Sheffield secondary school is rated ‘good’ in every area

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One of Sheffield’s largest secondary schools has been rated ‘good’ by inspectors - who found GCSE results improving strongly.

Pupils at Ecclesfield School were making good progress and GCSE pass rates had risen for three years in a row and were now above national averages.

There was praise for standards in English which were also above average because teaching was typically good and sometimes outstanding.

Teachers had good subject knowledge and high expectations of their pupils, with more high quality lessons found in several other subjects, including history and geography.

Headteacher Joel Wirth was praised by the inspection team for his clear vision and direction for the school and its 1,750 students.

With the help of senior staff who were relentlessly focused on higher standards, the result was that the pupils’ achievement, attendance levels and behaviour had all improved.

Deaf students in the school’s hearing impairment unit were also making good progress because they had access to the same good quality teaching as their peers.

A good range of after-school clubs gave students opportunities to be healthy, learn new skills and get involved in the community.

Governors were performing well too, understanding the school’s strengths and weaknesses and holding senior staff to account.

Inspectors say Ecclesfield is not yet an outstanding school because pupils are not making the same rapid progress in maths as they are in English.

Teachers did not always plan activities that met the needs of every student, with sometimes every pupil completing the same work.

Pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds were improving but not at the same rate as other students.

Mr Wirth said he was delighted with the report which said the pupils felt safe and happy.

“I am confident the school has the strength and experience to successfully meet the challenges outlined,” he said.

“Governors, senior leaders and all staff are determined to be an outstanding school for our community and we will strive restlessly to ensure that this happens.”