Steyning Grammar School
phone: 01903 814555
headteacher: Mr Nick Wergan
1935 pupils capacity: 104% full
1025 boys 51%
995 girls 49%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Secondary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Religious character
- Church of England
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 517593, Northing: 111759
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 50.893, Longitude: -0.32936
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Feb. 6, 2013
- Diocese of Chichester
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Arundel and South Downs › Steyning
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Business and Enterprise (Operational)
- and Science (Operational)
- Applied Learning second specialism
- SEN priorities
- SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.1 miles Steyning CofE Primary School BN443RQ (421 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Southdown Pre-Preparatory School and Nursery BN443GL
- 1.3 mile Upper Beeding Primary School BN443HY (300 pupils)
- 1.7 mile The Towers Convent School BN443TF (379 pupils)
- 2.7 miles Ashurst CofE Primary School BN443AY (67 pupils)
- 3.5 miles St Mary's CofE First School RH204AP (81 pupils)
- 3.5 miles Lancing College BN150RW (536 pupils)
- 3.6 miles St Peter's CofE Primary School BN59PU (389 pupils)
- 3.7 miles North Lancing Primary School BN150PT (414 pupils)
- 3.8 miles St John the Baptist CofE Primary School BN140TR (136 pupils)
- 3.8 miles Sompting Abbotts School BN150AZ (88 pupils)
- 3.9 miles Windlesham House School RH204AY (343 pupils)
- 4 miles Ashington CofE First School RH203PG (176 pupils)
- 4 miles Boundstone Community College BN159QZ
- 4 miles Southways School BN140RA (3 pupils)
- 4 miles The Sir Robert Woodard Academy BN159QZ (1022 pupils)
- 4.2 miles Boundstone Nursery School, Children and Family Centre BN159QX (130 pupils)
- 4.2 miles Oakfield Middle School BN159NZ
- 4.2 miles Willows First School,the BN159NZ
- 4.2 miles The Globe Primary School BN159NZ (614 pupils)
- 4.2 miles The Globe Primary Academy BN159NZ
- 4.3 miles Freshbrook First School, Lancing BN159DP
- 4.3 miles Templars First School, Sompting BN150BU
- 4.3 miles White Styles Middle School BN150BU
Steyning Grammar School
Shooting Field, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3RX
|Inspection dates||6–7 February 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Ably supported by his senior team, the |
Governors know their school well and make a
The achievement of students is good. Their
headteacher has successfully led
improvements in teaching from the time of
the previous inspection. His vision for the
school is based on high expectations and an
uncompromising ambition for students to
flourish and achieve. As a result, teaching is
good and some is of high quality.
significant contribution to its overall
rates of progress throughout the school have
improved since the previous inspection and
most make good progress.
| The behaviour of students around the school |
Achievement in the sixth form is good, with
and in class is exemplary. They arrive to
lessons keen to learn and their relationships
with each other and with their teachers help
them to play an active part in their learning.
Parents, staff and students are exceptionally
positive about the standards of behaviour and
safety in the school.
teaching that is often outstanding. Students
feel that they achieve well and appreciate the
quality of the guidance and support that they
receive. The leadership of the sixth form is
| Not all subject leaders are sufficiently focused |
on raising the quality of teaching or use of
achievement data: as a result, a small
minority of the school’s teaching still needs to
| In a few lessons, the teachers’ planning, |
Teachers do not always ensure that the best
marking and use of questioning are not yet
good enough to ensure high levels of
use of time is made in their lessons.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 55 lessons in addition to making shorter visits to a number of classrooms.
Twelve observations were carried out jointly with school leaders, including the headteacher.
- Inspectors looked at students’ workbooks and discussed with them samples of their work.
- Inspectors discussed with a sample of teachers the training and support they have received, and
the impact that this has had on their teaching. They observed a number of lessons taught by
- Inspectors reviewed a number of documents, including the minutes of governor meetings;
safeguarding procedures; behaviour and attendance records; documents relating to school self-
review and improvement; and school records on performance management and teaching and
learning, including lesson observations.
- Inspectors met with two members of the governing body, including the Chair, a representative
of the local authority and groups of students, teachers and school leaders.
- In planning and carrying out the inspection, inspectors took account of the 140 responses to the
Parent View survey, and 78 questionnaires completed by staff.
|Graham Tuck, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Mary Hoather||Additional Inspector|
|Keith Homewood||Additional Inspector|
|Babrul Matin||Additional Inspector|
|Una Maria Stevens||Additional Inspector|
|Jason Wye||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- This is a much larger than average-size secondary school with 475 students in the sixth form.
