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Horbury School - A Specialist Language College Closed - academy converter Aug. 31, 2012

see new Horbury Academy

Horbury School - A Specialist Language College
Wakefield Road
West Yorkshire

phone: 01924 *** ***

headteacher: Ms Miriam Oakley Ma Npqh


school holidays: via Wakefield council

Secondary — Foundation School

Education phase
Establishment type
Foundation School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 430008, Northing: 418404
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.661, Longitude: -1.5474
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 20, 2010
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Wakefield › Horbury and South Ossett
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Language (Operational)
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

Horbury School - A Specialist Language


Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 108280
Local Authority Wakefield
Inspection number 356337
Inspection dates 9–10 November 2010
Report ing inspector Jan Bennett HMI

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

Type of school Secondary
School category Foundation
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 1048
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Mr Richard Dennett
Headteacher Ms Miriam Oakley
Date of prev ious school inspection 18 June 2008
School address Wakefield Road
Horbury, Wakefield
West Yorkshire WF4 5HE
Telephone number 01924 282740
Fax number 01924 282759
Email address reveal email: head…
Age group 11–16
Inspection dates 9–10 November 2010
Inspection number 356337


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four additional
inspectors. The team observed 32 lessons, taught by different teachers, and held
meetings with groups of students, governors and staff. The team observed the school's

work, and scrutinised documentation including the school's self- evaluation form,

development plan and an analysis of achievement data. Inspectors also looked at the 312
completed questionnaires received from parents and carers plus questionnaire responses
from staff and students.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the

  • Attainment data and students' progress in all subjects, especially English and
  • The effectiveness of teaching, particularly the use of assessment, in improving
    outcomes for students.
  • The impact of recent changes to the curriculum.
  • The effectiveness of strategies to improve attendance.
  • The capacity of leadership and management to drive and sustain improvement.

Information about the school

Horbury School is a medium-sized secondary school and is housed in a new building that
was opened in phases and became fully operational in September 2009. Its students come
from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds but most are White British and the vast
majority speak English as their first language. The proportion of students known to be
eligible for free school meals is slightly below the national average. The proportion of
students with a statement of special educational needs is average but the proportion of
students with special educational needs and/or disabilities has increased markedly since
the last inspection and is well above average. Horbury School holds awards for Investors
in People and has achieved Healthy School status. It is a specialist language college and
has Full International School Status.

Inspection judgements

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

Main findings

Horbury School is good and improving quickly. The headteacher was appointed in
September 2009 and she has revitalised the school. There is energy and optimism among
staff and a new sense of purpose. A new deputy headteacher was also appointed at the
same time and she has introduced much needed systems to monitor performance. Almost
all parents and carers who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire believe the school is
well led and managed. One parent said: 'We feel the new headteacher and deputy
headteacher are making great improvements to the school and the school can only get
better with their joint expertise and approach.'
The impact of the improvements can already be seen in better outcomes for students.
Behaviour has improved to good, attendance is now above average and achievement is
good and improving. Very robust target setting and review procedures track students'
progress and enable staff to target interventions much more effectively. Systems for
monitoring the quality of teaching have been strengthened and achievement targets now
form part of the performance management of teachers.
The quality of teaching is more consistent than at the last inspection and has improved to
good. Teachers are making better use of assessment to enhance learning but there is
room for further development. Marking is not of a consistently high standard and not all
teachers are using the extensive information they have about students to plan lessons that
meet the needs of everyone in the class.
The curriculum is now good in both key stages. Partnerships are used well to strengthen
the curriculum and offer more choice in Key Stage 4. Effective action has been taken to
ensure that all students, including those going off-site for part of the week, spend enough
time on English and mathematics. Teachers across the curriculum are not doing enough to
support the literacy and numeracy development of students, however, and achievement in
English and mathematics is not improving as quickly as in other subjects. A wide variety of
modern foreign languages is on offer and there is a very strong global element to the
curriculum with a good range of international trips, largely as a result of the specialism.
Attainment in modern languages was low in 2009 but there has been a very marked rise
in pass rates in French and Spanish this year partly due to changes to the curriculum.
Strategic leadership is strong and operational management is very efficient. Members of
the governing body challenge and support the leadership team very well. They have
effective links with curriculum areas and a very good grasp of issues affecting the school.
Leaders at all levels know the strengths and weaknesses of their areas and self-evaluation
is robust if a little harsh. There is a constant drive for improvement throughout the school
and high expectations are the norm. There has been considerable improvement in many
aspects of the school's work that demonstrate a good capacity for sustained improvement.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Raise attainment in English and mathematics by:
    creating more opportunities to apply literacy and numeracy across the
    strengthening the quality of teaching and learning in English and mathematics.
  • Improve assessment to support learning by:
    consistently using tracking data to tailor learning to match the needs of every
    student in the class
    reviewing and adjusting lesson plans in response to students' needs
    improving the consistency and quality of verbal and written feedback given to
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

