School etc

Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School Closed - academy converter Aug. 31, 2012

see new Lymm High School

Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School
Oughtrington Lane

phone: 01925 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Roger A Lounds Ba Msc Ma


school holidays: via Warrington council

Secondary — Voluntary Controlled School

Education phase
Establishment type
Voluntary Controlled School
Establishment #
Close date
Aug. 31, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 369540, Northing: 387029
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.379, Longitude: -2.4594
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Ofsted last inspection
Dec. 3, 2008
Region › Const. › Ward
North West › Warrington South › Lymm
Town and Fringe - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Language (Operational)
Sports second specialism
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Lymm

Schools nearby

  1. Lymm High School WA130RB (1860 pupils)
  2. 0.4 miles Oughtrington Community Primary School WA139EH (423 pupils)
  3. 0.5 miles Ravenbank Community Primary School WA130JT (391 pupils)
  4. 1.3 mile Cherry Tree Primary School WA130NX (220 pupils)
  5. 1.4 mile Westlegh PNEU School WA139BA
  6. 1.6 mile Statham Community Primary School WA139BE (213 pupils)
  7. 1.7 mile High Legh Primary School WA166NW (122 pupils)
  8. 1.8 mile The Winterley Project WA139BS
  9. 1.8 mile Cornerstones WA130GH (15 pupils)
  10. 1.9 mile Little Bollington CofE Primary School WA144SZ (89 pupils)
  11. 2.3 miles Massey Hall School WA43JQ
  12. 2.4 miles Ortonbrook Primary School M314LD
  13. 2.5 miles Hollins Green St Helen's CofE (Aided) Primary School WA36JS (124 pupils)
  14. 2.5 miles Chaigeley School WA42TE (35 pupils)
  15. 2.7 miles Millbank Junior School M314LW
  16. 2.7 miles Woodlands Infants' School M314PN
  17. 2.7 miles Broadoak School M314BU
  18. 2.7 miles Oakwood Community Primary School M314PN
  19. 2.7 miles Forest Gate Community Primary School M314PN
  20. 2.7 miles Broadoak School M314BU (333 pupils)
  21. 2.7 miles Forest Gate Academy M314PN (210 pupils)
  22. 2.9 miles Partington Primary School M314FL (481 pupils)
  23. 2.9 miles Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School M314PJ (217 pupils)
  24. 2.9 miles Thelwall Community Junior School WA42HX (149 pupils)

List of schools in Lymm

Lymm High Voluntary Controlled


Inspection report

111448Unique Reference Number
WarringtonLocal Authority
325388Inspection number
3–4 December 2008Inspection dates
Sue Harrison HMIReporting inspector

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

ComprehensiveType of school
Voluntary controlledSchool category
11–18Age range of pupils
MixedGender of pupils

Number on roll

1976School (total)
438Sixth form
The governing bodyAppropriate authority
Mr D JonesChair
Miss A WalshHeadteacher
7 November 2005Date of previous school inspection
Oughtrington LaneSchool address
WA13 0RB
01925 755458Telephone number
01925 758439Fax number

11–18Age group
3–4 December 2008Inspection dates
325388Inspection number


© Crown copyright 2008
This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that
the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated.
Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must
provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost
of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.

2 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008


The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four Additional Inspectors.

Description of the school

This is a larger than average comprehensive school, based in a rural area. It recruits mainly from
prosperous areas, but there are students from less advantaged backgrounds. There are few
students from minority ethnic groups. The number of students with a statement of special
educational needs is above the national average, although overall the number of students with
learning difficulties and/or disabilities is below average. The school gained specialist status in
modern foreign languages in 1996. It also received designation as a sports college in April 2007
and gained training school status in September 2007. The school owns its own leisure centre,
shop and a residential property in North Wales. It has won several awards, including the

Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) International Schools Award, Sportsmark

Award and National Healthy School Award.

