, added that the report was a credit to the commitment of the school, parents and pupils. “The school already has a strong reputation locally and this judgment is recognition of the hard work of everyone involved with the school,” he said.