Inspection Report

Unique Reference Number 118116
LEA East Riding of Yorkshire
Inspection number 291029
Inspection dates 29 June 2006 to 30 June 2006
Reporting inspector Mrs Heather BarnettHMI

This inspection was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.


Type of school Secondary
School category Voluntary aided
Age range of pupils 11 to 19
Gender of pupils Boys
Number on roll 800
Appropriate authority The governing body
Date of previous inspection 1 February 2003
School address Queensgate
Beverley
HU17 8NF
Telephone number 01482 881531
Fax number 01482 881564
Chair of governors Mr Christopher Bodsworth
Headteacher Mr Gerald Broadbent

Introduction

The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and three Additional Inspectors.

Description of the school

Beverley Grammar School is an 11-19 boys’ school that was founded in 700AD by St John of Beverley. It is an oversubscribed, stable school with lower than average percentages of students entitled to free school meals or having learning difficulties and/or disabilities. The school has Engineering Specialist status and has recently achieved the National Healthy Schools award. It has a joint sixth form with the local girls’ school.

Key for inspection grades
Grade 1 Outstanding
Grade 2 Good
Grade 3 Satisfactory
Grade 4 Inadequate

Overall effectiveness of the school

Beverley Grammar is an outstanding school. The development of successful relationships throughout the school is a key priority and has created an atmosphere of respect for the individual. Students’ personal development is exemplary. Teachers have very high expectations of the students and teaching and learning are good. However, some subjects are better than others at ensuring they address the differing needs of students. For example, in mathematics at Key Stage 4, the more able students could do better. The students’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are excellent and they feel safe, happy and secure. The school provides outstanding care, guidance and support. Students enter the school with attainment levels that are just above average and leave with attainment levels well above average. The curriculum is good and is being further developed to enhance the opportunities available to students. The wide ranging extra-curricular activities provided are highly valued by all. There are excellent links with numerous external organisations to support the welfare and education of students.

The leadership and management of the school are outstanding. The senior leaders have a detailed understanding of the school and are constantly striving to drive the school forward. Excellent use is made of data to monitor and improve the performance of staff and students. The inspection team agrees with all of the school’s own judgements about its effectiveness. The school provides excellent value for money and is extremely well placed to improve further. The specialist status of the school has been very effective in broadening the curriculum, improving resources and supporting developments in teaching and learning.

Grade: 1

Effectiveness and efficiency of the sixth form

The sixth form provision is outstanding. Well above average pass rates for both GCE AS and A level have been maintained since the last inspection. Students are well matched to their courses and apply themselves very well to their studies. They are confident, with mature attitudes to their work, and speak very highly of their ‘sixth form community’. They feel they receive very good teaching with excellent and regular assessment in subjects and, as a result, they are very clear about how well they are doing. Pastoral and tutorial content is highly relevant and reflects students’ views and their perceived needs. Management of the sixth form, and the joint arrangements in providing the good range of courses, is outstanding.

Grade: 1

What the school should do to improve further

  • Ensure students’ individual learning needs are addressed in all lessons.
  • Further develop strategies to raise the attainment of the most able students in mathematics at Key Stage 4.

Achievement and standards

Overall, achievements and standards are good. Students’ attainment on entry to the school is slightly above average. Attainment at the end of Key Stage 3 is well above average in all core subjects. The progress made by students is considerably higher than those in similar schools, placing the school in the top 7% nationally. Progress in Key Stage 4 is good, despite a lower than expected performance in mathematics in 2004 and 2005. Here, the most able students have not achieved as well as in the other core subjects, or as similar students nationally. However, results overall at GCSE are well above average.

The school has reacted swiftly to address the issue in mathematics, with the restructuring of the school day and the Key Stage 4 curriculum allowing more time for the subject. The Engineering Specialist status is having a considerable impact on the curriculum. The more widespread use of information and communication technology (ICT) across subjects is enhancing motivation and enjoyment, and helping to maintain and improve the current high levels of attainment. Further development of assessment for learning is promoting above average attainment at the end of Key Stage 3. Intensive tracking of students’ progress and assessment in Year 10 enable staff to identify underachievement and provide effective intervention.

Achievement in the sixth form is outstanding, and standards are very high.

