Sir Harry Smith Community College
phone: 01733 703991
headteacher: Mr Jonathan Digby
1131 pupils capacity: 87% full
475 boys 48%
515 girls 52%
Last updated: June 24, 2014
Secondary — Academy Converter
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Academy Converter
- Establishment #
- Open date
- April 1, 2012
- Reason open
- Academy Converter
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 527676, Northing: 297341
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.559, Longitude: -0.11806
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East of England › North East Cambridgeshire › Kingsmoor
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Science (Operational)
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- Sir Harry Smith Community College PE71XB
- 0.2 miles Alderman Jacobs Primary School PE71XJ
- 0.2 miles Alderman Jacobs School PE71XJ (568 pupils)
- 0.6 miles New Road Primary School PE71SZ
- 0.6 miles New Road Primary School PE71SZ (85 pupils)
- 0.7 miles The Park Lane (Foundation) Primary School PE71JB
- 0.7 miles Park Lane Primary & Nursery School PE71JB (486 pupils)
- 1.9 mile Coates Primary School PE72BP (128 pupils)
- 3.7 miles Heritage Park Primary School PE28XA (207 pupils)
- 4.2 miles Saint Michael CofE Primary School (Voluntary Aided) PE28GA (71 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Eye CofE Primary School PE67TD (348 pupils)
- 4.3 miles Park House PE60SA (19 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Southfields Primary School PE28PU (455 pupils)
- 4.4 miles The Duke of Bedford Primary School PE60ST (188 pupils)
- 4.4 miles Southfields Infant School PE28PU
- 4.5 miles Oakdale Primary School PE28TD (209 pupils)
- 4.5 miles Parnwell Primary School PE14YH (278 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Stanground St Johns CofE Controlled Primary School PE28JG
- 4.6 miles St Thomas More RC Primary School PE15JW (407 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Stanground College PE73BY
- 4.6 miles St John Fisher Catholic High School PE15JN (694 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Stanground Academy PE73BY (1333 pupils)
- 4.6 miles Stanground St Johns CofE Primary School PE28JG (197 pupils)
- 4.7 miles Newark Hill Primary School PE14RE (475 pupils)
Sir Harry Smith Community
Eastrea Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 1XB
|Inspection dates||12–13 November 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Previous inspection:||Not previously inspected as an academy|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Sixth form provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
Information about this inspection
| The principal is an effective leader who has raised |
Students make good progress in most subjects,
Students benefit from good teaching in most
the expectations of staff. With the support of
other leaders and governors, he has improved the
quality of teaching and the achievement of
including English and mathematics. Disabled
students and those with special educational needs
make good progress.
| Students are proud of their school and behave with |
Behaviour is good and students feel safe in school.
The gap between the achievement of
The sixth form is good. Students achieve well,
respect and consideration towards each other.
Relationships between staff and students are
disadvantaged students and that of other students
in the school is decreasing rapidly.
especially in vocational subjects, and are well
prepared for the next stage in their education and
| Students make good rather than exceptional |
Teaching is not yet outstanding. Not every teacher
progress. Some students of higher ability do not
yet achieve enough higher grades in their GCSE
plans activities that challenge students of all
| A few teachers do not have high enough |
Not all teachers take full advantage of students’
expectations of higher ability students and so these
students do not always have high enough
expectations of themselves.
enthusiasm for learning or have high enough
expectations of what they can achieve.
- Inspectors observed teaching in 42 lessons, some conducted jointly with senior leaders.
- A range of documents was analysed by inspectors, including those relating to safeguarding, students’
progress, attendance, the school’s self-evaluation and development plan, and its policies for managing
teachers’ performance and pay and for improving teaching and learning.
- Inspectors looked closely at students’ books and coursework, especially in English and mathematics.
Inspectors took account of 87 responses to the online survey, Parent View, one telephone call from a
parent and 75 responses to the staff survey.