Key for inspection grades

OutstandingGrade 1
GoodGrade 2
SatisfactoryGrade 3
InadequateGrade 4

3 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

Overall effectiveness of the school

Grade: 1

This is an outstanding school because of the excellent curriculum that meets individual needs
and the support students receive to enable them to succeed. The standard of students' work
is high. They make good progress overall and outstanding progress in some subjects and in the

sixth form. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities do exceptionally well. Progress

in English and mathematics was satisfactory in 2007. The school took action to address this
and students are now making good progress in these subjects.
Personal development is outstanding. Student involvement in school life is exceptional.
Attendance is high and there are very few exclusions. The school provides a very inclusive ethos
and students develop an excellent awareness and understanding of social cohesion. They
develop skills that help to prepare them for the future and gain awards and prizes in a wide
range of activities. The majority of parents are extremely positive about the school and the
impact it has had on their children. A few are less satisfied with specific aspects, such as the
behaviour of a small minority of students. However, inspectors found behaviour to be good.
Teaching and learning are good overall. There are many outstanding lessons across a range of
subjects but the school recognises it has a small amount of teaching which is satisfactory and
could be better. Sharing of good practice to address this is one of the school's priorities. In the
majority of lessons, students are well challenged; they enjoy the work and make good or
outstanding progress. Marking of student work is excellent in some cases, but inspectors found
inconsistencies in the regularity and rigour of marking. Teaching and learning are outstanding
in the sixth form.

The curriculum is outstanding. The school continually reviews its curriculum and offers students

an exceptionally wide range of options and opportunities. The breadth of enrichment activities
is astounding. Care, guidance and support are also excellent. The school works very hard and
effectively to ensure young people transferring into this large school settle quickly and feel
valued as an individual.
The range and quality of support mechanisms is excellent.
Leadership and management are outstanding. Senior leaders have recognised where there are
areas for improvement and are taking effective action to bring this about. There is no sense of
complacency. The vision of the new headteacher is to build on best practice to maintain high
standards and bring about further improvement in student progress in some subjects. She is
well supported by staff and governors. Issues raised by parents are being taken seriously, for
example, there are plans to address concerns expressed by a few parents about overcrowding
at lunchtime.
The range and effectiveness of work with external partners is outstanding, and the school has
managed its specialisms extremely well to enhance its own curriculum and its work with other

Effectiveness of the sixth form

Grade: 1

The overall effectiveness of the sixth form is outstanding. Most Year 11 students stay into the
sixth form and are joined by around 40 students from other schools. An early residential course
for all ensures that students quickly get to know each other. Retention between Years 12 and

4 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

13 is good and almost all students complete their courses. Students achieve high standards in
their work. When compared to their prior attainment, they generally make excellent progress,
although the school recognises and is addressing some variation between subjects. Students

display a high level of maturity. They willingly accept the responsibilities they are given; helping

younger students to strengthen their numeracy and literacy skills and coaching sports in local
primary schools are just two examples.
Students learn well because teaching is excellent. Teachers have high expectations of students
and constantly challenge them to think for themselves and develop independent study skills.
As a result, students are happy to contribute in lessons and tackle work with interest and
A very rich curriculum allows students to choose from a wide range of academic and vocational
courses. Optional courses, for example, in personal finance, languages, first aid and, 'lunch on
a student loan' add colour. Contributions from guest speakers help students make future
choices. Students are very well prepared for their future well-being, including those who seek
a gap year. All students on BTEC courses undertake work experience in Europe. There are
opportunities for all to participate in Youth Enterprise.
There is very good leadership and management of the sixth form. Progress is rigorously
monitored. Students speak highly of the care, guidance and support they receive. Growth in
student numbers has put pressure on existing accommodation, especially the space available
for private study.

What the school should do to improve further

  • Extend the range of subjects where student progress is excellent by spreading the good and
    outstanding practice that exists in much of the teaching and learning.

  • Improve the consistency of marking of students' work to ensure they are clear about what
    they need to do to improve further.

Achievement and standards

Grade: 2

Student achievement is good. The school caters for a range of abilities; overall students enter
the school with significantly higher than average levels of prior attainment. The standard of
their work is high. At Key Stage 3 students' results in national tests are significantly above
average in all three core subjects. At GCSE the proportion of students gaining grades A* to C
in any five subjects was 94% in 2007. The proportion gaining five or more GCSE grades A* to
C including English and mathematics was 67%. Unvalidated data for 2008 shows a similar
Overall, students make good progress against their starting points and progress is outstanding
in some subjects, notably science and physical education. In modern foreign languages, one of
the school's specialisms, students make good progress. In English and mathematics, student
progress was satisfactory in 2007. Action taken to strengthen these areas is proving successful.
Inspectors found student progress in lessons observed in these subjects to be generally good,
and in some cases outstanding. Data from current students who have taken the GCSE English
examination early, and modular results in mathematics, also demonstrate significant
improvement. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities achieve well and make
outstanding progress at the school.

