Myers Grove School Inspection report Unique Reference Number Local Authority Inspection number Inspection dates Reporting inspector 107132 Sheffield 331289 3–4 June 2009 David Muir HMI This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005. Type of school School category Age range of pupils Gender of pupils Number on roll School (total) Secondary Community 11–16 Mixed Appropriate authority Chair Headteacher Date of previous school inspection School address The governing body Mrs Carole Eaton Mr Andy Ireland 28 April 2008 Wood Lane Sheffield South Yorkshire S6 5HG 0114 2348805 0114 2854246 634 Telephone number Fax number Age group 11–16 Inspection dates 3–4 June 2009 Inspection number 331289 Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 2 of 12 . © Crown copyright 2009 Website: www.ofsted.gov.uk This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated. Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 2005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 3 of 12 Introduction The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional inspectors. When Myers Grove was inspected in April 2008, it was subject to a Notice to Improve and asked to address issues related to students' achievement and standards and the quality of teaching and learning. It was subsequently visited in January 2009, when it was judged to be making satisfactory progress in addressing these issues. Description of the school This is a smaller than average school situated in north-west Sheffield. Around two thirds of students live in areas of the city which are less advantaged than is typical nationally. A significant number travel from more distant neighbourhoods because the school has spare places so it has a very dispersed catchment area. The school is due to merge with a neighbouring school in 2011. Since being given a Notice to Improve, the school has formed a learning partnership with the school with which it will merge. This partnership has provided support through an executive headteacher and other initiatives. The number of students on roll has fallen, causing the complement of staff to be reduced and classes to be reorganised. The school is part of the National Challenge programme. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is average. An integrated resource for students with communication difficulties is attached to the school. Currently 25 students with statements of special educational need are on roll there and they spend most of their time being taught and supported in mainstream classes. Overall, the percentage of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in the school is broadly in line with the national average. The school population is predominantly White British. Around 11% of students come from minority ethnic heritages although the proportion of those speaking English as an additional language is around 7%, which is below the national average, and a small number of these are at the early stages of learning English. The number of students arriving or leaving the school at times other than the start or end of the academic year is high. The school has received a Healthy Schools Award, the University of Warwick Award for 'Excellence in Enterprise Education' and the standard for Careers Education and Guidance. Key for inspection grades Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 4 of 12 Overall effectiveness of the school Grade: 3 In accordance with section 13 (5) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector is of the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement. Myers Grove is a satisfactory and improving school with many good features. Students feel safe and well looked after and their individual needs are effectively catered for. Since being given a Notice to Improve in the previous inspection in April 2008, the school has worked tirelessly to improve all aspects of its performance. Although students' standards remain below average, they have improved significantly according to the school's data and the inspection evidence. The GCSE results in 2008 were the school's best ever and the school's tracking systems suggest that they are on course to improve again this year. Students make satisfactory progress during their time in the school. Since the previous inspection, the school has developed a strong partnership with the school with which it is to merge and this has been a significant factor in improving the school in many areas. The strong partnership between the headteacher of the school and the executive headteacher, from the partnership school, has helped the school develop robust procedures for monitoring and evaluating its performance accurately. This partnership is now contributing to significantly improved outcomes in other areas of the school. Students' personal development and behaviour are good. Students participate in the community at local and global level, raising money for a range of worthy causes. Students know how to keep themselves healthy and are involved in a wide range of clubs and activities. The very small minority of incidents of challenging behaviour are normally the result of frustration caused by the small number of lessons which are not planned well enough to meet the needs of all students. Overall, teaching and learning have made impressive improvements since the time of the last inspection due to the monitoring that is now in place and the initiatives which have tackled underperformance. Due to this approach, which provides support and appropriate challenge, teaching and learning are now good and improving. There are good relationships between staff and students. In the best lessons students are challenged and have a well planned mix of activities, so that they remain engaged throughout. However, there are some inconsistencies in the marking of students' books and the feedback which they receive. Students are increasingly aware of their targets and the school is aware of the need to develop students' independence skills, so that they can take a more active part in their learning and evaluate the progress they make towards their targets. The curriculum has improved and is now good. It meets the needs of all students through academic and vocational strands and by the introduction of specialist diplomas. The quality of the care, guidance and support provided by the school is good. Transition arrangements for students moving from Year 6 enable them to settle in quickly when they enter Year 7. Effective work by the learning support department and the integrated resource means that any obstacles to learning are identified as early as possible, often before the student arrives in the school, and appropriate support is put in place. Leadership and management are good and a clear vision is now in place which has placed the focus of the school's work on students' progress and high expectations of their learning. Middle managers are improving the quality of the monitoring and evaluation of their subject areas, and although there are examples of good practice emerging this is not yet consistent. The school now uses data very effectively to inform students' learning. Governors provide outstanding support and challenge for the leadership of the school. Good progress has been made in the areas for improvement cited in the previous inspection report and the school is well placed to improve further. