Pensby High School for Boys: A Specialist Sports College
Principal: Mrs Patricia Russell Cert.Ed
470 pupils, Boys
|Unique Reference Number||105100|
|Inspection dates||30 September 2009–1 October 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Patrick Geraghty HMI|
|Type of school||Secondary|
|Age range of pupils||11–18|
|Gender of pupils||Boys|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||607|
|Of which, number on roll in the sixth form||102|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Steve Rowe|
|Headteacher||Mr Phil Sheridan|
|Date of previous school inspection||21 November 2006|
|School address||Irby Road|
|Merseyside CH61 6XN|
|Telephone number||0151 6482111|
|Fax number||0151 6483128|
|Inspection dates||30 September 2009–1 October 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 39 lessons and held meetings with staff, groups of students and governors. They observed the school's work, and documentation was scrutinised including information which tracks the academic and personal progress of students, detailed analysis of students' attainment and progress, school development planning, school and subject self-evaluation, records of recent classroom monitoring, minutes from meetings of the governing body and evidence to demonstrate how the school supports students whose circumstances may make them vulnerable. Inspectors also examined evaluations undertaken by the school to ensure that it meets statutory requirements with regard to safeguarding. In addition, 175 parental questionnaires were scrutinised along with questionnaires returned by a representative sample of pupils and staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Pensby High School for Boys is a smaller than average secondary school. The number of pupils who claim free school meals is slightly above the national average. The percentage of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below the national average although the proportion who have a statement to support their special educational need is slightly above. The percentage of pupils other than White British is 4.1%. The school draws from ten wards with the majority coming from average and above social and economic backgrounds and approximately 10% are from disadvantaged areas. The intake reflects an average academic mix but with fewer pupils at the higher end of academic achievement. There is a joint sixth form with Pensby High School for Girls. The school is a specialist sports college.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This is a satisfactory and improving school. A legacy of underperformance at Key Stage 4 is being effectively tackled. The introduction of robust tracking and monitoring systems to identify students' progress, and astute new appointments to key positions in English and mathematics, have re-focused the school. Students are benefiting from the closer monitoring that ensures they make better progress. Data are used effectively and challenging targets are now set. Standards, particularly in English and mathematics, have risen because of a strong focus on improving the quality of teaching and the effective use of targeted strategies. The level of students' work examined by inspectors was at least satisfactory and often good. Early entry GCSE English and GCSE modular test results in mathematics and science indicate further improvement in performance in these subjects. The school recognises the need to further raise standards at Key Stage 4. Teaching and learning are satisfactory. While there is much good teaching there remain inconsistencies in the quality of teaching across subject areas. There is insufficient sharing of good practice in teaching across the curriculum.
School leaders ensure that the Every Child Matters' outcomes are central to the school's accurate self-evaluation. Students enjoy school. Behaviour in lessons and around the site are good. Attendance is satisfactory and punctuality good. The curriculum matches students' needs. The sport specialism makes a positive contribution to curriculum enrichment by promoting a strong programme of extra-curricular activity, advancing an excellent approach to healthy lifestyles, and as one of the drivers of improvement throughout the school. Care, guidance and support are good with a strong focus on those most vulnerable and at risk of not achieving to their potential. Younger students in the lower school benefit from the guidance and support of a team of sixth formers, who act as peer mentors. The school recognises the need to integrate the role of form tutors into the monitoring and tracking of students' progress to enhance the successful work done by many subject managers and teachers.
