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Holmer Green Senior School Closed - academy converter March 31, 2012

see new Holmer Green Senior School

Holmer Green Senior School
Parish Piece
Holmer Green
High Wycombe

phone: 01494 *** ***

headteacher: Mr D Gilbert


school holidays: via Buckinghamshire council

Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Open date
Jan. 18, 1997
Close date
March 31, 2012
Reason open
New Provision
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 490146, Northing: 197121
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.666, Longitude: -0.69799
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Ofsted last inspection
March 17, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Chesham and Amersham › Holmer Green
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Business and Enterprise (Operational)
SEN priorities
SLCN - Speech, language and Communication
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in High Wycombe

Schools nearby

  1. Holmer Green Senior School HP156SP (847 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles Holmer Green Infant School HP156UG (181 pupils)
  3. 0.4 miles Holmer Green Junior School HP156TD (237 pupils)
  4. 0.8 miles The Cedars County First School HP157DW
  5. 0.9 miles The Park County Middle School HP157EF
  6. 1 mile Widmer End Combined School HP156AH (205 pupils)
  7. 1 mile Cedar Park School HP157EF (238 pupils)
  8. 1.2 mile Little Kingshill Combined School HP160DZ (236 pupils)
  9. 1.4 mile Hazlemere Church of England Combined School HP157PZ (258 pupils)
  10. 1.4 mile Sir William Ramsay School HP157UB
  11. 1.4 mile Sir William Ramsay School HP157UB (1028 pupils)
  12. 1.5 mile Manor Farm Community Infant School HP157PH (222 pupils)
  13. 1.5 mile Manor Farm Community Junior School HP157PH (254 pupils)
  14. 1.5 mile Curzon Church of England Combined School HP70QL (149 pupils)
  15. 1.6 mile Little Missenden Church of England School HP70RA (44 pupils)
  16. 1.7 mile Great Kingshill Church of England Combined School HP156JP (409 pupils)
  17. 2 miles Highworth Combined School and Nursery HP137PH (472 pupils)
  18. 2 miles Terriers First School HP137PG
  19. 2 miles Terriers Middle School HP137PH
  20. 2 miles The Lady Verney High School HP135BB
  21. 2.1 miles Tylers Green First School HP108EF (180 pupils)
  22. 2.1 miles Tylers Green Middle School HP108DS (243 pupils)
  23. 2.1 miles Pipers Corner School HP156LP (523 pupils)
  24. 2.3 miles Penn School HP108LZ

List of schools in High Wycombe

Holmer Green Senior School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 110499
Local Authority Buckinghamshire
Inspection number 356759
Inspection dates 17–18 March 2011
Report ing inspector Peter Limm HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Modern (non-selective)
School category Community
Age range of pupils 11–18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth form Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 867
Of which, number on roll in the sixth form 117
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mrs Penny Todd
Headteacher Mr Michael Jones
Date of previous school inspection 14 May 2008
School address Parish Piece
Holmer Green
High Wycombe HP15 6SP
Telephone number 01494 712 219
Fax number 01494 711 103
Email address
Age group 11–18
Inspection dates 17–18 March 2011
Inspection number 356759


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four additional
inspectors. Twenty four teachers were seen teaching 25 lessons. Inspectors held meetings
with two parents, groups of students, members of the governing body, a representative
from the local authority and staff. They observed the school's work, and looked at school
improvement plans, policies, monitoring and self-evaluation records, and minutes of
meetings of the governing body. Inspectors analysed 206 responses from parents and
carers to the questionnaire and took into account the views of 150 students and 70 staff
who responded to their respective questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at a
number of key areas.

  • The effectiveness of the sixth form.
  • The achievement of different groups of students to see whether outcomes are as
    good as the school suggests.
  • How well teaching contributes to students' learning and progress.