- Discussions were held with the principal, other senior and subject leaders, several groups of students, a
representative from the local authority and the Chair of the Governing Body and other governors.
|Lesley Daniel, Lead inspector||Seconded Inspector|
|Jennifer Griffiths||Additional Inspector|
|Shan Oswald||Additional Inspector|
|Jeremy Seymour||Additional Inspector|
Lesley Daniel is appointed as an Additional Inspector, under the powers relating to additional inspectors, in
paragraph 11 of Part 2 of Schedule 12 to the Education and Inspections Act 2006
Information about this school
- Sir Harry Smith Community College is an average-sized secondary school which converted to become an
academy in August 2012. When its predecessor school, also called Sir Harry Smith Community College,
was last inspected by Ofsted in March 2011, it was judged to be good overall.
- Most students are from White British backgrounds and few speak English as an additional language.
- About a quarter of students at the college are supported by the pupil premium, which is broadly average.
Pupil premium is extra funding provided by the government for some groups of students including those
known to be eligible for free school meals and those in the care of the local authority.
- Just over one third of students, who are disabled or who have special educational needs, are supported
through school action, school action plus, a statement of special educational needs or a new education,
health and care plan. This is well above average.
- The college runs a specially resourced provision for disabled pupils and those with special educational
needs. This is known as the Enhanced Provision Centre and provides support for 20 students with
moderate learning difficulties.
- A very small number of Key Stage 4 students attend part-time vocational courses at Peterborough regional
- The college meets the government’s floor standards which set the minimum expectations for attainment
and progress in English and mathematics by the end of year 11.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Improve teaching so that it is outstanding and more students make exceptional progress by:
encouraging all teachers to enthuse students of all abilities with a thirst for knowledge to increase the
pace at which they make progress
making sure that all teachers give students clear and precise advice on how to improve their work
ensuring that all teachers expect and help students to spell and write correctly
ensuring that all teachers plan for the progress of all groups of students in their lessons, including
higher ability students, so that students reach their full potential.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The principal and the governing body have driven forward improvements in behaviour and the quality of
teaching, building a skilled team of senior leaders who have developed and sustained a sharp focus on
raising standards. Most subject leaders, especially in English, mathematics and science have successfully
taken responsibility for leading learning and improving teaching in their departments.
- Senior leaders and governors have established an inclusive and supportive culture which promotes
equality of opportunity for all. It also provides well for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
of its students.
- The college has rigorous systems for reviewing the performance of teachers, to tackle underperformance
and to reward those who teach effectively, which continue to drive the improvement of teaching.
Following disappointing science results in summer 2013, senior leaders took rapid and decisive action.
They removed other responsibilities from some science teachers so that they could focus purely on
improving outcomes for students who were then in Year 11. This had a clear impact on the results of
these students in 2014. A new head of science has continued to drive improvements this term, with
evidence of increased progress seen in students’ books and during observations in lessons.
- The principal and governing body also acted in 2013 to improve the achievement of disadvantaged
students through the appointment of a new member of staff to join two highly effective teaching
assistants already providing support in English and mathematics. This expansion of the team enabled
closer monitoring and therefore quicker interventions to support these students across a range of GCSE
subjects and had a clear impact on the outcomes for disadvantaged Year 11 students in 2014.
- The college has good systems for checking its own effectiveness. It has a clear and realistic picture of the
progress it is making and also of what still needs to be done to accelerate improvement. Evaluations by
inspectors were closely in line with those of senior leaders.
- The college provides a curriculum at all key stages that is appropriate for the students. Senior leaders
listen to what students say about the subjects they would like to study at Key Stage 4 and in the sixth
form. They balance students’ wishes well against staffing and financial restrictions.
- The college’s programme of assemblies, tutor time activities, religious education and ‘skills for life’ lessons
ensures that students are aware of what it means to be a good citizen in modern Britain. Students
demonstrate tolerance of the ways different groups of people choose to lead their lives. They show a good
understanding of the importance of developing personal skills, such as how to manage their own finances.
- The college offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities for students to participate in. It also creates
good opportunities for them to take on real responsibility, such as running their own radio station and
organising whole-school charity events. Key Stage 4 and sixth form students were particularly enthusiastic
about this, and talked with impressive commercial awareness of their plans for financing their radio station
to ensure its future.
- The college has robust systems for monitoring the behaviour, attendance and progress of all groups of
students. This includes those who attend alternative provision. Subject leaders are increasingly effective in
the way they use data to monitor learning in their departments and hold teachers to account for the
progress of students.
