Pakefield High School, in London Road, Lowestoft, rated good by Ofsted inspectors
A secondary school in a Suffolk town has been rated good by Ofsted, with inspectors praising its ‘harmonious environment'.
Pakefield High School, in London Road, Lowestoft, was visited by the educational watchdog on September 27 and 28, receiving the good rating in all areas.
In their report, inspectors Sue Child, Kay Leach, Aron Whiles and Michael Skelly highlighted that ‘pupils are proud to belong to this rapidly improving school’ and that ‘they are happy and enjoy spending time with each other'.
The school became an academy in 2019 after its predecessor, Pakefield School, was rated ‘requires improvement,’ and is now a part of Clarion Corvus Trust.
Head of School Dan Bagshaw was thrilled with the inspection outcomes.
He said: “The school has been on a tremendous journey of improvement over the past few years, and it was pleasing to share that with OFSTED inspectors.
“This is a proud moment for everyone involved with the school, and I would like to thank the fantastic team of staff at the school who have made this transformation possible through their sheer hard work and determination.”
Pakefield High School was praised for boosting the ambition for what pupils can achieve and they rose to their teachers’ high expectations, particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the report said.
Safeguarding arrangements were regarded as effective, and inspectors noted that students were kept safe, with staff alert to any concerns and child welfare being of the highest priority.
The school promoted subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), however teacher shortages in modern foreign languages meant that numbers opting for the full EBacc was limited.
The report stated teachers carefully planned learning in each subject so as to build systematically on existing knowledge, with pupils led through content step by step.
Since the inspection of Pakefield School, behaviour has improved significantly according to inspectors, with strengthened anti-bullying policies in place.
The establishment’s leadership was noted to be effective, with leaders at all levels ‘rigorous’ at seeking out strengths and weaknesses alongside effective communication with parents and carers.
Inspectors noted that a small number of pupils were not able to get the most out of the improved curriculum due to the school not ensuring their reading and writing levels were sufficient, resulting in some not being able to read provided materials well enough.
Some pupils were not able to demonstrate their understanding in detail when writing, with the report stating the school should ensure these pupils are supported to further develop their skills, as well as improving all pupils’ writing skills in general.
Mr Bagshaw also noted that both tiers of school in Pakefield, primary and secondary, were now rated good, saying this was great for the local community.
He said the school has moved quickly to address the issues in the report regarding literacy improvements, with a phonics plan to be implemented at key stage three to support reading development.