Huntington School 'on cusp of becoming truly great'

York Press: Head teacher John Tomsett with pupils at Huntington School celebrate a good Ofsted report Head teacher John Tomsett with pupils at Huntington School celebrate a good Ofsted report

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’.”

Comments (10)

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9:57am Tue 17 Dec 13

Shouter says...

It is a good school and the Ofsted rating is well deserved. Congratulations and keep up the excellent work you do.
It is a good school and the Ofsted rating is well deserved. Congratulations and keep up the excellent work you do. Shouter

2:47pm Tue 17 Dec 13

directdebbie says...

Brill news, i have 3 children, 2 have already left and the third is about to take her gcse. its a brilliant school and the support from everyone has been excellent.
Brill news, i have 3 children, 2 have already left and the third is about to take her gcse. its a brilliant school and the support from everyone has been excellent. directdebbie

5:43pm Tue 17 Dec 13

jothesausage says...

Well done for getting 'good' but what makes an outstanding school is one in which students transfer learning to their lives outside school. Living in Huntington I see the behaviour of students on public buses and during lunchtimes in nearby streets; behaviour is outstanding but for the wrong reasons. Huntington has a long history of good education and it should be acknowledged alongside the good grounding from the feeder schools and local community of a raised socio economic status. The report sounds like an ego trip for the Head when it should focus on the hard work of the whole,school community.Shame really.
Well done for getting 'good' but what makes an outstanding school is one in which students transfer learning to their lives outside school. Living in Huntington I see the behaviour of students on public buses and during lunchtimes in nearby streets; behaviour is outstanding but for the wrong reasons. Huntington has a long history of good education and it should be acknowledged alongside the good grounding from the feeder schools and local community of a raised socio economic status. The report sounds like an ego trip for the Head when it should focus on the hard work of the whole,school community.Shame really. jothesausage

6:02pm Tue 17 Dec 13

CaroleBaines says...

Well done to the school and am sure it is well run. But Ofsted inspections mean very little - government tool looking to implement government policy - no more. Every time there is a huge scandal at some school, why does it seem they have always just got a clean bill of health from Ofsted? Answer - Ofsted are largely a waste of space and public money, someone needs to hold them accountable for our appalling numeracy and literacy record, why have they not increased standards in 25 yrs?
Well done to the school and am sure it is well run. But Ofsted inspections mean very little - government tool looking to implement government policy - no more. Every time there is a huge scandal at some school, why does it seem they have always just got a clean bill of health from Ofsted? Answer - Ofsted are largely a waste of space and public money, someone needs to hold them accountable for our appalling numeracy and literacy record, why have they not increased standards in 25 yrs? CaroleBaines

7:18pm Tue 17 Dec 13

only human says...

well done mr thomsett and all the staff at Huntington school.All 5 of my children thrived at the school and all achieved the full quota of GCSE and A levels.
However credit needs also to be shared with the commited and dedicated approach of the parents and students who strive to reach their potential in the vast majority of cases.
As the saying goes " it takes a village to raise a child " and thats the attitude of the local community who fed the school with their offspring.
Coming from a deprived large family background and living on a social housing estate myself i managed to move into the catchment area of Huntington school in the hope of giving my childen the best possible start within our means.
Three of my children went on to university and one onto do a modern engineering apprenticeship.The eldest opted to go straight into the workplace and has been employed for over 10 years now by the same employer.
My eldest daughter has just completed her masters and plans to work for the foreign office.
When i compare my families success to the families of some of the people i went to school and grew up with i have no doubts that moving into the Huntngton school catchment area was one of the best decisions of my life.
I would like to say a big thankyou to all staff old and new at the school ,and a special thanks to Ms G who does the languages there as my daughter is now fluent in at least 2 EU languages after studying European Studies at Lec Uni.Not only this but she has travelled/studied around the world extensively as far away as Mexico and China ,Switzerland and USA,
Marvellous !!
well done mr thomsett and all the staff at Huntington school.All 5 of my children thrived at the school and all achieved the full quota of GCSE and A levels. However credit needs also to be shared with the commited and dedicated approach of the parents and students who strive to reach their potential in the vast majority of cases. As the saying goes " it takes a village to raise a child " and thats the attitude of the local community who fed the school with their offspring. Coming from a deprived large family background and living on a social housing estate myself i managed to move into the catchment area of Huntington school in the hope of giving my childen the best possible start within our means. Three of my children went on to university and one onto do a modern engineering apprenticeship.The eldest opted to go straight into the workplace and has been employed for over 10 years now by the same employer. My eldest daughter has just completed her masters and plans to work for the foreign office. When i compare my families success to the families of some of the people i went to school and grew up with i have no doubts that moving into the Huntngton school catchment area was one of the best decisions of my life. I would like to say a big thankyou to all staff old and new at the school ,and a special thanks to Ms G who does the languages there as my daughter is now fluent in at least 2 EU languages after studying European Studies at Lec Uni.Not only this but she has travelled/studied around the world extensively as far away as Mexico and China ,Switzerland and USA, Marvellous !! only human