- The college offers an appropriate range of advice and guidance to students as they make decisions about
the next stages in their education, or when considering career choices. For example, students all have
individual interviews, and information evenings for students and their parents are well attended. Students
feel well informed when deciding their next steps in education, training or employment.
- The college’s arrangements for keeping children safe in school are robust and meet all statutory
- The governance of the school:
Governors are very well informed about all aspects of the college, especially the quality of teaching,
how well students are achieving and how the performance of teachers is managed. They are also fully
involved in decisions about how pupil premium funding is spent and the impact it is having.
The skills of individual governors are recognised and made good use of by the college. Governors
confidently question and hold senior leaders to account for how well students are doing. They have a
good understanding of data about performance to help them do this. They have successfully managed
finances ensuring that resources are available to support new strategic appointments.
The governing body carries out its statutory obligations to keep children safe and ensure equality for all.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- The behaviour of pupils is good. The vast majority of students comply fully with the college’s high
expectations and behave well in lessons, at break times and when moving around the site. Students
clearly understand and support the sanctions that are in place to deal with any unacceptable behaviour.
Parents are kept fully informed of both positive and negative incidents by emails, on a daily basis.
- Relationships between students and staff are positive and students are appreciative of their teachers and
their college. Students arrive at lessons willing to learn and this has a good impact on their achievement.
However, although inspectors did see a real thirst for knowledge from students in lessons, this is not yet
consistent and some students do not always strive to achieve the very best they are capable of.
- The college manages students whose behaviour can be challenging well. Students are rarely moved to be
educated elsewhere or excluded temporarily and the college uses internal exclusion effectively to ensure
that their education is not disrupted.
- Attendance is effectively monitored and is above the national average for secondary schools.
- The college’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Students say that they feel safe and well
supported at college. The few students who attend part-time courses elsewhere are well monitored by
senior leaders who are confident that they are safe while attending their courses.
- Students are well informed about the issues of bullying, including homophobic and cyber-bullying and
students can train to become cyber-bullying mentors to support their peers. Students say that bullying in
college is rare and that when it does occur it is dealt with quickly and effectively by staff. This is supported
by the college’s records of such incidents.
- Students are taught how to keep themselves safe in different situations, including on the internet and
when they are outside of college. They find out useful facts on subjects such as sexual health and drug
abuse and are given the opportunity to discuss these issues in a safe environment. Consequently, they
understand clearly the potential risks to their safety and their responsibilities in relation to looking after
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- The quality of teaching in most subjects, including English and mathematics, is good and leads to good
achievement particularly in mathematics and English. Most teachers have high expectations and create a
positive climate for learning. This has contributed to the good progress that most students make in
- Students enjoy their lessons and inspectors saw much teaching that challenged and interested students.
In a Year 9 English lesson, middle ability students writing diary entries responded enthusiastically to the
teacher’s challenge to use four specific techniques in their written work, including semi-colons. The
students were very keen to then read their work out to the whole group.
- There is a common drive across the college to improve literacy. For example, a weekly literacy focus is
introduced in tutor time and reinforced during lessons. Many teachers also effectively promote the correct
use of specialist subject language in their lessons. In Year 9, drama students spoke confidently of ‘freeze-
frames’ and ‘hot-seating’ and, in Year 9, English terms such as ‘connotation’ and ‘alliteration’ were
understood by all.
- Teachers use homework effectively to support and reinforce learning. Students’ books show that
homework is regularly set and commented on by teachers. Science teachers have recently introduced
homework activities online, which are proving very popular with students. Teachers mark books regularly,
but their feedback does not always give students a clear idea about what they have to do to improve.
Even where it is useful, not all students respond to the advice. Students’ books show that, often, they
continue to make the same mistakes in their writing, such as incorrect punctuation and spelling, without
this being challenged by teachers.
- Teaching in science has improved and is now good and in line with the good quality of teaching seen in
English and mathematics.
- Teaching assistants are used very effectively in lessons to support the learning of disabled students and
those with special educational needs. Where collaboration between teachers and teaching assistants is
high, the experience of all students in the classroom was enhanced. The input of teaching assistants is
valued by students.