The school is on two sites, one for students in Years 7 and 8, the other for older students.
- The majority of students join the school in Year 7, with a second group joining in Year 9 from a
local middle school.
- There is boarding provision for 113 students. This provision was previously inspected by Ofsted
in October 2012 when it was judged to be outstanding, with no areas for improvement.
- Most students are of White British heritage.
- A little under 9% of students are known to be eligible for the pupil premium support (additional
money allocated to schools by the government). This proportion is well below the national
- Just under 8% of students who are disabled or have special educational needs are supported
through school action, and a little over 7% are supported at school action plus or have a
statement of special educational needs. These proportions are below the national average.
- A specialist facility for 10 students with specific learning difficulties is integrated into the
- A very few students attend courses at local colleges of further education.
- Since the previous inspection, a new headteacher has been appointed to the school.
- The school meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for
students’ attainment and progress.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure that all subject leaders make good use of student achievement data, and focus more
strongly on raising the quality of teaching in the areas for which they are responsible.
- Improve the quality of teaching from good to outstanding by developing the skills and
confidence of teachers so that they consistently:
use questioning to assess what students have learned and what they need to do to progress
provide sufficiently detailed written feedback on students’ work to help them to improve its
plan their teaching so that the best use is made of lesson time in the lower school
use assessment data to plan their lessons to meet more securely the needs of all students.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
Students join the school with standards of attainment that are broadly average. They make
good progress in their learning throughout the school and this enables them to reach levels
of attainment that are generally above national averages. The proportion of students gaining
at least five grade A* to C passes at GCSE including English and mathematics has been
above average for the last three years. The school’s own reliable information about current
Year 11 students shows this figure to be rising still further.
Achievement in English and mathematics is strong. Students do well in many of their other
GCSE subjects including science, geography and modern foreign languages. While standards
in history were lower in 2012, school leaders have successfully tackled this and students are
now achieving well in this subject.
In the best lessons, students’ progress was supported by the teachers’ excellent use of data
to inform their planning. For example, in an outstanding Year 10 information and
communication technology lesson, the teacher showed a detailed understanding of the ability
level of each student and was able to pitch the work accordingly. Ensuring consistency in this
approach across the school will raise levels of achievement still further.
The school has used pupil premium funding well to provide those students who are eligible
for it with a range of support including individual reading and mathematics tuition. This has
ensured that the average points score for this group is improving rapidly and, although still
below that for all students, they make good progress.
Good support is given by teachers and teaching assistants to disabled students and those
with special educational needs, including those in the specialist facility, and, as a result, they
achieve well. Additional sessions, for example to support reading and writing, are helping to
improve students’ achievement. In a Year 10 support lesson, students had been given
specific help with their written work and spoke with justifiable pride of their rapid progress in
Students are strongly encouraged to read and a range of evidence shows that they read
Students know their targets and what they need to do to improve. In some subjects,
assessment tests are followed by an accompanying advice sheet, which students say they
find exceptionally helpful.
Achievement in the sixth form is good with teaching a particular strength. Students welcome
the range of activities in lessons including group and project work. The proportion of
students who complete their studies and achieve a qualification is well above the national
For the first time this year the school has entered a small group of students early for GCSE
English and mathematics. It is too early for the outcome to be known.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
Older students speak enthusiastically about the improvements that have taken place in
teaching over recent years and rightly believe that this has helped them to make good
progress over time. In particular, they have benefited from more opportunities for discussion
and investigation, and they recognise that this is providing them with important skills for life.
Outstanding relationships, with students arriving keen and ready to learn, are a consistent
feature of lessons. In most lessons, teachers make good use of their knowledge of the
students’ earlier achievements to plan activities that stretch the most able while also enabling
lower attaining students to make good progress. Where teaching is less effective, insufficient
use is made of this information. In some lessons in the lower school, planning is weaker and,
on these occasions, time is not always used to the best effect.
Teachers mostly use assessment well to guide students’ learning. For example, in one Year
11 physical education lesson, students assessed each other’s dance performances and gave
each other valuable feedback on how to improve. As a result, many students were able to
produce inspirational performances. Students say that they value teachers’ comments in their
books and that this helps them to learn. In many lessons, this is a strength although it is not
consistently so across the school.
Teachers’ questioning is often very effective and helps students to develop their learning. For
example, in a Year 13 mathematics lesson, effective questioning that involved all the
students teased out their understanding of the topic. Students were invited to comment on
each other’s answers and, in doing so, were able to clarify their own thinking. Occasionally,
questioning is less effective when teachers look for and accept simple responses, involve just
a few students or do not require students to justify their thinking.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
Students feel very safe and say that poor behaviour and bullying are extremely rare and
dealt with promptly and effectively by the school. The culture is one of trust and respect and
this was evident in the students’ impeccable behaviour moving to and from lessons and in
breaks and lunchtimes. Governors and staff comment on the pride that students have in their
school and how this translates into excellent conduct. The overwhelming majority of parents
agree that students behave well at the school and are safe.