5 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

In addition to academic qualifications, students achieve high standards and win awards in a
range of extra-curricular activities.

Personal development and well-being

Grade: 1

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students is outstanding. They develop
excellent values about care, hard work, personal achievement and respect for diversity. In
discussions about important topics such as current affairs, human rights and equality they put
forward well argued and articulate points of view. Educational visits and opportunities in
religious studies enable students to learn well about the multicultural nature of society.

Inspectors found that behaviour is good, although a small number of parents expressed concerns

about the behaviour of a few students. Students display outstanding enjoyment of school life
and all that the school has to offer. Attendance is excellent. Students have very good attitudes
to healthy living. They know what foods are good for them and participation in sports is very
high. Students' contribution to the school community is exceptional. Inspectors were very
impressed with the school and sixth form councils which have influenced governors and senior
staff in school development. Students are gaining an excellent range of skills to ensure their
future economic well-being.

Quality of provision

Teaching and learning

Grade: 2

Teaching and learning are good. There are examples of outstanding lessons across a range of
subjects. There is an increasing emphasis on identifying good practice to share across

departments and this is being enhanced by work developed within the school's second specialism.

Across the school students enjoy good relationships with teachers. Planning is good and focuses

well on learning. Specialist staff and teaching assistants are very effective in supporting the
learning of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. As a result, they make
exceptional progress.
In the most successful lessons, students respond very well to the high expectations of teachers.
Challenging tasks are set. The praise and encouragement they receive motivates them. Very
well targeted and highly effective questioning deepens students' understanding and extends
their thinking. As a consequence, students thrive and make great strides in their learning. In a
small number of lessons teaching is less effective and the pace of learning is slow. Therefore,

students become bored and sometimes go off task. Some marking of students' work is excellent,

but the quality and frequency of marking is inconsistent. It does not always show students
what they have to do to improve.

Curriculum and other activities

Grade: 1

The curriculum is outstanding and fully supports the inclusive ethos of the school. It provides
very effectively for the needs of its students, placing a strong emphasis on their personal and
academic development. Exemplary features are the breadth and diversity of courses on offer.
There is also an extensive programme of enrichment from all areas of the curriculum, driven
by the school's specialisms.

6 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

An international dimension and theme of global citizenship feature strongly across different
subjects and form a very valuable part of the curriculum. Excellent programmes for personal,
social, health education and citizenship make a positive contribution to students' personal
development and are key factors in promoting their awareness of the local and broader
The wide range of vocational and academic routes is enhanced by specialist facilities, for
example, in sports and catering. There is an extensive range of languages and sports
opportunities; mandarin Chinese, Italian, water polo, sailing and British Sign Language to name
but a few. The school's centre in Wales, T'yn-y-Felin, provides residential experiences for all

year groups to enhance their skills and relationships with staff and each other through recreation

and outdoor activities. Students of all year groups tell us that they thoroughly enjoy these
experiences. The high level of sports activity is reflected in students being represented at local,
national and international levels. At weekends there is a high take-up of team sports. There is
good promotion of basic skills across the curriculum needed for success in further education
and in the world of work and excellent promotion of wider skills such as teamwork and problem

Care, guidance and support

Grade: 1

Care, guidance and support are outstanding. The school provides very effective welfare and
support systems for all students, resulting in outstanding personal development and good
achievement. Arrangements for transition are very effective at helping students settle into this
large school. The 'hall' system ensures students are treated as individuals and have a sense of
belonging to a smaller unit as well as to the whole school. Students say they feel safe and well
cared for and that the few instances of bullying are well dealt with. Provision for students with
learning difficulties and/or disabilities and vulnerable students is very well organized and
managed. This results in outstanding achievement in the great majority of these cases because
they are fully included in all the school has to offer. Relationships are very good at all levels.
Representative views from students include, 'teachers always give us extra help if we need it

and always have time for us'. The tracking of students' progress is good. Appropriate procedures

for safeguarding, health and safety are in place. Students respond very positively to the system
of rewards for good behaviour and achievement. The number of exclusions from school is
exceptionally low. Links with outside agencies are very strong so that specialist support and
guidance can be arranged quickly when necessary.

Leadership and management

Grade: 1

Leadership and management are outstanding. The newly appointed headteacher has a clear
vision for the school based on continuous improvement. She and her senior colleagues are
implementing strategies that are well informed by best practice to maintain high standards and
further improve achievement. The school has extended further the outstanding curriculum it
offered at the last inspection, and it continues to offer an excellent level of care and guidance.

