Airedale High School Closed - academy converter March 31, 2011
Headteacher: Mr Paul Frazer
School holidays for Airedale High School via Wakefield council
Secondary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- Close date
- March 31, 2011
- Reason closed
- Academy Converter
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 445485, Northing: 425204
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.721, Longitude: -1.3122
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 17, 2008
- Region › Const. › Ward
- Yorkshire and the Humber › Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford › Airedale and Ferry Fryston
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Arts (Operational)
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Learning provider ref #
- Airedale Academy WF103JU (717 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Castleford Townville Infants' School WF103QJ (202 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Pontefract the Castle School WF103QJ
- 0.1 miles Wakefield Pathways School WF103QJ (58 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Airedale Junior School WF103EP (381 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Airedale Infant School WF103QJ (216 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Airedale Junior School WF103EP
- 0.3 miles Castleford Redhill Infant School WF103JX (248 pupils)
- 0.3 miles Hill Top School WF103ES
- 0.4 miles Castleford Redhill Junior School WF103DB (170 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Castleford Oyster Park Junior School WF103RY
- 0.5 miles Castleford Oyster Park Primary School WF103SN (452 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Castleford Oyster Park Primary School WF103SN
- 0.6 miles Castleford Oyster Park Infant School WF103SN
- 1.1 mile Castleford Glasshoughton Infant School WF104BH
- 1.1 mile Castleford Glasshoughton Infant School WF104BH (238 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Pontefract Orchard Head Junior and Infant School WF82NJ
- 1.2 mile Pontefract Orchard Head Junior and Infant and Nursery School WF82NJ (335 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Castleford Park Junior School WF104BB
- 1.3 mile Castleford High School Technology and Sports College With Hearing Impairment Resource WF104JQ
- 1.3 mile Castleford Academy WF104JQ (1210 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Castleford Park Junior Academy WF104BB (330 pupils)
- 1.4 mile St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Castleford WF104JB
- 1.4 mile St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Castleford WF104JB (209 pupils)
Ofsted report transcript
Airedale High School
108278Unique Reference Number
17–18 September 2008Inspection dates
Bernard Campbell HMIReporting inspector
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
SecondaryType of school
11–16Age range of pupils
MixedGender of pupils
Number on roll
The governing bodyAppropriate authority
Mrs E AppleyardChair
Mr Paul FrazerHeadteacher
30 November 2005Date of previous school inspection
Crewe RoadSchool address
01977 664555Telephone number
01977 664556Fax number
17–18 September 2008Inspection dates
© Crown copyright 2008
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that
the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must
provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost
of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.
2 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three Additional
Description of the school
Airedale High School serves an area of socio-economic disadvantage. A higher proportion of
students than average is entitled to free school meals. More students than average have learning
difficulties and/or disabilities. The proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds
is very low. Airedale High is a specialist Performing Arts school. The school has achieved the
Investors in People Award, the Healthy Schools Award and Sportsmark. In 2007, it qualified for
the Specialist Schools and Academies 'most improved school' club.
A fire at the school in 2006 destroyed many specialist facilities and the new buildings are to
open very shortly.
Key for inspection grades
3 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good and rapidly improving school. It has outstanding features and an excellent capacity
to improve further. The outstanding leadership by the principal has raised students' aspirations
significantly, and led to greatly improved results at age 16. Students feel valued and well
supported by the high quality guidance and the very good relationships with staff. Excellent
teamwork by teaching and support staff has generated a rapid pace of school improvement
and innovation, rigorously focused on the personal and academic needs of students. The large
majority of parents are happy with the school and its reputation is rising in the community. As
one parent said, 'I wish Airedale High had been like this when I was there.'
Achievement is good. Since the last inspection, standards at the end of Key Stage 4 have risen
very significantly. The great majority of students of all levels of ability make good progress and
have gained higher than expected levels of success in their qualifications at age 16. At Key
Stage 3, students make satisfactory progress in English, mathematics and science. The school
has made promising changes to the Key Stage 3 curriculum to better meet the needs of all
students, but these have not yet had an impact on results.
The school makes an outstanding contribution to students' personal development. As a result,
students' personal confidence considerably increases and enables them to achieve well by the
time they leave school. The excellent student support centre (Pod4U) has resulted in
exceptionally large numbers of students actively improving their personal development and
well-being. There is a very high take up of healthy eating and a majority of students take part
in sport or dance after school. The highly effective behaviour support team has helped many
individual students to radically improve their behaviour, attendance and progress. Behaviour
is good and is reinforced by the strong promotion of mutual respect between staff and students,
the good teaching, and the effectiveness of school rewards and sanctions. The level of exclusions
has been reduced significantly through providing a curriculum that meets the needs and interests
of all students.
The quality of teaching and learning has improved since the last inspection, and is now good
overall. This is the result of effective recruitment, close observation of the quality of lessons
and very good systems to support professional development. Overall the curriculum is good.
