Wensleydale School going from strength to strength says Ofsted

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form. Photo: Google

The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form has received glowing praise from Ofsted following an inspection last month.

The inspectors found that the Leyburn school “continues to be good” and that uncompromising standards and high expectations ensure the school is going from strength-to-strength.

Julia Polley, headteacher, said: “There is a great deal for everyone associated with The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form to be proud of.

“Every area that was reviewed was praised not just for what we have achieved, but also for our ambition to improve further.

“In fact, the inspectors said in their feedback that our school was bordering on being outstanding in many areas.”

The outcomes come on the back of a year of celebrations since the new headteacher joined in January 2016.

Last summer saw GCSE results in key subjects improve by over 10 percentage points and our students making progress that exceeds the national average, as well as sixth form students achieving significantly higher point scores than previous years.

Among the many positive comments in the report, inspectors found that:

  • Leadership has “high expectations of both your staff and pupils. Collectively, you are uncompromising in your standards and work to ensure that you meet the needs of individual pupils.”
  • The school knows “your pupils well and this enables a more personalised approach to pupils’ academic and social development.”
  • Pupils have “positive attitudes to learning and are developing the ability to learn from their mistakes.”
  • The school has highly effective policies and procedures in place to ensure that pupils are safe.
  • Sixth form attendance “is very good and students talk very positively about their experiences at school including the support that they receive. Students receive good-quality careers information, advice and guidance which prepares them well for their next steps.”

Ofsted said the proposed partnership with QE Sixth Form had been positively received by current Year 11 pupils who were keen to continue their studies at the school, as well as benefit from the additional courses on offer at the Darlington college.

Inspectors found some areas for improvement, saying some pupils were overly reliant on direction from the teachers and did not demonstrate the ability to work independently.

They also noted that middle leaders did not yet take the initiative in driving forward departmental development, instead mainly relying on the direction of senior leaders.

Julie Woodyer, chair of governors, said: “This is a hugely impressive report, which is testament to the incredible dedication of all the staff and students at the school.

“What is particularly pleasing is that the school is already working to enhance the areas that Ofsted highlighted we need to strengthen.

“This shows that our school is built on very strong foundations. We continually raise the bar and have the highest of expectations for everyone associated with the school.”

A copy of the full report can be found on the school’s website from Tuesday at www.wensleydale.n-yorks.sch.uk