Good News at Longhill High School

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Longhill High School has been rated a Good school by Ofsted. Last month, inspectors came in to look at all aspects of the school and the official report has now been published.

The outcome is overwhelmingly positive with high praise for the school’s transformation since the arrival of headteacher Kate Williams just two years ago.

During the two day visit on 18 and 19 September, Ofsted observed pupils and staff working in 40 lessons as well as looking at school operations throughout the day. The report highlighted inspirational leadership, good behaviour of pupils, significantly improved teaching and positive community relations.

Headteacher Kate Williams said: “This is a result we’re all very proud of. We know we’re good and now Ofsted has officially recognised this too, which is amazing. It’s thanks to the dedication of all involved, especially our staff. We’re also very grateful for tremendous support from families, the local community and the pupils themselves, of course. We are now going to build on this success and make sure everyone knows Longhill High School is a good place to be.”

Key areas covered by the report included:

Inspirational leadership

The report states: “The inspirational leadership of the Headteacher has resulted in the staff working together to transform the school. The school now provides a good level of education”.

The Ofsted inspectors acknowledged the hard work of the senior leadership team, highlighting that teachers now have a “renewed enthusiasm for teaching and … research new ways to inspire pupils”.

Inspectors spoke with a range of staff members and reviewed the 64 responses on the staff questionnaire. The report confirms that “morale is high” and that “all stakeholders recognise the transformation that has occurred in the school”.

Behaviour has been transformed

Inspectors observed pupils and staff working in 40 lessons as well as behaviour in corridors and at break and lunch times. The school implemented a new behaviour system since the previous Ofsted inspection in March 2016.

The latest report confirms that the behaviour issues, which were once a legacy of the school, are now very much in the past, stating: “Pupils behaviour has been transformed since the last inspection and they are now proud of their school. They are smart, polite and tolerant of views and differences. They recognise the many improvements and are appreciative of their teachers and the leaders of the school.”

In previous inspections, behaviour was an area which required improvement. However the report confirms that “the school is calm and purposeful. Pupils move quickly between lessons. They behave well in lessons and during lunchtime”.

Teaching and learning has improved significantly

The school has implemented a range of changes in teaching and learning practices over the last two years, these have positively impacted student’s engagement and success.

The report confirms recognised the achievements, stating: “All stakeholders agree that teaching has improved significantly. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is good because teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.”

The report also commends changes in the curriculum, confirming that “the curriculum and enrichment activities promote pupil’s development well”.

Renewed confidence within the local community

The school has made significant efforts to link with the local community to challenge perceptions about the school and community relations.

Kate Williams, in headteacher capacity, has forged connections with parents, other local schools and organisations.

The report acknowledges the difference this approach has made, stating: “The local community has renewed its confidence in the school since the last inspection. Pupils, parents, leaders of other schools and the local authority all agree that the school has improved significantly”.

The report also highlights that leaders have “enhanced the schools reputation within the community”.

A quote from a parent is included as an example of this positive change which reads: “I have already witnessed some of the changes that the school has implemented and I feel confident that further positive changes will continue to make Longhill into a school that the community can be very proud of.”

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