The Bishop of Winchester Comprehensive School
- Aug. 31, 2010)
Phone:01202 *** ***
Headteacher: Mr Paul McKeown
Diocese of Winchester
see new The Bishop of Winchester Academy
682 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||134702|
|Inspection dates||9–10 June 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Paul Sadler|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Comprehensive|
|School category||Voluntary aided|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||5 December 2005|
|School address||Mallard Road|
|Telephone number||01202 512697|
|Fax number||01202 513181|
|Inspection dates||9–10 June 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by four additional inspectors.
Most students attending this school live in mixed social and private housing in the north of Bournemouth. The great majority are of White British ethnicity. The proportion of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, most of which relate to moderate learning difficulties, is broadly average. The proportion of students who are at an early stage of learning English is below average.
The existence of selective schools in the area reduces the proportion of higher attaining students admitted to the school. The school was formerly assessed as requiring special measures, which were removed in June 2007. Plans are in place for an academy to open on the site in September 2010. The school holds the International School and other awards.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is a good school in which students achieve well. Under the dynamic and enthusiastic leadership of the headteacher, senior staff and governors it has undergone rapid improvement which is rightly reflected in the positive views of parents and students and in its growing popularity. To quote one parent, 'The staff and headteacher inspire and encourage all the children to do their best. Students recognise and appreciate improvements to the quality of teaching and improved behaviour in lessons since the last full inspection. They say they feel very safe in school and that any bullying that may occur is quickly sorted out.
Students start at the school having attained standards in English, mathematics and science at the end of Year 6 that are below, and in some year groups well below, the national average. Many also lack basic learning skills, such as the ability to concentrate and to respond to questions appropriately. As some parents recognise, this leads to poor behaviour by some students when they start at the school. However, the school is very effective at improving these students' behaviour, especially when teaching is good. In these lessons, teachers use short, timed tasks and make clear their consistent and high expectations. As a result, by the end of Year 7, poor behaviour in or out of lessons is rarely seen. When teaching is less effective, students are given insufficient opportunities to learn independently or to give extended responses to questioning.
Attainment at the end of Year 11, which was exceptionally low at the time of the last inspection, is now broadly in line with national averages. In 2008, when standards attained in GCSE were broadly average, the attainment in GCSE examinations in science and in art and design was above the national average, and there is good evidence that in 2009 attainment in English and mathematics is on track to be in line with the national average. This represents good achievement from students' relatively low starting points. Leaders and managers correctly identified that in 2008 there was underachievement by lower attaining girls and by students with moderate learning difficulties, and they have taken successful action to put this right so that all groups now achieve equally well.
The school is a calm, orderly place where students enjoy their good relationships with staff and friendships with each other. The strong Christian ethos contributes to students' good personal development. This was evident in an assembly, led by students, and involving the whole school, on the Christian idea of our stewardship of God's earth. All students, dressed smartly in uniform, listened respectfully and responded appropriately. This reflected their good spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Students respond well to a range of opportunities to contribute to the community. They have contributed to the school's success in securing status as an international school, and are now leading the quest for Fairtrade School status. They also contribute to the evaluation of teaching and the appointment of teachers.
Students are very well cared for. Arrangements to keep them safe are robust. Good information is available to help promote their well-being, such as leaflets explaining matters such as private foster care from the child's perspective. Older pupils receive good academic guidance and, as a result, clearly understand how they can improve their work. In some subjects, such as science, younger pupils are given good opportunities to assess their own and each other's work with the result that they are able to measure how well they are doing. However, not all students in Years 7 and 8 fully understand how they can improve, in part because the quality of marking is variable.
Senior leaders, supported very well by the governors, have taken difficult but effective decisions to improve the quality of teaching and middle leadership. As a result, these features are now emerging as strengths of the school. Temporary staffing difficulties in the current year have been well managed, although in a few cases students' opportunities have been limited by a lack of specialist teachers, for example, in religious education and science. New appointments have been made to resolve these difficulties. Leaders and managers have rightly focused on raising standards in order to meet very challenging targets. However, planning for improvement does not always address more specific issues identified in the school's own evaluation of its work, partly as a result of external pressures. Governors have provided very high quality support in the drive to raise standards. While governors have ensured that all statutory policies are in place, monitoring is not always sufficiently rigorous, particularly with regard to equality of opportunity and community cohesion. Overall, there have been good improvements since the last inspection and there is a good capacity for these improvements to continue.
Achievement and standards
In 2008, standards attained at the end of Year 11 improved considerably on those attained in the previous year. For example, the proportion of students attaining five or more good GCSE grades A* to C, including English and mathematics, improved to 32% from 18% in 2007. There is very good evidence from the school's tracking of students' progress and from the results of GCSE modular examinations that the current Year 11 are on track to meet the challenging target of 35% of students reaching GCSE grades A* to C, including English and mathematics, in 2009. This figure is broadly in line with the national average and represents good progress by these students. Inspectors examined the English work of a group of girls in Years 10 and 11 whose attainment in the subject at the end of Year 6 was below the nationally expected standard. The quality of their current work was of a standard of at least a GCSE grade C or above, indicating good progress by this group of students that had previously underachieved. The work of students with moderate learning difficulties, another formerly underachieving group, showed similarly good progress. When considered with other data concerning the assessment and tracking of students' progress and their progress in lessons, inspectors judge that all students are now making good progress. In some subjects, for example, information and communication technology (ICT) and music, this is leading to above average standards.