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 5 of 12 What the school should do to improve further ■ ■ ■ ■ Improve the consistency of marking and feedback in all subjects so that students consistently know how to improve their work. Develop students' independence skills to enable them to be more active in their learning and develop their self-confidence. Ensure that the best practice amongst middle managers is identified and shared to ensure a consistency of approach amongst subject leaders. Ensure that all lessons meet the needs of all students in the class. A small proportion of the schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory but which have areas of underperformance will receive a monitoring visit by an Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection. Achievement and standards Grade: 3 While standards attained by students at the end of Year 11 have improved since the last inspection they remain below average. Due to students' below average attainment on entry in to the school, this demonstrates that they make satisfactory progress during their time in the school. Although 2008 GCSE results were lower than the national average, they were the highest the school has yet achieved, continuing the upward trend of recent years. The proportion of students gaining five or more good GCSE grades including English and mathematics improved in 2008. Standards reached by girls are higher than those of boys but progress is similar as boys enter the school with standards lower than girls. Nearly all students leave with at least one pass at GCSE. The English department has successfully led improvements across the school and plans to improve outcomes in mathematics have shown a positive impact. The school has robust arrangements for tracking and evaluating students' progress and the data indicates that results this year are likely to improve again in both key stages. A significant number of students enter the school later than the start of Year 7 and some enter late in Key Stage 4. These students often arrive with negative experiences in their previous education. The school successfully re-engages them and an increasing number leave school with appropriate external accreditation. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are progressing at the same rate as other students, because of the well-targeted support they receive. Inspectors found, and the schools' data confirmed, that students are now making better progress towards achieving their challenging targets than at the time of the last inspection. Personal development and well-being Grade: 2 Personal development, including social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is good. This is demonstrated through strong relationships throughout the school. Students feel safe and know who to go to for help. Bullying is rare, and when it does occur, students say that it is dealt with effectively. Students make positive contributions to the community and show awareness of a range of issues through activities such as fundraising and involvement with a local community action group. They have also participated in events such as the 'Inspiring Youth' initiative which provides role models for minority ethnic students, by working with young people who have been successful in their chosen careers. The school also has a strong link with a school in Malawi, which has raised awareness of issues around going to school in an African country. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 6 of 12 Behaviour is good overall. Where there is low level disruption it occurs in some lessons which fail to engage all students fully. This challenging behaviour by a very small number of learners is generally well managed through robust systems and a range of additional support within the school to minimise disruption to others. Students enjoy their learning especially in those lessons where teaching is good or better. Attendance is now satisfactory due to the school's work to reduce absenteeism. Students are proud of the Healthy School award and enjoy the healthy options which the canteen provides. The school's health mentor has had a positive impact on awareness of sexual health issues amongst students. Peer mentors offer a drop in service three times a week to support vulnerable young people. Good careers education and guidance has had a positive impact on work-place skills and the future economic well-being of the learners. This has contributed to increasing the number of students who continue in education or go on to employment or other training when they leave school. Quality of provision Teaching and learning Grade: 2 Teaching and learning have improved significantly since the last inspection and are now good. This is due to decisive and robust actions by the management, including accurate monitoring of learning and well-targeted staff development. The whole-school focus on learning has raised standards. In the better lessons, teachers have high expectations and use assessment information to plan activities that are well matched to students' needs. In these lessons, students are actively involved in their learning, are increasingly independent and are challenged by good questioning. Behaviour is good because students are engaged in their learning. Where teaching is less effective, learning is not well matched to student needs and there is less challenge. As a result, the behaviour of a very small minority deteriorates and can affect the learning of other students. All students know their targets and levels and most have a good understanding of how to improve their work. Students benefit when they are encouraged to develop independence and be involved actively in assessing their own learning and/or that of their peers, but this practice is not yet consistent. In some lessons, marking is infrequent and does not provide adequate feedback to help students to improve their learning. Students who are currently working at, or above, their target level are slightly confused about the lack of challenge in their targets and the school is working to ensure that targets are suitably challenging for all students. Curriculum and other activities Grade: 2 The curriculum has been significantly enhanced since the last inspection and is now good. The well-planned curriculum meets the needs of all learners. At Key Stage 4, the new specialist diplomas have been well received by students and the uptake on these courses is good. The Key Stage 4 curriculum meets the needs of the school's community well and is an impressive response to the examination results of previous years. Vocational education is a significant strength of the curriculum. Business and enterprise activities alongside partnerships with alternative providers are very effective in developing students' workplace skills. This was demonstrated by the school's recent success in Sheffield's 'Big Challenge' competition, which resulted in a group of students receiving an award for the best business plan. The restructured Key Stage 3 curriculum now encourages students to make links between subjects, resulting in higher standards and improved attitudes to learning. The curriculum and Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 7 of 12 other activities support students' personal development and social, moral, spiritual and cultural development well. The school offers a range of clubs and enrichment activities which are generally well attended, although attendance is more difficult for students who live further afield due to travel difficulties. Care, guidance and support Grade: 2 Care, guidance and support are good. Recent developments in the good pastoral provision ensure support for the academic and personal development of students. Targets are set for all students and systems are in place to identify any students at risk of underachieving. