Holsworthy Community College
phone: 01409 253430
headteacher: Mr David Fitzsimmons
726 pupils capacity: 87% full
320 boys 51%
305 girls 49%
Last updated: June 19, 2014
Secondary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 234162, Northing: 104059
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.812, Longitude: -4.3553
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Jan. 30, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South West › Torridge and West Devon › Holsworthy
- Town and Fringe - sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Technology (Operational)
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- The Holsworthy Co-operative Learning Trust Foundation
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Holsworthy Church of England Primary School EX226HD (306 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Pyworthy Church of England Primary School EX226ST (21 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Clawton Primary School EX226QN (75 pupils)
- 4.1 miles Bridgerule Church of England Primary School EX227EN (47 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Sutcombe Community Primary School EX227PW (21 pupils)
- 4.9 miles Bradford Primary School EX227AB (26 pupils)
- 5.9 miles Whitstone Community Primary School EX226TH (66 pupils)
- 5.9 miles Ashwater Primary School EX215EW (38 pupils)
- 6 miles Whitstone Head School EX226TJ (14 pupils)
- 6.3 miles Bradworthy Community Primary School EX227RT
- 6.3 miles Bradworthy Primary Academy EX227RT (175 pupils)
- 7 miles Halwill Community Primary School EX215XU (106 pupils)
- 7 miles Shebbear Community School EX215SG (58 pupils)
- 7 miles Stratton CofE Primary School EX239BY
- 7.1 miles Kilkhampton Junior and Infant School EX239QU (83 pupils)
- 7.3 miles Stratton Primary School EX239AP (264 pupils)
- 7.4 miles Boyton Community Primary School PL159RJ (24 pupils)
- 7.4 miles Marhamchurch CofE VC Primary School EX230HY (130 pupils)
- 7.4 miles West and East Putford School EX227UT
- 7.4 miles Boyton Community Primary School PL159RJ
- 7.5 miles Broadwoodwidger Primary School PL160EX
- 7.5 miles Shebbear College EX215HJ (346 pupils)
- 7.7 miles Black Torrington Church of England Primary School EX215PU (34 pupils)
- 7.9 miles Budehaven Community School EX238DQ (1154 pupils)
Victoria Hill, Holsworthy, Devon, EX22 6JD
|Inspection dates||30–31 January 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because:
| Since its previous inspection, the college has |
Achievement in science and English is
Teachers and support staff know students
Students with special educational needs and
improved significantly. The Principal and his
leadership team have ensured that students
are taught well and make good progress.
particularly high and students now also
achieve good standards in mathematics.
exceptionally well and use precise information
about their progress to guide their learning.
those who are eligible for the pupil premium
funding are particularly well supported so
that they achieve well and are given equal
| The improvements in teaching and learning |
The college runs smoothly on a daily basis.
Governors work closely with senior leaders so
have resulted from the determined drive and
clear vision of the Principal and his senior
leadership team. A rigorous system to monitor
teaching and learning has been introduced
which is supported by a well-matched training
Students are polite and respectful to each
other. The few incidents of disruptive
behaviour are managed well and the school is
safe for all.
that they have a very precise understanding of
the strengths of the college and areas for
development. They ensure that the college’s
priorities are addressed within the federation.
| Not all teachers give students precise enough |
marking guidance because it does not always
indicate what students have to do to improve.
| Teaching in some lessons does not always give |
Careers guidance does not always encourage
students, particularly the more able, sufficient
opportunities to achieve at the highest levels.
students to aim high enough.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||2 of 9|
Information about this inspection
- Holsworthy Community College is a foundation school with a cooperative Trust. It is smaller than
the average-sized secondary school.
- It is part of a federation with three local primary schools: Bridgerule Church of England Primary,
Pyworthy Primary and Bradford Primary. There is one governing body.
- Most students are of White British heritage and almost all speak English as their first language.
- The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs supported
through school action, school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is
above the national average.
- The proportion of students for whom the college receives the pupil premium (additional funding
from the government for looked after children, students known to be eligible for free school
meals and children of service families) is below average.
- Nearly all the curriculum is taught on the college site although a few students access vocational
courses at the adjacent Skills Centre or at Launceston and Duchy Colleges.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for students’ attainment and progress.
|Jacqueline Goodall, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Joanna Peach||Additional Inspector|
|Richard Steward||Additional Inspector|
|Marian Marks||Additional Inspector|
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||3 of 9|
Information about this school
- Inspectors observed parts of 38 lessons, many of which were with senior leaders. They also
observed an assembly and visited tutor times.
- They held discussions with school leaders, staff, governors and a local authority representative.