Students enter the school with Key Stage 2 results slightly above average. Attainment at
the end of Key Stage 4 has risen considerably over the last few years. In 2009, the
proportion of students achieving five or more high grade passes at GCSE was 80%, which
is well above average and represents a rise of 11% from the 2008 figure. There has been
a similar rise in 2010. The pass rates in GCSE English and mathematics have not risen as
quickly. They were around average in 2009 and improved further this summer. The wide
gaps in performance between different subjects are narrowing. The school's internal
tracking data show that attainment is above average and rising in Key Stage 3 but too few
students are reaching the highest levels in English and mathematics. Students make good
progress in most lessons. The vast majority are keen to do well, enjoy learning and work
at a brisk pace. Tracking data show that students are increasingly meeting challenging
individual targets and, although they have made better progress in English and
mathematics in the last couple of years, there is room for further improvement. Well-
targeted support, fewer exclusions and personalisation of the curriculum are ensuring that
students with special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve in line with their peers.
Students' personal development and well-being are good. The vast majority feel safe in
school and the few instances of bullying are tackled quickly. Behaviour in lessons and
around the school is good as a result of highly effective behaviour management systems
that are used consistently for the most part. The restaurant promotes a healthy diet
through its range of options and pricing, there is high participation in sporting activities
and students know about healthy lifestyles and potential risks. Students have good
opportunities to make their views known through a vast array of 'student voice' groups.
Students are active fund-raisers and benefit from extensive international links. For
example, students from the 'Eco Group' have recently returned from a fact finding trip to
Romania. Attendance is above average and punctuality is good. Students are prepared
well for life after school but improved literacy and numeracy skills would enhance their
opportunities further. Students' social and moral development is particularly strong.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achieve ment 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 2
Pupils' behav iour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
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?

Most teaching seen was good or better and the quality was more consistent than at the
last inspection. The school has introduced a rigorous system to monitor the quality of
teaching that is beginning to have a positive impact. Most teachers use a good variety of
tasks to maintain interest and pace. In an exceptional lesson on 'cloning' an excellent
range of activities and resources captured students' interest and led to outstanding
learning. The most-able students moved on to discuss ethics while others consolidated
learning by revisiting the cloning of Dolly, the sheep. Learning support assistants are
deployed well in lessons and give valuable support to students with special educational
needs and/or disabilities enabling them to reach their full potential. All teachers have
detailed information about their students and it is used well to monitor progress but is not
used widely to plan lessons. Assessment is used increasingly to enhance learning.
Teachers' questioning techniques are improving but the quality of feedback to students is
still too variable.
The curriculum in both key stages is innovative and under regular review. Many changes
are recent and have not yet had full impact on outcomes for students but there are early
signs of improvement. The curriculum is broad and balanced with a good mix of academic
and vocational options, including young apprenticeships, in Key Stage 4. The experience
that students receive in Key Stage 3 prepares them for early entry to GCSE which has had
a very positive effect on attainment in science. The school works in partnership to offer an

effective work-related curriculum for students at risk of becoming disaffected. There is an
extensive range of extra- curricular activities, including trips and visits, and participation is
high. The school takes special care to ensure that vulnerable groups of students take part.
Parents and carers agree that students are well supported in the transition from primary
school and receive good impartial advice and guidance about post-16 opportunities as
they prepare to leave school. Strategies to reduce persistent absence and raise attendance
have been effective. There is a strong commitment to inclusion. Very effective strategies
to manage behaviour have reduced significantly the number of students excluded from
school and from lessons. Provision for students considered vulnerable, including those at
risk of becoming disaffected, is good; consequently, the number of Year 11 students not
progressing to further education, employment or training is low and reducing. Mixed-age
tutor groups are working well and older students provide support for those lower down
the school. Effective multi-agency working provides good support for the most vulnerable

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 2

How effective are leadership and management?