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities receive good support from the learning support department and integrated resource provision. Good support is available through the school's partnerships with an array of outside agencies including local authority support services and the community police service, amongst others. Arrangements for safeguarding students meet statutory requirements. The school has good transition arrangements from feeder schools, which ensure that Year 7 students settle quickly when they arrive. As one girl said about her transition into Year 7, 'It was dead friendly, when we first came¿everyone helped us find our way so we fitted in OK'. Careers education and guidance is effective in informing and guiding students towards the next stage in their life. Leadership and management Grade: 2 Leadership and management are good. The headteacher and executive headteacher, supported by the very effective senior leadership team, have shown strong leadership, in guiding the school out of its recent turbulent period. They have implemented a vision, which has a clear focus on the raising of expectations and standards for all members of the school community. Since the previous inspection the school has set challenging targets for improvement and the increasing involvement of all staff has been a major element in the improvements. At senior leadership level, self-evaluation is accurate, demonstrating an acute awareness of strengths and areas for improvement. Lesson observations are regularly undertaken to monitor the quality of teaching and learning and these are accurate. The school's judgements show that recent initiatives in coaching and the sharing of expertise with the partnership school have raised the quality of teaching and learning. In other areas of the school, monitoring systems have been established to assess the impact of recent initiatives. The systems for collecting, interpreting and using data have improved significantly and the school monitors the progress of individuals and groups of students. Subject leaders are becoming increasingly skilled at evaluating the work of their subject areas, ensuring a move towards consistency at middle manager level. Equality of opportunity is promoted well and any racist incidents, which occur, are reported as required. The school contributes well to community cohesion through its strong links with the local community and other links such as those with the school in Malawi. The school's improvement since the last inspection, the plans for future improvement and the robust systems for monitoring its work demonstrate the school has a good capacity to continue to improve. The governing body provides well-informed, outstanding support and challenge to the leadership Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 8 of 12 of the school. Governors know the school very well and take great pride in the work that it does in the local community. The school provides satisfactory value for money. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 9 of 12 . Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted’s website: www.ofsted.gov.uk. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 10 of 12 Annex A Inspection judgements Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate School Overall Overall effectiveness How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well being? The capacity to make any necessary improvements 3 Yes 2 2 Achievement and standards How well do learners achieve? 1 The standards reached by learners How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress 1 3 3 3 3 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low. Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 11 of 12 Personal development and well-being How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles The extent to which learners adopt safe practices The extent to which learners enjoy their education The attendance of learners The behaviour of learners The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being 2 2 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 The quality of provision How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs? How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? 2 2 2 Leadership and management How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated How well does the school contribute to community cohesion? How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements? Does this school require special measures? Does this school require a notice to improve? 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 Yes No No Inspection Report: Myers Grove School, 3–4 June 2009 12 of 12 Annex B Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection Thank you very much for the very enjoyable two days that my colleagues and I recently spent inspecting your school. It was made all the more pleasant by your behaviour and attitude towards us and it was interesting to hear your views. We found that your school has improved a lot since the last inspection. It is now a satisfactory school and no longer needs a Notice to Improve. The leadership of the school is good because the senior management team is clear about how the school can be improved further, although there needs to be more consistency in how the subjects are managed. The teaching and learning have made the most dramatic improvement and are now good. This is because teachers are planning lessons which are better suited to your abilities and interests. As the teaching improves, you need to be given more chances to learn independently and to develop your self-confidence. The curriculum is good because it gives you a choice of ways to learn. Your personal development is good and we judged behaviour to be good overall. Although standards are below average, your progress is satisfactory. The school tracks your work well and data shows that your standards are improving. You all know your targets and most of you know how to improve, but sometimes the marking of your books is not as helpful in some subjects. Although there have been many improvements in the last year, the school needs to continue to improve the school so I have asked your headteacher to concentrate on three areas: ■ ■ ■ Improve the consistency of marking and feedback in all subjects. Develop your independence skills so that you are more active in your learning and you develop your self-confidence. Ensure that all subject leaders improve their work so that all subjects are consistently good. Finally, I would like to wish you all the best for the future in your school and thank you again for your very warm welcome.