There is effective leadership by the headteacher and deputy head. Self-evaluation is accurate and the school is aware of where further improvements need to be made. There remain some inconsistencies at both senior management and middle management level in the quality of monitoring and planning for improvement. Equality of opportunities for all are promoted satisfactorily. Governors have successfully improved the school's financial position but acknowledge that they now need to focus more on monitoring progress set against challenging targets. The school provides satisfactory value for money and has a satisfactory capacity to improve further.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Students' progress in lessons is satisfactory and improving. A legacy of underperformance at Key Stage 4 is being robustly tackled. Performance against key national indicators has improved significantly. The proportion of students attaining five GCSE A* to C grades including English and mathematics has risen by 13 percentage points over the last year. The increase in outcomes at five GCSE A* to C grades has increased over two years by 18 percentage points and is now broadly in line with national averages. In particular, attainment has improved in English and mathematics. The level of student work examined in Years 10 and 11 by inspectors was at least satisfactory. In lessons visited, inspectors judged that students made at least satisfactory progress. For present Year 11 students modules already taken in Year 10 indicate a marked improvement in performance in English and mathematics. The school's systematic tracking of students' progress demonstrates that it is on course to meet the challenging targets it has set for 2010. Work and activities instigated by National Challenge status has been a major spur to a more focused approach to intervention to tackle underperformance. Good and better lessons were observed in English, mathematics, drama, physical education, food technology, design technology, business studies, art and ICT. However, within this picture of improvement, inconsistencies remain in the rates of progress made between different subjects. School leaders are acutely aware of these variations and have instigated strategies to accelerate progress. The progress of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is good.
Students enjoy school, feel safe and treat each other and adults with mutual respect and dignity. Behaviour is good and there are few incidents of bullying. Good behaviour maintains learning when teaching sometimes lacks pace, imaginative planning and challenge. Students praise the many opportunities they have to discuss any difficulties. Older students take good care of younger ones. Virtually all have adopted healthy lifestyles with over 90% taking part in regular sports activities and team games. The vast majority choose healthy food options and popular fruit dispensing machines have replaced those offering fizzy drinks. They respond enthusiastically to the health promotion strategies, many of which involve their whole family. Students take part in numerous activities beyond lessons. Sixth formers run clubs and act as mentors to younger boys. Year 10 sports leaders lead clubs in primary schools. The school council is valued and has contributed to decision making including the refurbishment of the canteen and the strong focus on healthy food. Students gain good leadership and team building skills from numerous enterprise activities. Attendance is average. Students gain a good idea of the next step needed for success. A legacy of underperformance in the development of literacy and numeracy skills is being tackled. Figures indicate that the number leaving school that are not in education, training or employment is low and well below the area average. A strength of the school is the good moral and social development of the boys, through well focused religious education lessons, assemblies and community activities. The school recognises the need to more fully prepare students for life within the wider British community.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|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|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teaching is satisfactory with a number of good aspects. The best lessons are well planned and develop good communication skills. Lessons are conducted at a brisk pace and engage students with interesting, imaginative and developmental activities. Teachers use praise and questioning to encourage students' ideas and set aspirations for them. There are many opportunities for peer assessment. Teaching sustains interest and motivation. Positive relationships lead to good attitudes to learning. Consistently good and challenging teaching was observed in English. There remain significant inconsistencies in the quality of teaching and learning across subjects. In satisfactory lessons, outcomes are not clear and too often these lessons are teacher-led and lack pace, excitement and new learning. The opportunities for students to engage in independent learning activities are limited. There is insufficient sharing of the good practice across the curriculum.
The curriculum meets statutory requirements. At Key Stage 4 the curriculum is broad and balanced and meets the needs of all students. A broad range of GCSEs and BTEC First Diplomas have been developed with attractive options' booklets to inform students of the choices they can make. The school has made much effort to provide a personalised curriculum choice. Students in Years 8 and 9 study two languages which adds greatly to their understanding of different cultures. The specialism in sport has impacted on other curriculum areas. An impressive and popular range of sporting extra-curricular activities have an outstanding impact on students' commitment to healthy lifestyles. Adaptations to the curriculum at Key Stage 4 have increased opportunities for students and collaboration with other providers has established suitable progression routes for students aged 14 to 19.
The school has established good relationships with local primary schools. Transition arrangements are good and include well organised induction days. Transition between key stages is strong and ensures that choices are appropriate. Looked after children are well cared for as are pupils with specific needs. Good links with outside agencies enhance the good care and support offered. The school recognises the need to expand the role of the form tutor so that they have a greater involvement in the tracking and monitoring of students' progress and enhanced links with curriculum managers and teachers.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The headteacher and deputy head lead the school effectively and are the drivers of its developing improvement agenda. For several years, the school has underperformed at Key Stage 4. A renewed focus and emphasis on raising achievement and standards is now having an impact. Robust systems to track and monitor student progress have been introduced. Potential underachievement is now rapidly identified. Carefully considered and realistic target setting ensures that the effective use of data guides leaders' challenging targets. Staffing changes over two years have led to the appointment of highly capable leaders in English and mathematics and a number of talented and innovative teachers. Consequently, results in 2009 demonstrated significant improvement. A group of middle leaders have established secure mechanisms by which to share good practice. They are clear about their role in securing further improvement. Self-evaluation is accurate and self-critical. There remain some inconsistencies, recognised by the school, at both senior and middle management level in the quality of planning, monitoring, evaluation and action planning for improvement. The quality of teaching and learning are monitored effectively. However, not all staff are as yet fully committed to the sharing of good practice and engaging in appropriate strategies to promote further improvement.
