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Huntington School 'on cusp of becoming truly great'
THE head teacher of a York secondary school says it is on the cusp of becoming “truly great” after Ofsted inspectors gave it a good rating.
A report on Huntington School, published following an inspection in November, said it was good in all four areas: student achievement, the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, and leadership and management.
It said students made good progress in a wide range of subjects and achieved well, and there was a good atmosphere for learning.
“Teaching is either good or outstanding in many lessons,” it said. “Students enjoy school, behave well and display good attitudes to learning.
“They say that there is very little bullying and that if it does occur members of staff deal with it effectively.”
The report praised head teacher John Tomsett for promoting an “ethos of strong professional challenge and high expectations among staff, governors and students”, and said there was good leadership and management at all levels, including the governing body.
It said Huntington was not yet outstanding because, although teaching was good overall, there was insufficient outstanding classroom practice to lift students’ progress to the highest levels and, in the few lessons where teaching required improvement, the pace of learning was too slow.
Mr Tomsett said new “grade descriptors” for Ofsted inspections were “incredibly demanding”.
He said: “We have been graded good by Ofsted, but we are a much better school than when we were last inspected in 2009, when we were judged to be good with outstanding features.
“Our students were brilliantly behaved. One inspector said he hadn’t seen a student ‘off-task’ once throughout the inspection. What I like about the report is the focus upon our successful drive to improve the quality of teaching.
“I know what we are: we are on the cusp of becoming a truly great school.
“As head teacher, you need to get the conditions for sustained teacher-growth right regardless of whether you have an inspection looming. That’s the only way you become a truly great school.
“What is reassuring about the final report most is how the ‘Area for Improvement’ says, essentially, ‘just carry on with what you are doing because it is working well’.”
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