Taverham High School
Headteacher: Mr R Munson
1177 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||121181|
|Inspection dates||18–19 May 2010|
|Reporting inspector||John Mitcheson HMI|
|Type of school||Secondary|
|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||1151|
|Of which, number on roll in the sixth form||28|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mrs Margaret Garwood|
|Headteacher||Mr Ron Munson|
|Date of previous school inspection||1 November 2006|
|School address||Beech Avenue|
|Telephone number||01603 860505|
|Fax number||01603 261525|
|Inspection dates||18–19 May 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and four additional inspectors. Inspectors visited 50 part-lessons in the main school and four in the sixth form. They held meetings with senior and middle managers, the vice-chair of governors and three groups of students. They observed the school's work and looked at a range of documentation including 183 questionnaires from parents, 130 from students and 34 from staff.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Taverham High School is a larger-than-average comprehensive school serving a rural area of Norfolk. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is much lower than the national average. The vast majority of students are White British; very few are from minority ethnic backgrounds. The percentage of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is lower than the national average. A higher than average percentage of students has a statement of special educational needs mainly because the school has a specialist resource base for students with dyslexia. Since the previous inspection, the school has been substantially rebuilt. It now receives students in Year 7 and opened its own sixth form in 2009. A new headteacher was appointed in 2007. The school is part of the Gaining Ground initiative. It has Healthy Schools status, and holds the Sportsmark and Investors in People awards.
|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
Taverham High School provides its students with a satisfactory education. It has a number of key strengths: new buildings provide an excellent environment in which to learn, students feel very safe, they lead healthy lifestyles and their engagement with the community is good. Students' enjoyment of school is reflected in their attendance, which is outstanding. The percentage of students attaining five or more GCSEs including English and mathematics has been significantly above the national average for the past three years.
Despite these strengths, senior leaders acknowledge that outcomes for students are not as high as they could be. A dip in GCSE results in 2008 prompted a thorough evaluation of the school's performance, leading to a recognition by all staff that significant improvements were needed. Decisive leadership from the headteacher is raising the expectations of students and generating a whole-school commitment from staff to ensure that all students achieve their very best. Accurate assessment data is now used by senior leaders to set ambitious targets for improvement and to challenge the low aspirations of some students. Increased lesson monitoring is providing senior leaders with a clearer picture of where the strengths and weaknesses lie and the actions needed to raise achievement further.
From students' average starting points when they join the school, attainment in Key Stage 3 is consistently above average; current data indicates this will be maintained this year. In Years 10 and 11, the large majority of students attain at least five GCSEs but the progress of some average ability girls and lower ability boys slows. This is due partly to their own low aspirations but also because in English and some foundation subjects lessons fail to engage them fully and many of them fall behind with their coursework. Overall, results improved in 2009 due to more rigorous monitoring by senior leaders and additional support targeted towards specific students. Current data indicates that both the percentage of students attaining five GCSEs including English and mathematics and, critically, the percentage of students attaining at least five GCSEs will rise again this year.
In lessons, inspectors found that the vast majority of students make satisfactory progress. The rate of progress made is dependent on the quality of teaching, which is satisfactory. When teaching is better than satisfactory, students thrive and make rapid progress because they are expected to work hard and activities are challenging and stimulate their interest. When teachers' expectations are too low, the pace of learning slows, students are left unchallenged and progress is minimal. Not all teachers provide students with verbal and written feedback on how well they are progressing against the targets set for them, or what they can do to improve their grades. A combination of rewards and sanctions ensures that the vast majority of students behave well.
A good curriculum and partnerships with external providers offer students a broad choice of GCSE and vocational awards. Selected students have the opportunity to commence some examination courses early in Year 9. Physical education (PE) and German are strengths in both key stages. A large proportion of students in Key Stage 4 study additional GCSE mathematics, boosting their chances of obtaining a good grade. A high proportion of young leaders in sport, languages and the arts contribute well to the community by supporting younger learners in primary schools. The school prides itself in being an inclusive one able to meet the learning needs of all students. Good care, guidance and support helps those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, including dyslexic students, to achieve equally as well as other students. The ACE centre provides good quality counselling and enhanced care for students whose circumstances make them most vulnerable by helping them to re-engage and retaining them in learning. Staff in the centre make a significant contribution to reducing the proportion of students excluded from school which is currently low.