- Inspectors met with three groups of students to listen to their views of the college and also
talked to students around the college during breaks.
- A wide range of evidence was examined including the college’s own analysis of how well it is
doing and its plans for improvement. Policies, safeguarding documentation and minutes of
meetings, including those held by governors, were also examined.
- The views of parents, carers and staff were considered including 87 responses on Parent View
and 58 staff questionnaires.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Build on the best teaching and support strategies already in the college, and so secure
outstanding achievement for students through:
ensuring that when teachers mark work, they always give clear and precise written advice on
how students can improve their work and then check that students follow up on that advice to
make the best progress
providing all students, particularly the more able, with opportunities to tackle more difficult
work so that they gain confidence and achieve at the highest levels
ensuring that careers information and guidance are of a high quality and focus on encouraging
students throughout the college to aim high when considering their future options.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||4 of 9|
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- There has been a rise in achievement over the last two years and there is reliable evidence that
this trend will continue.
- Examination results have significantly improved, particularly in mathematics where achievement
is now good. The proportion of students who were awarded at least five good GCSEs, including
English and mathematics, has risen and is now in line with the national average.
- Achievement is outstanding in science and English. Results were lower in geography, religious
studies and resistant materials but in conjunction with the local authority, the college has
recently made some improvements to the teaching of these subjects. While most students made
good progress, results in 2013 showed that as a group, students who joined the college with low
standards of achievement did not progress so well. This has been addressed by college leaders
and good teaching ensures that this group of students now achieve very well.
- The most able group of students achieved a higher proportion of the top grades last year
compared with previous years. Some students however, particularly the more able, do not have
enough opportunities to tackle more difficult work so that they gain confidence and achieve at
the highest levels.
- Students who are disabled or who have special educational needs are particularly well supported
so that they make at least good progress.
- Those who are eligible for the pupil premium also achieve well although gaps remain between
their achievement and that of others. Gaps are closing however, especially in English where the
gaps are smaller than those seen nationally. In both English and mathematics, students in this
group achieved less than a GCSE grade lower on average than other students and the
percentage that made expected progress is nearly the same as for all students.
- Students currently in the college who are eligible for the pupil premium or Year 7 catch-up
funding are achieving in line with others because of the help that teachers give them.
- The proportion of boys joining the college with lower achievement levels is greater than that of
girls. Boys also achieved less well in their examinations. The college has worked hard to reduce
this gender gap. For example, there are separate English lessons for boys and girls in Year 11.
Boys in the college now make similar progress to girls.
- The college’s policy of entering students into GCSEs early in English and mathematics and then
re-entering some to achieve higher grades does not appear to have disadvantaged students. The
number of A grades has increased. This policy has now changed so that students only take
- The very few students who attend off-site provision enjoy the well-taught vocational courses
such as hairdressing and construction and achieve in line with expectations.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Since the last inspection, there has been significant improvement in the quality of teaching. This
is because of the determined efforts of college leaders to ensure teaching and learning are
always at least good.
- The information about how well each student is learning is extensive and frequently updated,
enabling teachers to plan lessons that help students to make good progress.
- Teaching is now typically good. It is often outstanding, especially in science, English, art and
physical education. For example, multi-sensory approaches used in science helped students to
understand the properties of materials. Tablet computers are used effectively in games lessons
to analyse movement.
- The quality of teaching in mathematics has particularly improved so that students can
understand the basic steps required to move on to the next level of difficulty.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||5 of 9|
- Teachers structure lessons well and have good subject knowledge. They are skilful in asking
questions that probe students’ understanding. Although teachers help all groups of students to
make good progress, they do not always motivate students to succeed at the highest levels and
equip them with the skills and confidence to do so.
- Where teaching is outstanding, work is marked regularly ensuring that students have a clear
indication of how to improve. However this practice is not applied consistently across the college
and some teachers do not give clear and precise advice on how students can improve their work
and then check that students follow up on that advice to make the best progress.
- The strategies used to support students with special educational needs are very effective and
teaching assistants are now used well within lessons to guide student learning in partnership
with the teacher. Pupil premium and Year 7 catch-up funding has been used very effectively to
reduce class sizes and increase support.
- Literacy levels are strong in this college and are driven by a skilled English department. Spelling
and punctuation are checked in other subject areas although not always consistently so.
Students read well and there are very effective programmes in place to help those students who
join the college with low reading and spelling ages. Numeracy is promoted well through social
media, mathematics parent evenings and joint curriculum projects.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of students is good. They are friendly, polite and say that they enjoy college life.
They move around the site in a calm and orderly way. There is very little litter and students
generally treat the buildings and environment with respect. Uniform requirements are broadly
adhered to although some older students wear shoes that do not strictly adhere to the rules.