Grade: 2

Grade for sixth form: 1

Personal development and well-being

Students’ personal development and well-being are outstanding. They enjoy coming to school, have very positive attitudes to learning and many take part in the wide range of extra-curricular activities offered. They speak very positively of their school and are proud to attend. The school’s ethos is based on mutual respect and permeates all aspects of its work. Relationships are harmonious and productive and the high quality of students’ behaviour is reflected in the very low exclusion rate, good punctuality and excellent attendance. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is very good. Recognising the monocultural character of the local environment, the school ensures that students have positive experiences of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity; for example, through music, art, drama and religious education.

Students, parents and carers state that bullying is rare and dealt with effectively when it does occur. Students feel safe in school and know whom to approach should they need advice. They also understand the way in which diet and physical activity contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Students greatly enjoy opportunities to take responsibility and to represent their school and appreciate the fact that their opinions are listened to and acted upon. They are prepared very well for later life through good careers advice, strong industry and university links and careful, individual guidance.

Grade: 1

Quality of provision

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning are good overall. Outstanding teaching in the sixth form ensures students make very good progress. Skilful questioning enhances their knowledge and understanding. The school has extended the Key Stage 3 strategy to the other key stages, thereby informing the nature and planning of all lessons. There is good development of students’ thinking skills via questioning and challenging tasks and activities. Students make good progress, being constantly involved in class exchanges and discussion. Teachers have high expectations of students’ performance. In the few sessions where teaching is less effective this is due to teachers dominating the lesson and limiting student involvement.

Assessment is a very strong feature. The rigorous programme and consistent marking policy allow constant tracking of students’ progress against established targets and underachievement to be quickly identified. Intervention usually takes place through the pastoral system. In Year 11 and in the sixth form, this automatically leads to mentoring. Catering for the differing needs of students is usually implicit in the three levels of outcomes which teachers expect from each activity. However, this is better developed in some subjects than others.

The learning and resources centre is taking on a decisive role in promoting independent learning and research and study skills. It is opening its facilities to increased class time use.

Grade: 2

Grade for sixth form: 1

Curriculum and other activities

Curriculum provision is good. The programme in Years 7 to 9 provides a broad and balanced experience and includes very good support for those students with learning difficulties. The curriculum in Years 10 and 11 is evolving well to better meet the needs of all students. Additional courses and enrichment activities have been introduced as a result of the school’s Engineering Specialist status. Good and successful features are the broad range of traditional courses together with the improving vocational and alternative opportunities. Strong collaboration with several local colleges is supporting these initiatives. A recent curriculum review has resulted in changes to the school timetable and teaching day from September 2006. These will enable further developments that will satisfy students’ interests and enhance achievement.

Very good opportunities are provided for students to participate fully in the life of the school, and they grasp these eagerly. A wide range of extra-curricular activities are provided, notably in sport and music, and these are well supported and enjoyed by many students.

Grade: 2

Care, guidance and support

The school has a very strong commitment to inclusion and ensures that each student is valued and helped to reach his full potential. Rigorous procedures ensure that those requiring additional pastoral support are quickly identified and that their learning and social needs are effectively met. The very good work of tutors and pastoral leaders is supplemented by excellent links with a range of external services, such as educational psychologists, welfare officers and social workers. Sixth formers are impressive role models and make a significant contribution to improving the reading skills and self-esteem of younger boys through the paired reading scheme. Close liaison with primary feeder schools ensure a smooth induction into Year 7 and this high standard of care and guidance is also reflected in the quality of advice when students are choosing option subjects for GCSE, sixth form courses, employment or college and university entrance. Risk assessments are in place and child protection procedures are thorough, clear and well understood by staff and students. Students with learning difficulties receive excellent support and make very good progress.

Grade: 1

Leadership and management

Leadership and management are outstanding, both in the main school and the sixth form. The headteacher has a clear vision for the future of the school, which is shared effectively with staff and students. A culture of high expectations permeates the school, with all staff committed to ensuring that all students achieve their potential. Students are very proud of their school and parents are overwhelmingly supportive.