Information about the school

Holmer Green Senior School is a very popular smaller-than-average secondary modern
school, with a small, but growing, sixth form. The number of students known to be eligible
for free school meals is well below the national average. The school is in a county where
there is a selective authority and so the majority of very high-ability students attend
grammar schools. The proportions of students from minority ethnic backgrounds, and who
speak English as an additional language, are slightly lower than in most schools. The
proportion of students who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is below
average. These include students who have academic or social and emotional problems.
The proportion of students with a statement of special educational needs is above
average. The school has a Speech and Language Resource base designated by the local
authority. The school gained specialist status in business and enterprise in 2006, and has
held the Investors in People award since 2002. It was awarded Healthy School status in


Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

Holmer Green is a good school with many strengths. It justifiably sustains its good
reputation in the local community. Attainment is broadly average and improving. All
groups of students make good progress in their learning, and those with a statement of
special educational needs make extremely good progress. As nationally, boys' performance
lags behind that of girls', but not significantly so. The more able make good progress but
are not always stretched fully enough in lessons. The rigour of monitoring and tracking
students' progress is also good. Students develop into confident and articulate young
people as a result of the many and varied opportunities provided within the curriculum.
Students' behaviour is good. Instances of bullying and racist behaviour are few; students
are clear that neither are tolerated and are confident that any incidents are dealt with
swiftly and effectively. Relationships between the different groups of students are
harmonious. Students' awareness of safety, and their understanding of how to live healthy
lives, are both outstanding. They contribute extremely well to the school and wider
community. They are happy at the school. They enjoy learning and respond
enthusiastically to the good range of extra-curricular activities on offer. Most parents and
carers are justifiably very positive about the school and many wrote glowing
endorsements of the education it provides. The school provides a curriculum which meets
the needs of its students well, although in the sixth form the school recognises the need
to explore further, with its local partners, how best to broaden the courses offered to
students. Care, guidance and support are outstanding. Teaching is predominantly good,
and some is outstanding. However, teachers do not always use assessment information
effectively to quicken the pace of learning in all subjects.
The headteacher has succeeded in communicating a clear and unequivocal vision for the
continued improvement of the school and he enjoys the support of a committed leadership
team in making this happen. The headteacher relates very well with all stakeholders and
staff morale is high. The school is making good use of detailed data about its performance
to inform self-evaluation, planning for improvement and the setting of challenging targets.
The governing body is appropriately informed about the performance of the school and
carries out its duties well. This is particularly the case in relation to safeguarding. Middle
leaders have a good understanding of the strategic priorities and daily routines are
effective and carried out efficiently. The school has made particularly effective use of its
specialist status to improve the quality of its provision in business and enterprise subjects
and raise attainment in these subjects. As a consequence, the development of students'
work-related skills is good. Very good account is taken of the views of students and
parents and carers when making decisions about changes and improvements to the
Leaders and managers know that, while progress in the sixth form for some students is
good and sometimes outstanding, the vast majority of students continue to make

satisfactory progress and attain broadly average results. Partnership working with local
schools is improving, but has not been exploited well enough over recent years to
maximise the curriculum offer made to students post-16. Sixth form provision and
outcomes are thus satisfactory. The school works extremely well to keep parents and
carers informed about developments. The school provides good value for money and
demonstrates good capacity to improve further.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Ensure the effectiveness of the sixth form is improved by:
    exploring further, in partnership with local schools, how best to improve
    attainment and curriculum provision.
  • Ensure all teachers use assessment information consistently well across the school to
    increase the pace of students' learning and progress, especially that of the more
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