- Students usually arrive punctually to lessons and bring the correct equipment. They follow
instructions carefully and generally comply with the expectations of teachers.
- Attendance levels have been just below the national average although are improving this year.
College leaders work hard to encourage students to attend, engaging parents and carers
particularly well through the parent support advisors and education welfare officer.
- The management of behaviour is characterised by prompt and swift action to deal with anything
that is likely to disrupt learning or the well-being of students. There are few fixed-term
exclusions and effective local partnerships provide support when necessary.
- Behaviour is not yet judged to be outstanding because staff, students, parents and carers say
that there remain a few cases of bullying and disruptive behaviour. These are usually dealt with
swiftly and successfully. Restorative justice procedures are used effectively although not all
students value the principles of these methods and consider that some incidents have not been
dealt with severely enough.
- Discriminatory behaviour or language is rare and students are aware of why it is unacceptable.
Because the college is small, there is a ‘family feel’ within the community and this is
characterised by students’ kindness to each other. The vertical tutor group system has been
particularly effective in reducing barriers between year groups.
- The college’s work to keep students safe and secure is good. Safeguarding procedures are
strong. Partnerships with health and social care professionals contribute a great deal to the
quality of care for students who are vulnerable in different ways.
- Health and safety matters are given a high priority by governors and college leaders and the
high standards achieved have been confirmed by the local authority audits. This extends to
ensuring that students who attend courses off site are kept safe and behave well.
- E-safety is given a high priority in the college, particularly in information and communication
technology lessons. As a result of this, there are few cases of online bullying and students are
aware of the risks involved in internet use.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||6 of 9|
|The leadership and management||are good|
- Since the last inspection, the Principal has successfully restored good teaching and learning to
the college by working in partnership with his very able and enthusiastic senior leadership team
and focused governing body. His determined and robust approaches to improving teaching have
resulted in a rise in GCSE results and consistently good learning throughout the college.
- Achievement in mathematics had been low but the Principal has overcome difficulties in staffing
to restore good teaching and learning in this subject. College leaders have also sustained and
embedded outstanding practice in science and English.
- Further improvement is still needed in some subject areas to secure outstanding teaching and
learning overall and this is being addressed through leadership development including the
sharing of best practice.
- The contribution of middle leaders to the vision of raising standards of teaching and learning has
been substantial, although occasionally books have not been regularly checked to ensure that
teachers’ marking gives students high-quality guidance to improve.
- Financial factors have forced a reduction in the number of teaching staff and the breadth of the
curriculum, but the quality of education has not been compromised. Furthermore, the college
remains very inclusive, offering equal opportunities and ensuring that no group is discriminated
- The curriculum is focused on academic achievement to give students the best preparation for
their futures. The reduction in vocational options has disappointed some students but pathways
remain for those students for whom vocational routes are most appropriate. These include work
experience opportunities for Year 10 students next year.
- There is a range of extra-curricular activities mainly focusing on sport after school. Visits and
activities are arranged for more-able students such as visits to universities and the Government
Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
- Both within and outside of the curriculum, the provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development is well established. For example, Year 11 students discuss euthanasia in religious
studies lessons and in Year 7 they discuss how to make their environment more sustainable. A
superb student-led assembly celebrating the arrival of the Chinese New Year enhanced cultural
- The local authority has provided substantial support for the college to help it improve and this
has been valued highly by senior leaders and governors.
- The partnership between parents and carers and the college is positive and has supported
improvements. Similarly, the college is well supported by local organisations and businesses.
- The partnerships created with the primary schools within the federation have enhanced
transition and improved communication and understanding between the two sectors.
- The governance of the school:
The governing body is responsible for all the schools in the federation but there is a small
group of governors who focus on the secondary college. These governors are very
knowledgeable. They make frequent visits and have been very much involved in the college’s
journey since the last inspection. Excellent information from senior leaders enables them to
ask pertinent questions and clarify issues so that they effectively monitor improvements in
teaching and learning. This year they will start to take a more active role in ensuring that only
teachers who perform well receive pay rises.
All statutory requirements are met and governors are well trained for their different roles.
Because the college is small and there is a demographic decline in numbers, governors have
had to make some difficult financial decisions. Because of this, they have had to rigorously
analyse expenditure and prioritise spending on only the most effective strategies.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||7 of 9|
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Inspection report:||Holsworthy Community College, 30–31 January 2014||8 of 9|
|Unique reference number||113511|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||624|
|Appropriate authority||The local authority|
|Date of previous school inspection||11–12 January 2012|
|Telephone number||01409 253430|
|Fax number||01409 253121|