The appointment of the headteacher and deputy headteacher invigorated the senior team.
The judicious appointment of a number of middle leaders further enhanced leadership and
management. Leaders communicate very effectively and support staff well.
Communication with parents and carers has improved considerably with the re-
introduction of parents' evenings and use of different communication routes such as email

and the parents' portal. Issues around consistency and accountability are being tackled

systematically and rigorously. Target-setting and monitoring are used well to challenge
and motivate students and to manage the performance of staff. Safeguarding procedures
are good. Equality and diversity are promoted well and any gaps in achievement between
different groups of students are monitored closely and addressed effectively. Plans for
community cohesion are in place but need further review with more attention given to
local priorities. The school is building very strong and effective partnerships and is using
them wisely to develop staff expertise and enhance the provision. Resources are of a high
quality and outcomes for students are good and improving. Value for money is good.

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 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discr iminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Views of parents and carers

Inspectors received questionnaire responses from around 30% of parents and carers and
they were overwhelmingly positive. Almost all said that their child enjoys school, teaching
is good and they are happy with their child's experience at the school. Few of those who
responded had anything negative to say about the school. A small number had concerns
about the way that the school deals with unacceptable behaviour. Inspectors found that
the school has a highly successful behaviour management system but a few staff are not
using the system effectively.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Horbury School - A Specialist
Language College 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 312 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 1048 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 135 43 171 55 5 2 1 0
The school keeps my child
128 41 178 57 3 1 1 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
142 46 160 51 6 2 1 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
126 40 170 54 8 3 3 1
The teaching is good at this
113 36 179 57 10 3 0 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
89 29 189 61 20 6 2 1
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
90 29 193 62 16 5 3 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
105 34 161 52 12 4 4 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
119 38 169 54 18 6 1 0
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
109 35 165 53 21 7 2 1
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
68 22 197 63 11 4 2 1
The school is led and
managed effectively
128 41 162 52 5 2 1 0
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
143 46 155 50 8 3 2 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 58 36 4 2
Primary schools 8 43 40 9
Secondary schools 10 35 42 13
Sixth forms 13 39 45 3
Special schools 33 42 20 4
Pupil referral units 18 40 29 12
All schools 11 42 38 9

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 March 2010 and are the most
recently published data available (see Please note that the sample of schools
inspected during the autumn and spring terms 2009/10 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that
have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection

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.

Dear Students

Inspection of Horbury School - A Specialist Language College, Wakefield, WF4

Thank you for welcoming us to your school. We enjoyed meeting you, seeing you at work
and hearing your views. The school has improved rapidly and is now good. Here is a
summary of our findings which we hope will be of interest to you.

  • Examination results, the robust monitoring data kept by teachers and the quality of
    work in lessons show that attainment is above average and you are making good
  • Teaching is good. Lessons include a variety of tasks to keep you busy and you
    obviously enjoy learning.
  • The curriculum is good with a wide range of choices in Key Stage 4. There are lots of
    extra sporting activities, clubs and trips and you participate well.
  • Your personal development is good. Behaviour has improved since the last
    inspection and we were pleased to see that the number of exclusions from school
    has dropped. Attendance has also improved and is above average.
  • The care, guidance and support that you receive are good.
  • The governance, leadership and management of the school are good.

In order to improve further we have asked the school to:

  • raise attainment in English and mathematics by asking all teachers to help develop
    your literacy and numeracy skills
  • use assessment more effectively to support learning by improving the quality of

The headteacher and her team are working extremely well and know just what to do to
improve the school even further. We hope that you give them your full support and wish
you well for the future.
Yours sincerely,

Mrs Jan Bennett
Her Majesty's Inspector


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