A larger than average size high school has had a ‘good’ report from Ofsted.

The finding was reached by a team of five inspectors who spent two days at Helsby High on Chester Road in Helsby.

During their visit, the inspectors observed parts of 39 lessons, met five groups of students and talked informally with others in lessons and around the school and met representatives of the governors and staff.

They took account of the views of parents and staff, observed the school's work and examined documents including the school's improvement plan.

Describing Helsby High as ‘an improving school’, lead inspector Sally Lane says the ‘drive and determination’ of headteacher John Dowler and his team have had a ‘visible impact’ on all aspects of the school's work.

The attainment of students is high and the most able do very well, gaining a significantly higher proportion of GCSE A* and A grades than nationally in a wide range of subjects.

The majority of teaching is good and some is outstanding.

Students enjoy ‘very positive’ relationships with their teachers who know their subjects well.

The already good behaviour of students and their attendance is said to be improving all the time.

They are happy and proud of their school and respectful of one another.

The ‘vast range’ of extracurricular activities enhances their experiences, the inspectors believe, and has a positive effect on their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development with some students representing England in sport.

The headteacher has encouraged all staff to make improvements and subject leaders manage their departments effectively.

As a result, standards and the quality of teaching are improving.

The inspector added: “The sixth form is good and improving with standards that are above average. The students are exemplary role models for other students in the main school.”

Ofsted says Helsby High is not yet outstanding because a small number of students do not make the progress expected of them and the attendance and behaviour of a small minority is not as good as it should be.

In their detailed report, the inspectors say the most able students achieve exceptionally well and are making excellent progress.

This is not always the case for some middle and lower ability students because not enough is expected of them in some lessons.

Standards in the sixth form are above average and a high proportion of students are successful in moving on to higher education or career options.

Teaching there is almost always good and often outstanding.

The vast majority of parents who responded to a questionnaire about the school believe their children are making good progress and would recommend the school to others.