Self-evaluation is honest and largely accurate, but inspectors found the overall effectiveness of leaders and managers to be satisfactory rather than good. The Headteacher and his team of senior leaders have the overwhelming support of students, staff governors and parents. Senior leaders work effectively as a team to bring about improvements. Some weaknesses remain in subject leadership, particularly in these leaders' ability to monitor and improve the quality of teaching in their departments and to ensure that all students capable of attaining well do so. Governors ensure that safeguarding and other statutory duties are met. They show a thorough understanding of the issues facing the school and provide satisfactory support in tackling weaknesses. The recently opened sixth form is satisfactory but some aspects need firmly embedding, particularly leadership in order to secure its long-term success. The school has satisfactory capacity to improve further and provides satisfactory value for money.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Students make good progress in Key Stage 3. By the end of Year 9, a higher than average percentage of students meet the expected levels in core subjects and the percentage of students attaining Level 6 or higher in mathematics and science is well above the national average. GCSE results in 2009 were above the national average and, notably, almost two-thirds of students attained five C grades including English and mathematics. Every student attained at least one GCSE and almost all of them attained five A* to G grades, reflecting the school's commitment to inclusion and regular attendance. GCSE results were above average in three quarters of subjects. Vocational results in 2009 show a mixed picture but this year, the majority of students on these courses have already attained a range of level 1 and level 2 awards. Specialist attainment targets were exceeded this year.
Progress in Key Stage 4 is variable; a significant minority of students fail to build on what they have attained previously in English and in a small number of foundation subjects where results are significantly below average. The percentage of students attaining a grade C or above in English language and in literature is above the national average and the number of A* and A grades achieved in English literature is very high, but this masks the fact that the quality of teaching and tracking of progress is not good enough to ensure that all students achieve what is expected of them. Senior leaders have implemented improvement plans to raise achievement in these areas.
Improved monitoring by senior leaders has led to a significant rise in attendance and a reduction in persistent absence rates to below the national average. This promotes good habits for the work place and helps to secure students' economic well-being, which is satisfactory. A small proportion of parents' questionnaires commented that the school did not encourage children to keep healthy but inspectors noted high participation rates in PE and after-school sport, and an increasing uptake of healthy food at lunchtimes. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is promoted well through a range of music and arts events in school and links with schools in China and Ghana. Good moral and social development is reflected in their behaviour and the respect shown for one another. Incidents of bullying are rare: most students feel that when it does occur they know who to speak to and staff will deal with it. Many students readily adopt responsibility as 'listeners', young leaders and school councillors but some students told inspectors that the school council is not as effective as it could be.
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||2|
|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
Inspectors agree with the view of senior leaders that the quality of teaching is satisfactory. Teaching was good or better in a number of lessons observed by inspectors and senior leaders, but most were satisfactory. Too many inconsistencies exist across and within departments. For example, inspectors found that many teachers plan different tasks matched to the abilities of students and regularly let them know verbally, and through the marking of their books how well they are progressing. They encourage students to learn independently, in pairs or small groups and give them time to assess each others' work to gauge how well they are doing. However, not all teachers have adopted these techniques and in some subjects they remain under-developed. Some teachers display competence and confidence when using interactive whiteboards to stimulate students' interest, but many teachers ignore these resources or make rudimentary use of them. All teachers are provided with accurate assessment data and targets for individual students to complement their own tracking data.
An increasing proportion of students are studying vocational courses in school, or at local colleges. Growing numbers of students gain accreditation in sport and junior leaders and make a significant contribution to promoting community sport. A wide range of extra-curricular activities, including an annual week of enrichment and school visits overseas are popular with students. Twenty minutes is allocated for a tutorial each day but this time is not used effectively to enhance students' learning. Pastoral care for students is good. The school has adapted well to accommodating students in Years 7 and 8 and their transition from primary schools is a smooth one. Effective partnerships with Youth Services and other agencies provide good support for a small proportion of students at risk of not completing their education. Personal, social and health education, taught by a team of specialist teachers, and personal interviews with students in Years 9 and 10 provide them with effective advice and guidance on future courses and careers. Plans are in place to provide coordinated careers information, advice and guidance as part of the new arrangements for work-related learning.
