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Thirsk School awarded 'Good' rating after inspection
8:31am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
A MATHS and computing specialist school has been given a “good” rating by Ofsted, after being among the first to be inspected under a rigorous new framework.
Thirsk School and Sixth Form College was judged as good in all four areas examined - student achievement, the quality of teaching, behaviour and safety, and leadership and management - following the two-day inspection last month.
Lead inspector Margaret Farrow gave the Topcliffe Road school, which was established in 1957, less than a day’s notice of its first full Ofsted inspection since 2008, when it also received a good gradind.
Inspectors found pupils all achieved well and made good progress from average starting points due to the school’s “aspirational, friendly, safe and caring atmosphere”.
They also praised its “astute and insightful leadership”, the high-achieving 185-student sixth-form, pupils’ behaviour and described some of the teaching as “interesting, intriguing and captivating”.
The report said the school fell below an “outstanding” rating because some teachers planned the same work for all students, making it is too simple for some and too difficult for others.
It added: “The high-quality questioning, feedback and marking used by many teachers is not used consistently by all.”
Ofsted introduced a more challenging inspection framework last month to stop headteachers from improving their school’s ratings by concentrating on areas such as pupil well-being and to allow inspectors to spend more time in classrooms observing teaching and learning.
From this term, schools must be judged as good as a minimum, with the former “satisfactory” grade being rebranded “requires improvement” to highlight concerns over sustained weaknesses.
A spokesman for the school said at the time of publication no school nationally had achieved a better overall judgement under the new inspection framework.
Headteacher Stuart Mason said: “The inspection report is fair and demonstrates that we are not just a good school, but one which is focused on improving even further.
“The new inspection framework is tougher, as it should be, and we are delighted that we have come through so strongly. “The report shows the hard work of students and staff and the vital support of parents and governors”.
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