In view of its inclusive ethos, the outstanding quality of its curriculum and students' good levels

of achievement, the school provides excellent value for money.

7 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

Senior managers energetically support the headteacher. The monitoring of departments and
evaluation of teaching and learning is rigorous. Since the last inspection, there was a drop in
performance in a small number of subjects. However, the school's excellent systems for
self-evaluation identified this and actions taken have been very effective; inspectors found
students to be making good or outstanding progress in these subjects. Senior managers are
driving an increased focus on targets that are challenging but realistic. Middle managers are
skilful at using this information to identify areas for improvement and establish action plans
in departments. Progress against plans is monitored regularly and there is substantial evidence
of the success of this strategy, for example in English and mathematics. A strong sense of
common purpose is evident across the school and targeted professional development is well

placed to bring about further improvements. The governing body effectively provides challenge

and support to the school's managers. Self-assessment judgements are accurate and the school
demonstrates excellent capacity to make further improvements.

Community cohesion and the involvement of students within the school and the wider community

are both excellent. Governors and school managers have worked hard to provide imaginatively

for students' understanding of social cohesion at school, local, national and international levels.

Equality of opportunity has a high priority to stretch the most able and support students of all
levels of ability. Students are frequently consulted about developments in the school and are
represented by observers at governors' meetings.
The school makes very good cross-curricular use of its specialisms, resources and copious
external contacts. It has excellent links with local agencies, schools, colleges and employers to
enhance the curriculum and the support it offers. The school manages its specialisms well and
is very involved in local partnerships, providing outreach support to other local schools.

8 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008


Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out
in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s website:

9 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

Annex A

Inspection judgements



Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3
satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate

Overall effectiveness


How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of
education,integrated care and any extended services in
meeting the needs of learners?


Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since
the last inspection


How well does the school work in partnership with others to
promote learners' well being?

11The capacity to make any necessary improvements

Achievement and standards

12How well do learners achieve?

The standards


reached by learners


How well learners make progress, taking account of any
significant variations between groups of learners


How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
make progress


Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none

significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally


10 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

Personal development and well-being


How good are the overall personal development and
well-being of the learners?


The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural

1The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles
1The extent to which learners adopt safe practices
1The extent to which learners enjoy their education
1The attendance of learners
2The behaviour of learners

The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to
the community


How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will
contribute to their future economic well-being

The quality of provision


How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the
full range of learners' needs?


How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range
of needs and interests of learners?

11How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?

Leadership and management


How effective are leadership and management in raising
achievement and supporting all learners?


How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear
direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of
care and education


How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets
to raise standards

11The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation


How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination


1How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?

How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are
deployed to achieve value for money


The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards
discharge their responsibilities


Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current
government requirements?

NoDoes this school require special measures?
NoDoes this school require a notice to improve?

11 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

Annex B

Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection

As you know we recently inspected your school. Thank you for helping us to find our way
around and giving us your views about the school. I am writing to tell you about our findings.
We think Lymm High is an outstanding school. You told us how much you enjoyed school life
and we were impressed by the amazing range of courses and extra-curricular activities on offer.
We think that the standard of work you produce is high and that you make good progress in
most subjects and outstanding progress in some. You attend well and are very enthusiastic
learners in most of your lessons.
As well as your academic qualifications, you are gaining confidence and skills that help to
prepare you for when you leave school. We think you participate extremely well in the life of
the school and the wider community. Well done to those who have gained awards and prizes
in a range of sporting, musical and many other activities.
You told us that there is very good care, guidance and support to help you settle quickly into
this large school and that you feel treated as an individual. We think that behaviour is good
overall, though we are aware there are a few instances where this is not the case.
We think the school is very well led and managed. The new headteacher has a clear vision to
maintain all the excellent things about the school and improve some aspects, and she and her
team are very clear about how to do that. Inspectors saw improvements in English and
mathematics, where you are now making good, and in some cases outstanding, progress. We
have asked the headteacher to focus on two particular areas for improvement.

  • Extend the range of subjects where student progress is excellent by spreading the good and
    outstanding practice that exists in much of the teaching and learning.

  • Improve the consistency of marking of students' work to ensure they are clear about what
    they need to do to improve further.
    12 of 12Inspection Report: Lymm High Voluntary Controlled School, 3–4 December 2008

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