Ribblesdale revelling in “good” report

Ribblesdale High School students celebrate their school receiving a good Ofsted report.
Ribblesdale High School students celebrate their school receiving a good Ofsted report.

Ribblesdale High School’s headteacher has praised a “team effort” for turning around the school’s fortunes.

Stephen Cox said he was delighted that the Queens Road school had received a “good” rating from Ofsted following a “concerted focus” to improve, just over two years after Ofsted’s last inspection report in July 2013 stated it required improvement.

The school achieved a “good” in the four main categories of assessment by Ofsted; leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils.

Mr Cox, said: “It’s taken a lot of hard work by all. We were determined in the time frame we had that we had to move forward.

“It’s been a collective effort by staff, pupils, governors and parents as well. .

“When I started in October 2012, it took time not just have an impression of where the school was but to get some hard data on things.

“The second thing was to ensure we all had a vision of where we wanted to go and assign people to the right areas.

“Unfortunately, as that started we the had Ofsted visit in June, but at that point I think it gave us added impetus.

“We wanted to get the right trajectory to get us to good but also above good as well.”

Inspectors found “students make good progress and reach standards which are above average across a wide range of subjects, including English, mathematics and science”.

Achievement of disadvantaged students was found to be “good”, students’ attendance was “above average” and the inspector said pupils “are safe and say they feel safe” and know how to stay safe in different situations, including using the internet.

The report added:: “Teaching is good. Teachers’ questioning is used well to push students to think hard and express themselves fully. “Students’ behaviour is good. “Students’ attitudes to learning are positive. They work hard and follow instructions well. Mr Cox said: “I’m delighted with several areas of the report, particularly on the behaviour of our youngsters because they are one of our biggest assets.

“Questioning of our youngsters in lessons is another area. It’s good teaching. We are really proud of that because we have put in awful lot of work into that area.

“In 2012 we achieved 22 A* grades. In 2014, the total was 123 A* grades. That’s a five fold increase in terms of the best grades.”

Inspectors also praised the work between middle and senior leaders, however, they said the reasons the school did not get an outstanding rating included “teaching does not secure outstanding achievement for students” and “checks made on students’ learning do not always result in teachers providing activities closely matched to learning needs”.

Inspectors also concluded the “achievement of the lower-ability students and some groups of students with special educational needs is not as consistently good as that of other groups of students”.

Mr Cox said: “The areas identified were already being worked on prior to the report being published.”