Students' attainment on entry is broadly average and, although attainment remains
broadly average by the end of Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form, this masks the
improvements that have been made this year. There are clear signs of a rising trend of
better results in key subjects, such as English and mathematics and those subjects related
to the business and enterprise specialism. The school has accurately predicted the grades
students attain in recent years and predictions for 2011 in the current Years 11 and Year
13 show that students are making better progress than their counterparts last year. All
groups of students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities,
make at least good progress. This good progress was also seen in the vast majority of
lessons observed by inspectors.
Their good achievement enables students to enjoy their experiences at school. Students
have very positive views of their school. Their behaviour and attendance are both good.
High numbers are involved in extra-curricular activities that make a good contribution to
their social and cultural development. The school places an equally strong emphasis on
students' spiritual and moral development, to good effect. A large proportion of students
are involved in charitable works, particularly in the sixth form, giving significant amounts
of their time in community service. Sixth form students are frequently involved in coaching
and mentoring students from lower age groups. Students readily adopt safe practices and
healthy lifestyles and they also indicated that they felt very safe at school. Their improving
levels of attainment, along with the excellent opportunities they have for work experience,
mean they are prepared well for the future.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 1
Pupils' behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles 1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

How effective is the provision?

In the majority of lessons, there is a range of interesting activities and purposeful
questioning to challenge students and extend their thinking. Such lessons have a brisk
pace, which encourages good behaviour and attitudes to learning. Even here, though, the
more able are not always stretched fully. Assessment information is not used consistently
well across the school to plan teaching at an appropriate level so that the pace of learning
is sometimes slower than it could be. This is particularly the case in the few less successful
lessons. Students think the marking of their work is regular and helpful but a review of
students' work indicated that teachers' comments are not always clear enough to explain
how weaknesses can be overcome.
The curriculum is well designed to ensure students are provided with a good level of
academic challenge. There is a good range of subjects available at Key Stage 4, and in the
sixth form the curriculum is enhanced by courses provided through partnership with local
schools, though this is limited as yet. The curriculum includes a good range of activities
that capture the interest of students, including work experience. A good programme of
extra-curricular activities makes a significant contribution to students' enjoyment of the
school and their achievement.
Support for the few students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is both
sensitive and highly effective. Health and safety procedures are carried out regularly and
all necessary child protection and safeguarding requirements are met well. Policies to

ensure equal opportunities are in place. Students are given good support when they enter
the school in Year 7, when they progress into the sixth form and when they subsequently
move on to future education and employment. The school sets challenging targets and the
tracking of students' progress has improved since the last inspection. Parents and carers
are kept very well informed of students' progress and are involved promptly if there is any

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

The senior leadership of the school has been successful in driving forward plans for school
improvement, such as better monitoring of teaching and learning, together with raising
attainment in some key subjects. The headteacher was appointed from within the school
and he has successfully strengthened many good initiatives that had been introduced
earlier, with a sustained focus on improving teaching and learning. This has helped
students to make better progress. He has ensured that parents and carers are kept very
well informed about developments. Middle managers play a vital and effective role in
helping to ensure new procedures make a positive impact on students' learning and
achievement. The school's self-evaluation processes are effective. Senior leaders monitor
the work of the school carefully and are committed to improving school effectiveness.
Departmental monitoring and review, led by senior staff, involve work sampling, staff
interviews and lesson observations, and are effective in identifying further areas for
improvement. The governing body provides a good balance of support and challenge for
the school. It has successfully improved the school's safeguarding arrangements and
ensures that the school promotes equality and tackles discrimination well. The school
promotes community cohesion well. The school has used its specialist status very
effectively to improve attainment in subjects related to business and enterprise and
strengthen the school's curriculum provision. As a consequence of all these developments,
the school provides good value for money.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 1
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discriminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Sixth form

The sixth form accepts students with a wide range of ability and by the end of Year 13
attainment is broadly average. Most students make satisfactory progress in their learning,
but an increasing minority make extremely good progress. The curriculum is adequate and
is extended by the school working in partnership with other schools in the local area to
allow students to choose from a wider range of courses to meet their needs. However,
such links are limited at present. Teaching is satisfactory overall but some is outstanding
where students are involved fully in lessons and stretched to produce good quality work.
This high quality is not consistently evident in all lessons. Leadership and management of
the sixth form are good and this helps to explain why there has been an improvement in
attainment in some subjects this year. There are increasingly robust procedures in place to
monitor the quality of teaching and learning and to track student progress. Systems for
attendance are satisfactory. Students think they are consulted well and are regularly
provided with systematic and well-informed guidance. They enjoy being in the sixth form
and play a full part in the life of the school.

