School etc

Steyning Grammar School

Steyning Grammar School
Shooting Field
West Sussex

phone: 01903 814555

headteacher: Mr Nick Wergan

reveal email: s…


school holidays: via West Sussex council

2021 pupils aged 11—18y mixed gender
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 #

rooms to rent in Steyning

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Steyning CofE Primary School BN443RQ (421 pupils)
  2. 0.5 miles Southdown Pre-Preparatory School and Nursery BN443GL
  3. 1.3 mile Upper Beeding Primary School BN443HY (300 pupils)
  4. 1.7 mile The Towers Convent School BN443TF (379 pupils)
  5. 2.7 miles Ashurst CofE Primary School BN443AY (67 pupils)
  6. 3.5 miles St Mary's CofE First School RH204AP (81 pupils)
  7. 3.5 miles Lancing College BN150RW (536 pupils)
  8. 3.6 miles St Peter's CofE Primary School BN59PU (389 pupils)
  9. 3.7 miles North Lancing Primary School BN150PT (414 pupils)
  10. 3.8 miles St John the Baptist CofE Primary School BN140TR (136 pupils)
  11. 3.8 miles Sompting Abbotts School BN150AZ (88 pupils)
  12. 3.9 miles Windlesham House School RH204AY (343 pupils)
  13. 4 miles Ashington CofE First School RH203PG (176 pupils)
  14. 4 miles Boundstone Community College BN159QZ
  15. 4 miles Southways School BN140RA (3 pupils)
  16. 4 miles The Sir Robert Woodard Academy BN159QZ (1022 pupils)
  17. 4.2 miles Boundstone Nursery School, Children and Family Centre BN159QX (130 pupils)
  18. 4.2 miles Oakfield Middle School BN159NZ
  19. 4.2 miles Willows First School,the BN159NZ
  20. 4.2 miles The Globe Primary School BN159NZ (614 pupils)
  21. 4.2 miles The Globe Primary Academy BN159NZ
  22. 4.3 miles Freshbrook First School, Lancing BN159DP
  23. 4.3 miles Templars First School, Sompting BN150BU
  24. 4.3 miles White Styles Middle School BN150BU

List of schools in Steyning

Steyning Grammar School

Shooting Field, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3RX

Inspection dates 6–7 February 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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
    these teachers.
  • 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.

Inspection team

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

Full report

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.

Inspection judgements

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
GCSE English.

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

examination performance.

  • 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 Judgement Description
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.

School details

Unique reference number 126092
Local authority West Sussex
Inspection number 403751

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
Chair Marion Gue
Headteacher Chris Taylor
Date of previous school inspection 16–17 September 2009
Telephone number 01903 814555
Fax number 01903 879146
Email address reveal email: s…


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