Opportunities are provided through the curriculum for students to appreciate their place within the global community although initiatives to understand the wider British community are currently underdeveloped. Partnerships are good, well promoted and enhanced by sports college status. Links with external providers add to the students' learning. There is effective promotion of equality of opportunity through pastoral programmes, the developing curriculum and an increasing range of additional activities. The school's contribution to community cohesion is satisfactory. While there has been strong encouragement of community cohesion within the school the evaluation of its promotion beyond the school is at an early stage. Governance is satisfactory. Governors recognise the need to be more involved within the school and to develop a more critical and evaluative approach to monitoring its progress. Governors have worked successfully to improve the financial position of the school. All safeguarding procedures meet requirements and are reviewed as part of a rolling programme of checks. The school has a satisfactory and improving capacity to achieve further improvements.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||3|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
The overall effectiveness of the sixth form is satisfactory. Results in 2009 improved with several subjects gaining 100% pass rate. However, there remain a number of underperforming areas on level 3 courses. Level 2 results have improved and there is now a developing pattern of increased progression between levels. Teaching in the sixth form is satisfactory with enough good teaching to further promote improvement. Pastoral care, support and guidance are developing strengths and are good. Students feel confident in their teachers and relationships are good. Sixth formers play a positive role in mentoring in the 11 to 16 school. Career and progression guidance is effective. New leadership of the sixth form has identified clear areas for improvement.The leadership of the sixth form is satisfactory. Managers demonstrate a clear understanding of the sixth form's strengths and weaknesses. The tracking and monitoring of student progress has improved.
These are the grades for the sixth form
|Overall effectiveness of the sixth form|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for students in the sixth form
The quality of provision in the sixth form
Leadership and management of the sixth form
Inspectors received questionnaire responses from approximately 175 parents and carers. Analysis of responses indicates that the vast majority are happy with their child's experience at school and that appropriate steps are taken to ensure that their child is well prepared for the future. Parents and carers were also positive about the quality of teaching. Few parents made negative comments. Of those, the main concern was about bullying. Inspectors are satisfied that the school deals effectively with incidences of bullying that occur.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Pensby High School for Boys: A Specialist Sports 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 175 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 607 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||143||56||90||35||14||6||2||1|
|The school keeps my child safe||106||42||138||54||7||3||1||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||107||42||123||49||16||6||2||1|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||88||35||129||52||21||8||2||1|
|The teaching is good at this school||94||37||129||51||19||8||1||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||81||32||138||55||21||8||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||73||30||138||56||27||11||0||0|
|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 employment)||103||43||109||45||13||5||4||2|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||81||40||89||44||19||9||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||90||37||121||49||25||10||3||1|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||80||32||138||55||19||8||4||2|
|The school is led and managed effectively||107||43||114||46||13||5||4||2|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||122||49||108||43||13||5||3||1|
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%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding 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 judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
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.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
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 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 Pensby High School for Boys: A Specialist Sports College, Wirral, CH61 6XN
Thank you for the warm and friendly welcome that you gave my colleagues and I when we inspected your school this week. We would particularly like to thank those of you who spoke with us. We would also like to commend you for your good behaviour.
The reason we came to your school was to find out what was going well and what could be improved. Here is what we found:
The leaders in your school worked with us to decide on some ways in which the pursuit of good and better provision could become a reality. We decided that to achieve this, the school should:
You can help your school to improve further by ensuring everyone focuses on the pursuit of excellence for all of you and trying hard in your studies so that you can achieve your full potential in life.
I wish you the very best for the future.
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|