These are the grades for the sixth form

Overall effectiveness of the sixth for m 3
Taking into account:
Outcomes for students in the sixth form
The quality of provision in the sixth form 3
Leadership and management of the sixth form 2

Views of parents and carers

The very large majority of parents and carers were very positive about the work of the
school. They were particularly positive about how safe the school keeps their children and
also about the good quality of teaching, leadership and management. A very small
minority considered that the school did not do enough help their children to have a
healthy lifestyle or deal effectively with poor behaviour. The inspectors discussed these
aspects with the headteacher and judged that behaviour is good and that arrangements
for enabling young people to live healthy lifestyles are extremely good.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Holmer Green Senior School to
complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements
about the school.
The inspection team received 206 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 867 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of
completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question,
the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 84 41 110 53 11 5 1 0
The school keeps my child
83 40 120 58 3 1 0 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
76 37 120 58 5 2 3 1
My child is making enough
progress at this school
75 36 114 55 13 6 2 1
The teaching is good at this
70 34 128 62 7 3 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
53 26 132 64 13 6 1 0
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
40 19 139 67 20 10 2 1
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
68 33 118 57 10 5 1 0
The school meets my child's
particular needs
69 33 125 61 8 4 1 0
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
63 31 119 58 17 8 4 2
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
38 18 125 61 14 7 5 2
The school is led and
managed effectively
96 47 102 50 4 2 1 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
112 54 84 41 3 1 3 1


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding school
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that
is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement
in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors
will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 59 35 3 3
Primary schools 9 44 39 7
Secondary schools 13 36 41 11
Sixth forms 15 39 43 3
Special schools 35 43 17 5
Pupil referral units 21 42 29 9
All schools 13 43 37 8

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now
make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010 and are consistent with
the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2009/10 was not representative of all sc hools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the quality
of its systems to maintain improvement.
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,
not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,
in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness
judgement will be.
The school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and
over longer periods of time. It is often measured by
comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key
stage with their attainment when they started.

21 March 2011
Dear Students

Inspection of Holmer Green Senior School, Holmer Green HP15 6SP

Thank you for talking to me and my colleagues and making us welcome when we visited
your school recently. We spoke to you in lessons, around the school and in groups, looked
at your work, read the results of questionnaires filled in by your parents/carers and spoke
to some of your teachers. Here is a summary of our main findings, which I hope will be of
interest to you.
Holmer Green is a good school. It is very popular with you and your parents and carers.
You achieve well, attain expected results and make good progress. This is the result of the
good, and often excellent, teaching you receive and your good behaviour. Outcomes in
the sixth form are less good, but are satisfactory and improving. Your attendance is above
average. You enjoy the range of extra-curricular activities on offer and these make a good
contribution to your personal development. In particular, you feel extremely safe at school
and have an excellent understanding about how to live healthy lifestyles. You contribute
extremely well to the school and wider community. The school provides you with
outstanding care, guidance and support.
The headteacher and the staff at the school know what needs to be done to make things
even better. You are taught well, but some of you, and especially the more able, could be
stretched further in lessons. We have asked the headteacher and staff to ensure that all of
you are challenged appropriately in all lessons. The sixth form curriculum meets the needs
of sixth form students adequately, but we have asked the headteacher to make sure that
the school works with other local schools to broaden the curriculum choices for sixth
formers in the future. Many of you already make an important contribution to the school
and I am sure all of you will want to do everything you can to support the staff in making
Holmer Green an even better school.
Yours sincerely

Peter Limm
Her Majesty's Inspector


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