2:27am Wed 18 Dec 13

Magicman! says...

Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd.
Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd. Magicman!

9:26am Wed 18 Dec 13

York_Girl says...

Magicman! wrote:
Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd.
Lol. Was the werid teacher Mr Fee!!
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd.[/p][/quote]Lol. Was the werid teacher Mr Fee!! York_Girl

9:36am Wed 18 Dec 13

hustler says...

I was there in the 1990's, in fact I believe the first Ofsted Inspection the school had was in 1997 or thereabouts when I was in Sixth Form. The school was just as good then, when Keith Wragg was the headteacher. The deputies I recall were Mr Kibble, the late David Edwards (who sadly passed away just as he had been appointed the role of headteacher due to the retirement of Keith Wragg the following summer); and Miss Kitching, who was later replaced by an ex-military man, whose name escapes me, taking on more of an administrative role.

Mr Fee was head of Upper School (Years 10 & 11), and the much-feared Miss Howarth was the head of Lower School.
I was there in the 1990's, in fact I believe the first Ofsted Inspection the school had was in 1997 or thereabouts when I was in Sixth Form. The school was just as good then, when Keith Wragg was the headteacher. The deputies I recall were Mr Kibble, the late David Edwards (who sadly passed away just as he had been appointed the role of headteacher due to the retirement of Keith Wragg the following summer); and Miss Kitching, who was later replaced by an ex-military man, whose name escapes me, taking on more of an administrative role. Mr Fee was head of Upper School (Years 10 & 11), and the much-feared Miss Howarth was the head of Lower School. hustler

6:47pm Wed 18 Dec 13

mersaultdies says...

Ofsted is clearly as relevant, accurate and thorough as it always has been.

In no way, shape or form could it be described as government thinktank-inspired tool for achieving whatever the current powerholders want to from our education system, inconsistent in what it requires from schools and led by the opinions of the school SLT.
Ofsted is clearly as relevant, accurate and thorough as it always has been. In no way, shape or form could it be described as government thinktank-inspired tool for achieving whatever the current powerholders want to from our education system, inconsistent in what it requires from schools and led by the opinions of the school SLT. mersaultdies

1:47am Fri 20 Dec 13

Magicman! says...

York_Girl wrote:
Magicman! wrote:
Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd.
Lol. Was the werid teacher Mr Fee!!
nah... although that name is a slightly disturbing for a teacher!!
[quote][p][bold]York_Girl[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Shame it hadn't been like that 12+ years ago when I was there... kids found it hard to concentrate, especially since a lot of lessons took place in wooden portacabins where the floors were rotting away and the heaters had no controls on them; plus a deputy headteacher at the time there was a littl bit wierd.[/p][/quote]Lol. Was the werid teacher Mr Fee!![/p][/quote]nah... although that name is a slightly disturbing for a teacher!! Magicman!

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