- There is still some variation in the quality of teaching across subjects. This is being steadily reduced. Some
teachers do not always provide suitable challenge for students of all abilities. They do not adapt planned
activities quickly enough for students who find the work too easy. As a result, these students do not make
as much progress as they should.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement is good because, by the end of Key Stage 4, students have made good progress in most
subjects. The proportion of students who make expected progress in English is consistently in line with
students nationally, and in mathematics this proportion is consistently above national figures. The
proportion of students making more than expected progress in both English and in mathematics in all year
groups is rising strongly.
- In 2014, the percentage of students achieving five or more GCSE passes at A* to C grades, including
English and mathematics was above the national average and has been for the past three years. The
attainment of students in science GCSEs has improved considerably, following disappointing results in
2013, and is now above that of other students nationally.
- The gap between the attainment at GCSE in English and mathematics of disadvantaged students and
other students at the college is closing rapidly. In 2013, disadvantaged students typically achieved one
grade lower than other students but in 2014 this gap had closed to one third of a grade. In 2013, these
students achieved in line with other disadvantaged students nationally. No figures are yet available for
2014. Disadvantaged students are making better progress than other students in the school and
- The achievement of disabled students and those with special educational needs is good, with most
students across all year groups making the progress expected of them. Inspectors listened to some lower
ability Year 7 students read and talk about their understanding of what they were reading. Through
effective intervention, these students have improved their reading by a whole level since arriving at the
- Students at the Enhanced Provision Centre learn in a nurturing environment that aims to develop their
confidence and social skills as well as literacy and numeracy. Observations by inspectors and college data
show that these students make good progress in these areas and many successfully join lessons in the
main school, especially in Key Stage 4.
- Achievement in the sixth form is good for vocational subjects and standards are average and rising
strongly for A levels. Disadvantaged students make more progress than other students and disabled
students and those with special educational needs are well supported to meet their targets.
- Early entry for GCSE was only used for some higher ability students in English Language in November
2014. These students went on to focus on English Literature for the rest of their course. The percentage
of students who achieved an A* to C grade in English Language increased from 2013 and there was a
small increase in the percentage who achieved the highest grades.
- Students join the college with levels of attainment that are broadly average. Middle and lower ability
students make better progress than more able students.
- College data shows that the rate of progress of the most-able students is increasing at Key Stage 3 and is
strengthening in current GCSE groups. Work in students’ books and observations of lessons supported
|The sixth form provision||is good|
- The sixth form is small but growing with increasing numbers of Year 11 students staying on rather than
going to sixth forms elsewhere. More students are choosing to follow a mixed programme of academic
and vocational subjects, with the majority making good progress from their starting points. Vocational
subjects continue to be successful, with students making better progress than other students nationally.
- Retention rates have improved considerably and are currently at 100%. The advice and guidance given to
students as they make decisions about their future both in Year 11 and at sixth form is good and students
speak highly of the support and advice they receive from their teachers. Students are encouraged to
consider a variety of post 16 options, including apprenticeships and university, and the college is working
to raise the aspirations of students. Nearly two thirds of Year 13 students went on to higher education last
- Behaviour in the sixth form is good. Students feel valued and are good role models for younger members
of the college. They appreciate opportunities to give back to the college through supporting younger
students. There is a good range of enrichment opportunities on offer, including volunteering and work
experience, and the college is working to widen this in the future. All sixth form students continue skills for
life lessons which help them with the transition to Year 12 and also prepare them for life after school.
- Teaching in the sixth form reflects the strengths and areas for further development found in the main
school, and is good overall. In a few lessons, students, especially those of higher ability, are not given
activities that require them to think for themselves or to help them deepen their understanding. However,
marking and feedback are good in most subjects and exceptional in some. In A and AS level history and
English, students’ work showed rapid improvement in response to detailed feedback and students spoke
confidently about what they needed to do to continue to raise the quality of their written work.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes that |
provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures that pupils
are very well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well for all |
its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it is not |
inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within 24 months
from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing |
to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s
leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have
the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school. This
school will receive regular monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires
significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to
be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular monitoring by
|Unique reference number||138053|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|School category||Academy converter|
|Age range of pupils||11–18|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||987|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||105|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||Not previously inspected|
|Telephone number||01733 703991|
|Fax number||01733 703992|