Students’ behaviour is good in lessons and around both college sites. Students feel safe with very little concern regarding bullying. Attendance is above the national average and exclusion rates are low.
In the best lessons, teachers make good use of assessment data to plan engaging lessons that are well matched to students’ needs and questioning effectively explores students’ understanding.
The overall effectiveness of the boarding experience is good. The quality of care provided, robust safeguarding arrangements, and effective leadership and management of the boarding provision ensure that boarders achieve successful outcomes.
Students have positive attitudes to learning and good relationships with teachers support their learning well.
Regular tracking of progress ensures that individual needs
are quickly identified and appropriate in-class support organised.
Those students in the resource base with specific learning difficulties receive effective additional support.
Some good examples were seen of effective approaches being used to develop
students’ literacy skills, including reading, in a few subjects and this is beginning to have a positive impact on raising students’ achievement.
Students are aware of their targets and how well they are doing
Some marking is of high quality, follows the new college guidelines and provides clear advice to students about how to move from one level or grade to another.
There is a calm and pleasant atmosphere around both college sites during break and lunchtimes. Generally, students behave well and are respectful of each other. They socialise well and have a good moral understanding of right and wrong.
Exclusions from college are below average. Behaviour for learning is generally good, particularly where teachers provide opportunities for students to think and learn for themselves and promote independent working.
The very large majority of parents and carers think that their children are safe and are well looked after. Students reported that they felt safe and that incidents of bullying were rare, and they were confident that the college dealt effectively with any incidents that did occur.
The high expectations of senior leaders are evident in the challenging targets set for students. The progress of students towards these targets is tracked well and information is stored centrally and available to all staff.
In the past year, more frequent and robust systems for monitoring teaching have been put in place. This, combined with effective support and professional development for members of staff, is beginning to have a positive impact.
The curriculum is suitably broad and balanced. The college provides many good opportunities for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through subjects such as ‘world issues’ and through the college’s cross-curricular focus on ‘skills for success’. These opportunities, plus the broad range of extra-curricular activities available to students, ensure they leave the college as well-rounded young citizens.
Boarders develop self-confidence, learn practical and social skills, and take increasing responsibility for managing their academic and social programme. Consequently, boarders are independent and emotionally resilient. Students recognise that the experience of boarding life has prepared them well for further education and adult life.
The quality of relationships and behaviour within the boarding provision are strong and positive. There is a unified approach to welcoming new students, underpinned by mutual respect and encouragement of each other. Consequently, boarders enjoy a sense of belonging and feel a genuine affinity to the boarding community.
Boarding staff are positive role models and are skilled at balancing a nurturing approach with maintaining safe boundaries.