Buxton Community School goes ‘above and beyond’ – parents say during Ofsted inspection

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The headteacher of Buxton Community School says he is delighted after parents described staff as going ‘above and beyond’ and ‘inspiring’ pupils during an Ofsted inspection.

Craig Yates told how the school had achieved a good grade during an inspector’s visit against a different framework which focuses on quality of learning rather than grades and results.

The headteacher said the new guidelines - introduced in September - focused on its curriculum and making sure young people were learning ‘the right things in the right way’ whereas before it was about ‘outcomes and ‘exam results’.

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Craig said teachers at the school had achieved the good grade by preparing for the new assessment early.

Headteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam JonesHeadteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam Jones
Headteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam Jones | JPIMedia Resell

He said: “The pressure on pupils has been phenomenal since GCSEs were changed a few years ago.

“Our view was to give young people confidence in what they do - and Ofsted have said some really lovely things.

“It’s just really nice to get that recognition.

“Our parents’ survey found teachers go above and beyond – and Ofsted taking time to say that was lovely.”

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Headteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam Jones and pupils Caylum Martin, 12, and Isabelle Woolley, 12Headteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam Jones and pupils Caylum Martin, 12, and Isabelle Woolley, 12
Headteacher Craig Yates with deputy headteacher Sam Jones and pupils Caylum Martin, 12, and Isabelle Woolley, 12 | JPIMedia Resell

Craig said there was some ‘fantastic stuff’ in the new Ofsted report - including comments that teachers had produced a ‘well-designed’ curriculum and pupils ‘recalled important knowledge’.

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Headteacher Craig, who has been at the school for five years, said: “It’s about quality of education, listening, knowledge and the skills they’re learning - where students can collect enough to use it in the long term.

“It’s about getting pupils to build on low-level knowledge.”

In their report inspectors wrote how pupils enjoyed school, attended well and ‘like the opportunities available to them beyond the subjects they study’.

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It read: “They attend many clubs and sporting activities at lunchtime and after school.

“Many parents are positive about the school - one parent represented others by telling us ‘the teachers go above and beyond and inspire.’”

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Inspectors found leaders and staff had ‘high expectations’ of pupils’ behaviour – with the vast majority of pupils behaving very well and disruption happening rarely.

They wrote: “Pupils told us they feel safe in school and well-supported by the adults who teach and look after them.

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“Pupils say that teachers deal with any bullying immediately.”

Speaking about the school’s curriculum inspectors wrote: “Well-designed and well-sequenced curriculum plans exist in most subjects.

“The plans make it clear exactly what teachers must teach and the order in which they must teach it.

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“For most pupils this works well to help them build on their prior knowledge - most pupils can recall important knowledge and they use this knowledge to help them learn.”

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In order to improve more inspectors wrote ‘leaders should ensure all curriculum plans enable all pupils to know and remember more’.

They added: “Leaders should ensure that collaborative planning enables subject leaders to identify the substantive knowledge which pupils need in each different subject and how they can work together to help pupils know more and remember more.”

To read the full report find it at https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50148391.

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