The Key Stage 4 curriculum is outstanding because the academic and vocational pathways
provided for different groups of students have resulted in greatly improved achievement. The
Key Stage 3 curriculum has been reorganised effectively and is beginning to improve students'
skills in reading. However, this is at the expense of the personal, social, health and citizenship
education curriculum at this key stage, which currently has insufficient time and is not well
enough planned. The impact of the performing arts provision is satisfactory, but has been
restricted due to the lack of specialist provision caused by the school fire.
The leadership and management are outstanding. The principal provides a clear vision and
objectives and the staff convey a very strong sense of collective endeavour. Members of the
teaching and support staff are energetic and highly committed, which successfully encourages
and motivates students. Line management is robust, communication is excellent, and
self-evaluation is well informed and rigorous in all parts of the school. The high level of pastoral
and academic support is exceptionally well planned and effectively implemented which
accelerates the progress of students. The governing body provides good expertise, challenge
and support for the school.
4 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
What the school should do to improve further
Raise standards and improve progress at Key Stage 3.
Improve the personal, social, health and citizenship education curriculum at Key Stage 3.
Achievement and standards
Students achieve well at Airedale High. Since the last inspection, standards have risen rapidly
at GCSE. Provisional results indicate that in 2008, the school has gained its best ever increases
in GCSE results. This builds on the significant improvement in GCSE results in 2007. The 2007
and 2008 results for GCSE 5A* to C, including English and mathematics have steadily improved
but remain below the national average for 2007. The GCSE 5 A* to C results for 2008 are well
above the national average for 2007 and reflect the improved Key Stage 4 curriculum.
At Key Stage 3, standards in the core subjects of English, mathematics and science were below
average in 2007 and the gap with national results remained static. This is already a key priority
for school improvement.
Students of all abilities, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, were
observed to make good progress at Key Stage 4 because of the impact of the improved Key
Stage 4 curriculum and the high quality of student monitoring, guidance and support. Students
make satisfactory progress at Key Stage 3. Although the school's actions to improve the
curriculum at Key Stage 3 have not yet had an impact on its national test results, there is
evidence that younger students have improved their reading through the Accelerated Reading
Personal development and well-being
Students' personal development is outstanding. Students make great progress in developing
their social and personal skills and their self-esteem. Students subscribe to the school's culture
of achievement, which significantly raises their aspirations and increases their drive to do well.
Relationships between students and staff are first class and contribute very well to their clearly
evident sense of pride in, and commitment to, the school community. Consequently, students
enthusiastically take on responsibilities such as serving on student voice groups, acting as
mentors or arts ambassadors. Students have an excellent understanding of how to live healthy
lifestyles. A high proportion of students take advantage of the very nutritious and healthy
meals available in the school canteen. High numbers make use of the excellent drop-in-centre
(Pod4U) to seek advice and improve their emotional health and physical well-being. Students'
good enjoyment of school is shown by their active involvement in lessons and also by their
attendance which, although broadly average by national standards, is higher than schools in
similar circumstances. A significant majority of students participate in the many sporting and
other activities available outside lessons. They are well informed about how to keep safe in
school and in the wider community. This is demonstrated by their good behaviour and respect
for one another in lessons and around the school. Incidents of bullying or racism are relatively
rare and students are justifiably confident that they will be dealt with swiftly and effectively.
Students are prepared well for their future economic well-being. They make good progress in
basic and workplace related skills. They feel confident about making decisions about future
work or education choices.
5 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Teaching and learning are good. Lessons are well planned. The objectives are routinely shared
with students who respond well to knowing what it is they are learning and why. Tasks are
usually varied and fun, which holds the students' interest well. There is some outstanding
teaching in the school, especially in the specialist performing arts subjects. In one physical
education lesson, the teacher showed excellent subject knowledge of trampoline techniques
which enabled students to understand what they needed to do to improve their own
performance. In less successful lessons, questions tend to only challenge students who volunteer
answers, resulting in some students remaining quiet and not making much contribution. In
these lessons, teachers talk too much and sometimes do not take prompt action when faced
with chatty or inattentive students.
Teachers' professional development is extensive and well focused. Members of staff rigorously
check on the quality of teaching and learning by observing lessons and investigations into
aspects of the school's practice. Teachers who use information and communication technology
(ICT) well in their subject are starting to help others use the improved ICT resources more
effectively in lessons. A good example of this was observed when students filmed a performance
of a dance, which then helped them to set targets for improvement in their use of ICT. Teaching
is increasingly well informed by the use of assessment data. However, improving the use of
assessment of how students learn in the classroom has been identified by the school as an area
for further development.
Curriculum and other activities
The school provides a good curriculum. In Key Stage 4, the well planned pathways meet the
needs of different groups of students. This has resulted in much higher levels of involvement,
faster student progress and much better exam results. The school works highly effectively in
partnership with a range of outside providers to provide a rich and varied menu of vocational
options. These include imaginative activities such as boxing and fire fighting. Discussion with
students showed that early entry for exams strongly motivates them and builds their confidence.
