Horbury School - A Specialist Language College Closed - academy converter Aug. 31, 2012
phone: 01924 *** ***
headteacher: Ms Miriam Oakley Ma Npqh
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 Academy WF45HE (1049 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Horbury Junior School WF45DW
- 0.2 miles Horbury Infant School WF45DW
- 0.2 miles Horbury Primary School WF45DW (496 pupils)
- 0.4 miles St Hilda's School WF46BB
- 0.5 miles Horbury St Peters Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior School WF45BE
- 0.5 miles Horbury St Peter's and Clifton CofE (VC) Primary School WF45BE (348 pupils)
- 0.7 miles The Springfield Centre WF28BB (52 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Horbury Clifton Infant School WF46JZ
- 0.8 miles Wakefield Snapethorpe Infant School WF28AA
- 0.8 miles Wakefield Snapethorpe Junior School WF28AA
- 0.8 miles Wakefield Snapethorpe Primary School WF28AA (584 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Waterton Junior and Infants School WF28LZ
- 1.2 mile Ossett South Parade Infant School WF50DZ
- 1.2 mile Ossett South Parade Junior School WF50DZ
- 1.2 mile South Ossett Infant School WF50BE
- 1.2 mile Wakefield the Mount Junior and Infant School WF28QW (196 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Horbury Bridge Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School WF45PS
- 1.2 mile St Ignatius Catholic Primary School WF50DQ
- 1.2 mile Ossett South Parade Primary WF50DZ (401 pupils)
- 1.2 mile South Ossett Infant Academy WF50BE (130 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Horbury Bridge Church of England Junior and Infant Academy WF45PS (132 pupils)
- 1.2 mile St Ignatius Catholic Primary School WF50DQ (164 pupils)
- 1.3 mile English Martyrs Catholic Primary School WF29DD (258 pupils)
Horbury School - A Specialist Language
|Unique Reference Number||108280|
|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|
|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|
|West Yorkshire WF4 5HE|
|Telephone number||01924 282740|
|Fax number||01924 282759|
|Inspection dates||9–10 November 2010|
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.
|Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?||2|
|The school's capacity for sustained improvement||2|
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: |
|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: |
|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
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, |
|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%.
|My child enjoys school||135||43||171||55||5||2||1||0|
|The school keeps my child |
|My school informs me about |
my child's progress
|My child is making enough |
progress at this school
|The teaching is good at this |
|The school helps me to |
support my child's learning
|The school helps my child to |
have a healthy lifestyle
|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
|The school meets my child's |
|The school deals effectively |
with unacceptable behaviour
|The school takes account of |
my suggestions and concerns
|The school is led and |
|Overall, I am happy with my |
child's experience at this
What inspection judgements mean
|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|
|Pupil referral units||18||40||29||12|
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 www.ofsted.gov.uk). 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,
|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.
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.
Mrs Jan Bennett
Her Majesty's Inspector