Personal development and well-being
The school's welcoming and inclusive Christian ethos makes it clear that hard work and good behaviour are expected of students and, in the main, they respond well. They participate well in the cultural opportunities offered, such as in music and drama. Students' behaviour is good, and they have a good understanding of how to keep healthy and safe. They are committed to healthy eating and non-smoking, and understand the purpose of restrictions such as on leaving the school at lunchtime. Initiatives designed to reduce factors such as persistent absence and the occurrence of teenage pregnancy are having a positive impact. Attendance is now average. Students say they would welcome opportunities for more sophisticated discussion on, for example, maintaining positive personal relationships. Students are well represented by the elected 'Student Voice' group, which is consulted on a wide range of issues, and have opportunities to support younger students, including those about to enter Year 7. They are enthusiastic about initiatives such as charity collection and support for those in developing countries. Students are developing good skills in literacy, numeracy and ICT. However, they do not yet have sufficient opportunities to develop the skills needed for autonomous and independent learning to fully prepare them for their future economic well-being.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Positive features of teaching include the brisk pace of lessons and teachers' high expectations of students' work and behaviour. Lessons are well planned and take account of the different needs of students. Teachers' knowledge is good in almost all subjects. Teachers make good use of targets to motivate students and enable them to improve their work, especially in Years 9 to 11. When students are allowed to speak at length, for example in English, others listen and good progress is made. When they are given opportunities to research and investigate, for example in science and ICT, they respond well, but on occasions, such as in some mathematics lessons, there are fewer opportunities for this to happen, limiting students' enthusiasm for the subject. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are very well supported by teachers and teaching assistants, but in some lessons the role of teaching assistants lacks clarity.
Curriculum and other activities
The curriculum has a number of significant strengths. For example, students in Year 7 with underdeveloped learning skills are taught much of the curriculum by a single teacher to increase their confidence. Students say they enjoy the opportunity to start GCSE courses in Year 9, and to take examinations at an early stage, for example, in ICT. The school offers an increasingly wide range of courses for students to study in Years 9 to 11, with some such as hair and beauty and sports science in partnership with other establishments. Each student's programme is carefully designed to meet his or her needs and wishes. There is a good range of additional opportunities, including sport, art and culture, many of which draw on external expertise. In some classes this year, for example in science, students have been taught by non-specialist teachers, limiting their opportunities to develop the full range of skills associated with the subject.
Care, guidance and support
Students receive good care and support. There are good relationships with parents and external agencies, and in this relatively small school the staff, including senior leaders, have a good personal knowledge of students' needs. Systems for safeguarding and to protect students from harm are of good quality and meet the requirements in full. All students, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, are supported well by a range of adults and agencies. Students receive good guidance when choosing courses for GCSE and for the next stage of their education. Those following GCSE courses know their target grade, what they are currently achieving and how to improve their work. In Years 7 and 8 this guidance is less consistently effective, because of a lack of understanding on the part of some students, and because of routine marking that does not always help them to improve their work.
Leadership and management
Leaders and managers have shown great determination in bringing about rapid and sustainable improvement. There has been a relentless and successful focus on raising standards and improving behaviour and attendance. The headteacher and chair of governors have set themselves personal targets that are more demanding than the challenging targets set externally, and the evidence from data tracking pupils' progress shows that these personal targets are on track to be met. Robust action has been taken to improve the quality of teaching and of middle leadership. These changes are supported by staff, whose morale is good and who speak enthusiastically of the improvements brought about by the current leadership, as do students and their parents. Leaders have not allowed factors such as the plans for an academy on the site to distract them from their core purpose. Aspects such as student progress, teaching, behaviour and attendance are monitored carefully and accurately. However, accurate self evaluation does not always lead to sufficiently sharp focus on the areas in need of greatest improvement. Governors are rigorous in their monitoring of progress and generous in their support for the school, although they do not routinely monitor the impact of policies to promote equality and have yet to evaluate the school's work to promote community cohesion. The greatest achievement of senior leaders and managers is the creation of an ethos whereby students can learn and flourish in a safe and supportive environment, where expectations are high and success at all levels is celebrated.
|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.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||2|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||2|
|How well do learners achieve?||2|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||2|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||2|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||2|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||2|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||2|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||3|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||2|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||2|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||1|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||2|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||2|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||3|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||2|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||2|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
24 June 2009
Inspection of The Bishop of Winchester Comprehensive School, Bournemouth BH8 9PW
Thank you to those of you who spoke with us when we visited recently. You told us about how much you thought the school had improved in the last few years, and we agree with you, as do your parents. It is now a good school and you make good progress in your lessons. Standards are average, which means that many of you who found school work a struggle when you started Year 7, are now doing well.
We liked the atmosphere in the school. It is calm and welcoming, and this reflects your generally good behaviour. Everything shows that your teachers believe and expect that you will succeed, and that your confidence in what you can do is growing. Teaching is good overall. We especially liked the short tasks that keep you on your toes! We are aware that teaching in a few subjects has been disrupted this year by staff absences and the school has taken action to make sure this is not repeated.
There are lots of interesting courses and other activities, some of which have been adopted following suggestions by students. Most of you appreciate opportunities to start GCSE courses in Year 9 and report that you particularly enjoy subjects such as art, ICT and sports science. You have learned how to stay healthy and safe and you do a lot to help others, including younger students and people in other countries. Your attendance and punctuality to school are improving.
You are well looked after at school and can get advice on things that worry you, although some older students would like more advice on handling friendships and relationships. You know the grades you are capable of and how to achieve them, although some of you in Years 7 and 8 find the help you are given difficult to understand. We have asked staff to ensure that marking always helps you fully understand how to improve your work.
The headteacher, staff and governors are doing a great job in improving your school. In order to make it even better, we are asking them to give you more opportunities to learn on your own and in groups without too much help, and to allow you to speak at greater length when answering questions. We have also asked that governors and the headteacher check more systematically that everyone is being treated equally, and that the school is teaching you how to be good citizens of Britain and the wider world.