Students are extremely keen to learn: they take every opportunity to be involved in
classroom activities and to support the learning of others. Students work exceptionally well
together on group tasks and advise one another on how to improve with very little direction
from the teacher. When given responsibility for their learning, students accept this with
relish. Set to develop a piece of imaginative drama based on
An Inspector Calls
, a group of
Year 11 students worked enthusiastically and with the minimum of supervision.
The atmosphere of the school is calm and friendly, with staff providing excellent examples of
how to behave. Staff and students get on exceptionally well in an atmosphere of mutual
courtesy and respect. Visitors to the school and members of the public frequently comment
on the excellent conduct and manners of the students.
As part of the school’s Christian ethos, there is a strong focus on respect, tolerance and
fairness. Through activities such as assemblies and tutor group meetings, students are
encouraged to apply these values to their conduct in school. As a result the school is a
harmonious community which students refer to as a ‘family’. They appreciate the
opportunities they have to interact with students across the age range; for example, sixth
form mentors work very effectively with lower school tutor groups and support them in their
The school has been extremely effective in improving the conduct of the very few students
whose behaviour has been unacceptable. Rates of exclusion are well below national
Students have a thorough understanding of the different types of bullying and have an
excellent knowledge of potential hazards, including the risks of internet use and cyber-
|The leadership and management||are good|
At the heart of the school is its shared vision of ‘Every Person the Best They Can Be’:
promoting equality of opportunity and tackling discrimination are central to this vision and
leaders are ambitious for all students to succeed. This is shown by their commitment to
monitor and support the progress of all students through the highly effective work of the
school’s year leaders and special educational needs co-ordinator.
Crucial to the school’s success is the headteacher’s relentless focus on the quality of
teaching. In joint observations with inspectors, school leaders demonstrated an acute
awareness of the qualities of teaching and their feedback to teachers was astute and
uncompromising. As a result of this focus, most teaching in the school is good and some is
outstanding. However, school leaders recognise that more needs to be done to ensure
consistently strong practice in every classroom and the important role that subject leaders
need to play in this area. Currently, not all are sufficiently focused on monitoring and
improving the quality of teaching.
Pay scales are used well to recruit, reward and retain good teachers. A thorough training
programme is in place and has resulted in significant improvements in the quality of the
teaching. Leaders regularly observe teachers and their judgement on the quality of teaching
in the school is accurate.
Based on accurate self-evaluation the school is able to identify areas for further
improvement. Staff morale is high as demonstrated by the overwhelmingly positive response
in staff questionnaires. The school’s development plan focuses on appropriate priorities with
specific and measurable targets for success.
The curriculum is well matched to students’ interests and abilities and includes a wide range
of GCSE subjects, in addition to opportunities for work-related courses. A clear policy is in
place for supporting students’ reading and writing and this was a strong feature of a number
of lessons observed. In the sixth form, students may study a wide variety of advanced level
courses, including the International Baccalaureate. Boarding facilities are excellent, and
boarders feel fully integrated into life of the school.
There is a limited use of off-site provision to support the subject preferences of some older
students. These courses are well chosen and carefully monitored, and have been effective in
enabling these students to continue into education, training or employment after leaving
Students’ spiritual and cultural development is well promoted by a wide range of activities
including theatre visits, school productions, an art exhibition and numerous musical
The local authority provides effective support for the school in helping it review its
- The governance of the school:
Governors make an outstanding contribution to the leadership of the school. They
systematically assess the quality of the school’s teaching and its impact on students’ progress
and have an astute understanding of the school’s current performance compared to that of
other similar schools and what it needs to do to improve. They manage the school’s finances
well and ensure that pay rewards to teachers are linked to successful performance. Their
oversight of school finances is rigorous. For example, they ensure that pupil premium money
is used appropriately and supports the achievement of eligible students. Governors have
undertaken training in a number of areas including safeguarding and recruitment, which has
enhanced their understanding of these matters. They carefully review safeguarding
arrangements, which comfortably meet national requirements.
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 employment.
|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 Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||126092|
|Local authority||West Sussex|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|School category||Voluntary controlled|
|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||1984|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||475|
|Number of boarders on roll||113|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||16–17 September 2009|
|Telephone number||01903 814555|
|Fax number||01903 879146|