The school's new Key Stage 3 curriculum provides a good programme to improve students'
literacy skills and good opportunities for more able students to take national tests and for all
students to start some GCSE courses early. In the reorganisation of the Key Stage 3 curriculum,
insufficient time has been provided for personal, social, health and citizenship education. The
programme is not well planned and this results in sex and drugs education occurring too late
in the key stage. The curriculum is enhanced considerably by a range of enrichment activities
such as the science club, dance club and a particularly varied and well attended sports
Care, guidance and support
The care, guidance and support for students are outstanding. All members of staff are highly
committed to supporting learners. The school fully adheres to requirements for safeguarding
students and for their health and safety. As a result, the school is a safe, welcoming place,
6 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
particularly for the wide range of vulnerable students. Very good use is made of outside agencies
to provide the appropriate advice and support for those students who need it. The school strives
to involve parents in all these circumstances.
Well-tailored and sensitive provision is made for students with learning difficulties and/or
disabilities. For example, by establishing literacy and numeracy groups in Key Stage 3, there
has been improvement in the progress of students with a weakness in reading. The work of the
behaviour support team has helped to greatly reduce the numbers of students excluded from
school. Beneficial guidance and help is provided by the excellent Pod4U centre, which very
successfully supports vulnerable students and helps them overcome problems. This centre is
very highly valued by students who really appreciate the responsive and sensitive help they
The transition between primary and secondary school is helped enormously by the Year 7 base.
This provides a stable and supportive environment so that new students can quickly find their
feet. Careful attention is given to guiding students at all points of transition within the school
so that individual needs are well met. Challenging targets are set for all learners. Effective
systems to track academic progress have been developed in recent years. The school uses this
information very well to provide extra support or further challenge to particular groups of
students. Mentors and a wide range of enrichment activities are used very well to boost
achievement and raise self-esteem and readiness for examinations.
Leadership and management
Leadership and management are outstanding. There have been rapid and impressive
improvements in standards and progress at Key Stage 4, significantly improved attendance and
a greatly reduced level of exclusions since the last inspection. In the last year, innovative changes
have been made to the Key Stage 3 curriculum to improve levels of literacy and students'
progress, but it is too early to show the impact on outcomes at Key Stage 3. Systems to set
targets are highly effective in raising students' aspirations and managing performance. Systems
for evaluating students' and the school's performance are detailed and rigorous across the
school. Performance management is used very successfully to improve the effectiveness of
staff and to enable them to meet school priorities. Teachers and support staff are highly
motivated and they work together cooperatively and creatively. The very good systems of
rewards and recognition ensure that students feel very well supported and valued. The quality
of teaching and learning has improved and the curriculum provides increasingly good
opportunities for all groups of students to make progress and succeed. The leadership at all
levels are reflective and outward-looking. They take very good account of the views of students,
parents, other stakeholders and are always looking to embrace good practice from elsewhere.
The governors bring a wide range of expertise, which they use effectively to support, monitor
and challenge school plans and developments. The school's contribution to community cohesion
is good. The school is a strong community with good links with local agencies and it is actively
involved with the wider local community.
7 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out
in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s website:
8 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and
grade 4 inadequate
How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of
education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the
needs of learners?
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners'
1The capacity to make any necessary improvements
Achievement and standards
2How well do learners achieve?
reached by learners
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations
between groups of learners
2How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress
Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none
significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally
9 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Personal development and well-being
How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the
2The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
1The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
2The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
2The extent to which learners enjoy their education
2The attendance of learners
2The behaviour of learners
1The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and
interests of learners?
1How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement
and supporting all learners?
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading
to improvement and promote high quality of care and education
1How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards
1The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation
1How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated
2How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to
achieve value for money
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government
NoDoes this school require special measures?
NoDoes this school require a notice to improve?
10 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008
Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection
Inspection of Airedale High School, Castleford, WF10 3JU
Following our inspection of your school, on behalf of the inspection team, I would like to thank
you all for your welcome. I particularly want to thank those of you who spoke to us in meetings,
around the school and in lessons about your experiences. You had lots of good things to say
about your school, especially about the teaching and support staff, the lessons and the activities
you do after school. Inspectors agreed with much of what you said. This is what we found.
This is a good and rapidly improving school. Your GCSE results have been improving every year.
You make satisfactory progress at Key Stage 3. Students of all abilities make good progress by
age 16 because the school provides good courses which meet your different needs. You also
get outstanding support for your personal development from teaching and support staff and
from Pod4U. Attendance has improved a lot and behaviour is good. You lead very healthy
lifestyles. The healthy school dinners are very popular and many of you participate in sport and
dance. Many of you make a very positive contribution to the life of the school by taking on
responsibilities and by contributing your opinions. You are taught well and the principal and
other managers provide outstanding leadership.
These are the improvements we have asked the principal and governors to make:
to raise standards and improve progress at Key Stage 3
to improve the personal, social, health and citizenship education curriculum at Key Stage 3.
Thanks again for welcoming us. We hope you will take advantage of all the opportunities
provided by the school and play your part in making it an even better and more successful
11 of 11Inspection Report: Airedale High School, 17–18 September 2008