Sheffield secondary school told it requires improvement

Headteacher Andy Ireland
Headteacher Andy Ireland
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Problems were found by inspectors at a Sheffield secondary school which has been told it needs to improve in most areas.

Westfield School at Sothall has failed to improve its rating since its last check up – though Ofsted says many aspects of its performance are now on the up.

Pupils were not achieving well during their time at the school and their attainment was not as high as it could be.

In the past their progress in English and maths had been too slow and too few of the school’s most able students were doing as well as they could.

As a result the proportion of youngsters gaining the top A* to A grades at GCSE was well below average.

The inspection also found that disabled students and those with special educational needs were also making too little progress.

The report calls for more careful checks on these youngsters’ work so they can be given extra help when it is needed, while teaching them effectively the early skills needed for reading, writing and maths.

Inspectors found the quality of teaching across the school was inconsistent, with staff not always making sure pupils acted on their advice in marking on how to improve their work.

Senior staff did not always help teachers in charge of subjects and other areas of the school’s work to make accurate checks on the quality of lessons and on the progress students were making.

Improvement plans were in place but they were not precise enough and were not linked closely enough to the pupils’ performances.

But Ofsted also found that many areas were now improving thanks to the committed leadership of headteacher Andy Ireland, his senior team and the governing body.

They had an accurate view of the overall quality of teaching and the students’ levels of achievement.

Attainment in science, modern foreign languages and humanities was continuing to rise, and the school’s data indicated that the pupils’ achievement in all subjects was on course to rise in 2015.

Any under performance in teaching was now being tackled robustly, and the school took good care to keep youngsters safe and secure.

Inspectors said pupils behaved well in lessons and around the school, and they also worked hard and enjoyed their learning.

There was no graffiti and very little litter around the site, with students saying they were proud of the school and wore their uniform with pride.

Attendance levels were overall at national averages but truancy was above average.

Parents meanwhile were found to be supportive of the school and its staff, and most said they would recommend it to others.