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Smithdon High School

Celebrating a 'Good' Ofsted report

Everyone involved with Smithdon High School is celebrating after Ofsted inspectors awarded a ‘Good’ status across the board following a recent inspection.

Our school was praised for its ‘well-crafted,’ ambitious programmes of study and the inspector said pupils: “Value the opportunities to nurture existing talents and develop new ones. This goes beyond the traditional offer of sport.”

Our School was previously graded as ‘requires  improvement’ and has 581 students aged from 11 to 16. Headteacher Amanda Gibbins took up her role in September last year, having been deputy headteacher previously.

“This report is testament to the whole Smithdon community and the hard work of everyone involved. We have a fantastic, talented staff supporting our students on their educational journey,” she said.

“We are passionate that all children are given the same opportunities to succeed, whatever their background and skills. Our students with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities achieve in line with national figures, and we have a school community extending well beyond our fences. Together we are working to continue improvements at Smithdon, and are looking forward to celebrating every future success.”

The report says pupils are benefiting from the improvements made since the school’s previous inspection, and they know teachers have high aspirations for them, and respond to those well.

Personal social and health education (PHSE) was highlighted for supporting pupils to develop an increasing understanding of sensitive topics.

“They are well prepared to become positive citizens in modern Britain. Pupils learn the importance of difference, tolerance and respect. They use this knowledge to embrace and celebrate diversity,” the report says.

“Most pupils work hard in lessons and produce high quality work. Over time, pupils learn well. Their achievements have increased steadily in recent years.”

Mrs Gibbins added that at 67 per cent, achieving grade 4 or higher in GCSE maths and English, was in line with national figures while maths results were especially successful with progress  +0.39, ahead of the benchmark.

“Progress figures in all areas have improved since 2019 and, all bar one area, are above Norfolk and national progress data. Our Progress 8 score is above both the county and national average and shows pupil achievement from their last year of primary school to when they take GCSEs,” she added.

The Ofsted report says the school has worked hard to improve behaviour of pupils, and there are high expectations which pupils understand. Most adults consistently apply the expected routines and develop positive relationships.

But there are some pupils who, at times, do not feel valued for their contributions and don’t make the effort to behave positively, noted the inspector. 

Smithdon’s staff members ‘are proud to work at the school’ and feel both included and valued.