Pupils at a large high school can be the person they want to be, Ofsted heard.
The comment was made by a student at Neston High which has retained its ‘Good’ rating.
The finding was reached by HMI Neil Mackenzie after what is described as a ‘short inspection’. The oversubscribed school, on Raby Park Road, which has more than 1,700 pupils, was also judged to be ‘Good’ in 2013.
The HMI has told headteacher Steven Dool: “The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection and ensured that it continues to improve.”
He believes Mr Dool has created ‘very clear’ leadership arrangements and everyone is ‘fully aware’ of their responsibilities.
“You and the governors hold all staff to account with considerable rigour,” says the inspector. “Teachers and leaders at all levels are enthusiastic and ambitious.
“You ensure they have very high expectations of themselves. Similarly, high standards are expected of pupils in both their academic achievement and behaviour.”
Pupils’ comments about the school are ‘very positive’ and they consider the relationships between themselves and staff to be ‘excellent’.
Pupils are appreciative of all that the staff do for them the inspector suggests.
Around the school there are many examples of where teaching is leading to excellent pupil achievement as Mr Dool has ‘instilled in the staff a desire to do the best they can.’
The achievement of disadvantaged pupils and their attendance have improved, but there is still work to be done while overall pupils receive ‘a very good and well-rounded education’ and achieve well.
The head and governors consult well and respond while the governors provide ‘excellent guidance and leadership of the school.
Achievement in English ‘is the envy of other departments’ and their leaders are striving to match that success.
Pupils achieve well in other subjects too including art and practical design, physical education, religious education and media in the sixth form. The quality of teaching in mathematics is not as good as the school wants it to be and effective steps are being taken to improve.
Most-able pupils achieve well and the progress of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities has been strong over many years. The achievement of students in the sixth form dipped in 2016 but ‘decisive action’ has successfully been taken to deal with this.
There is a culture of high expectation throughout the school and pupils are said to be ‘sensible and responsible’ with high levels of respect. One said: “You can be the person you want to be.”
The school’s achievement in developing pupils’ personal skills has been recognised with a gold award for learning outside the classroom.
A very high proportion of those parents responding to a questionnaire would recommend Neston High to other parents while staff and pupils were also complimentary about how well the school is performing.
Ofsted said the school should ensure that the attendance and achievement of disadvantaged pupils continues to improve and take steps to improve the quality of pupils’ writing and literacy skills.