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||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The headteacher's decisive action to tackle known weaknesses is having a profound effect on improving the ethos of the school. Procedures to ensure that every student is known well, attends regularly and makes sufficient progress are systematic and are beginning to firmly embed. Senior leaders have put in place detailed plans to raise achievement further and clarified the roles all staff must play in delivering these improvements. Middle leadership is highly effective in a number of areas but a small minority of subject leaders do not monitor the quality of teaching well enough to bring about improvements. They evaluate the effectiveness of their departments but do not always include clear strategies for improvement. Senior leaders engage with parents well by providing regular reports, monthly newsletters and the opportunities to speak with staff on one day each month. Despite this, a small but significant proportion of parents would like further help from the school to support their child's learning. The school makes a satisfactory contribution to promoting community cohesion but the impact of this aspect of the school's work has not been fully evaluated. Governors are well organised and work effectively to promote the strategic development of the school and ensure satisfactory safeguarding arrangements are in place. They have had less impact in promoting equal opportunity and tackling discrimination, which is satisfactory, or in challenging school leaders to address the variable progress made by different groups of students.
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||2|
|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 sixth form is satisfactory. Numbers are small; currently there are 28 students in Year 12, mostly pursuing A level courses on the school site and in other local schools. The vast majority intend to continue their studies into Year 13. The school's own assessment data indicates that most students are on course to meet the challenging targets set for them. Students are currently based in the sports pavillion which provides a social area, private study room and some access to computers. Students are positive about life in the sixth form. They say they feel safe, valued and receive good guidance and support from their tutors and teachers. The quality of teaching is satisfactory. Students are encouraged to study independently to build on what they achieve in lessons. Senior leaders and subject specialists do not routinely monitor lessons in the sixth form. Leadership and management is satisfactory. From September 2010, the school wil have its own head of sixth form.
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
The school engages well with parents and carers. The vast majority are happy with their child's experience at school and agree that the school keeps them informed of their child's progress. They feel that the school is well led but would like the school to take more account of their suggestions and concerns. A small but significant proportion of parental questionnaires disagreed that the school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour. Observations by inspectors in lessons and around the school at lunchtimes saw no evidence of this and found that the vast majority of students behaved well.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Taverham High School 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 183 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 1151 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||59||32||110||60||11||6||1||1|
|The school keeps my child safe||73||40||103||57||6||3||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||47||26||115||63||18||10||2||1|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||63||35||103||57||11||6||5||3|
|The teaching is good at this school||42||23||126||69||14||8||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||26||14||114||63||32||18||2||1|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||31||17||122||67||25||14||3||2|
|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)||40||22||117||64||10||5||4||2|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||53||29||110||60||15||8||2||1|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||38||21||99||54||30||16||8||4|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||28||15||114||63||14||8||5||3|
|The school is led and managed effectively||47||26||121||66||8||4||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||58||32||112||62||7||4||5||3|
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.
20 May 2010
Inspection of Taverham High School, Norwich, NR8 6HP
Earlier this week, we visited your school and found that it provides you with a satisfactory education. Thank you for engaging with us in lessons and meetings, we found you to be good ambassadors for your school. We also met with your senior teachers, governors and read letters from some of your parents. Throughout the inspection, you behaved well and made all members of the inspection team feel welcome.
We were very impressed with the school buildings and pleased to see that you look after them. You told us that school is a safe and enjoyable place to be, and your attendance is outstanding. We noted that PE and sport have a high profile in the school and a large number of you volunteer to be young leaders and support younger pupils in primary schools. By the time you leave school, a large proportion of you attain five or more GCSEs including English and mathematics, which is impressive. However, not all of you achieve what you are capable of during Key Stage 4. This is mainly because you ease off and do not complete all of your coursework but also because some lessons are not made interesting and enjoyable. So, we have asked your senior leaders and governors to:
Your school is led well by the headteacher. You can help him by continuing to work hard, completing all coursework on time and sharing your views with him about other improvements you would like to see.
Best wishes for the future.
Her Majesty's Inspector
|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.|