There is a clear understanding of accountability at all levels and senior and middle managers have an accurate view of the standards and progress of all students. The school has excellent systems for monitoring and evaluating its own progress, which involves students and parents, as well as all staff. Performance management is thoroughly embedded, and is viewed positively as an opportunity for development and improvement. Middle managers are encouraged to lead on initiatives and this contributes to the highly effective team working seen at all levels. The school is committed to continuing professional development, with the sharing of best practice being a very strong focus.

The specialist status of the school has had many beneficial effects in broadening opportunities for students, enhancing links with the community, and improving resources.

The governing body is highly committed and has developed a very effective committee structure. Governors focus closely on the priorities of the school and play an active part in self-evaluation and other school processes. Resources are deployed to very good effect giving excellent value for money. The school is extremely well placed to continue its planned improvements.

Grade: 1

Annex A

Inspection judgements

Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate School Overall 16-19
Overall effectiveness
How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? 1 1
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being? 1 1
The quality and standards in foundation stage NA NA
The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation 1 1
The capacity to make any necessary improvements Yes Yes
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection Yes Yes
Achievement and standards
How well do learners achieve? 2 1
The standards1 reached by learners 2 1
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners 2 1
How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress 2
1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.
Personal development and well-being
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? 1 1
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 1
The behaviour of learners 1
The attendance of learners 1
How well learners enjoy their education 1
The extent to which learners adopt safe practices 1
The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles 1
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community 1
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being 1
The quality of provision
How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of the learners' needs? 2 1
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? 2 2
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 1 1
Leadership and management
How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? 1 1
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 performance is monitored, evaluated and improved to meet challenging targets, through quality assurance and self-review 1
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination tackled so that all learners achieve as well as they can 1
How effectively and efficiently resources are deployed to achieve value for money 1
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities 1
The adequacy and suitability of staff to ensure that learners are protected Yes insufficient evidence
The extent to which schools enable learners to be healthy
Learners are encouraged and enabled to eat and drink healthily Yes
Learners are encouraged and enabled to take regular exercise Yes
Learners are discouraged from smoking and substance abuse Yes
Learners are educated about sexual health Yes
The extent to which providers ensure that learners stay safe
Procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements Yes
Risk assessment procedures and related staff training are in place Yes
Action is taken to reduce anti-social behaviour, such as bullying and racism Yes
Learners are taught about key risks and how to deal with them Yes
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution
Learners are helped to develop stable, positive relationships Yes
Learners, individually and collectively, participate in making decisions that affect them Yes
Learners are encouraged to initiate, participate in and manage activities in school and the wider community Yes
The extent to which schools enable learners to achieve economic well-being
There is provision to promote learners' basic skills Yes
Learners have opportunities to develop enterprise skills and work in teams Yes
Careers education and guidance is provided to all learners in key stage 3 and 4 and the sixth form Yes
Education for all learners aged 14-19 provides an understanding of employment and the economy Yes

Annex B

Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection

Alexandra House

33 Kingsway

London

WC2B 6SE

T 0207 421 6800

F 0207 421 6707

Ofsted helpline

08456 404045

The Students

Beverley Grammar School

Queensgate

Beverley

HU17 8NF

29 June 2006

Dear Students

Thank you for the contribution you made to the recent inspection of your school. We enjoyed the chance to visit lessons and to talk with many of you. We also read the results of the questionnaire completed by your parents.

This is a summary of our main findings, which I hope will interest you.

The school provides you with an outstanding education. Everyone in the school works together to create a very supportive atmosphere, in which you feel respected and are encouraged to do your best. The teaching you receive is good, your teachers have very high expectations of you, and you are keen to do well in lessons. You make high levels of progress and achieve very good results. Both you and your parents appreciate the excellent support and guidance that you receive from the school. This helps you to prepare very well for adult life. You like the range of subjects you can study, and enjoy the extra-curricular activities and opportunities you have to take on responsibilities and represent the school.

The senior managers of the school have an excellent understanding of all that goes on in the school and are always working to drive it forward. The school is doing very well, with only a few areas where it can improve further. We have asked the school to:

make sure all lessons cover the different learning needs that you have

develop further strategies in mathematics to help you achieve the top grades.

The inspection team hope you are pleased with the things we have said about the school and are proud of what you, your staff, governors and parents have achieved.

Yours sincerely

Heather Barnett

Her Majesty’s Inspector

Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: www.ofsted.gov.uk.