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Bury St Edmunds: King Edward VI School is rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted with an ‘outstanding’ sixth form

16:15 19 January 2014

King Edward VI School celebrating a good Ofsted with an outstanding sixth form.

King Edward VI School celebrating a good Ofsted with an outstanding sixth form.

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An upper school in Bury St Edmunds has held onto its “good” rating following an inspection, with its sixth form rated as “outstanding”.

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Last month King Edward VI School in Grove Road was inspected by education watchdog Ofsted, which looked at the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils, leadership and management and overall effectiveness.

Inspectors gave the school an overall rating of “good,” with “outstanding” features including the sixth form and behaviour and safety of pupils.

Headteacher Geoff Barton said: “This is the kind of Ofsted report many schools dream of getting.

“We knew that the issues surrounding the English fiasco in 2012 would hold us back a bit, but we are delighted that the sixth form is outstanding in every category, and across our school behaviour plus spiritual and moral education are outstanding.

“Inspectors loved our emphasis on extra-curricular activities to build young people’s character and described our range of trips and visits as ‘stunning’.

“The report couldn’t come at a better time for us – once again around 40% of our students have received offers from the UK’s top universities (the Russell Group), with two more gaining places at Oxford and Cambridge.

“That brings to 17 the number of our students being accepted at two of the top 10 universities in the world over four years – an immense achievement for a non-selective comprehensive school.

“My congratulations to all our students and staff, and thanks to our loyal parents for their immense trust in our values and their support for our work.”

The report said students’ attitudes to learning were “exemplary”.

“Students are consistently enthusiastic and committed learners who are ambitious to do their best.

“They are eager to join in discussions and thoughtful and reflective in the way they present their ideas.”

It added: “Behaviour is managed consistently well by teachers and teaching assistants, and behaviour during lessons and around the school is outstanding.” The report said in 2012 standards had dipped to average in English and students’ progress slowed, which was due to changes in staffing and difficulties in recruiting teachers.

But “prompt and decisive action” by school leaders brought about a recovery in 2013, with progress rising again.

Standards in a wide range of GCSE subjects are above average and in the sixth form standards in most courses are high and students make “outstanding progress”.

The report said teachers had high expectations, with lessons capturing students’ interest and enthusiasm, and they did an “excellent job” in promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.

Inspectors felt Mr Barton, other leaders and the governing body worked effectively to raise attainment and ensure the good quality of teaching is sustained.

The school was also praised for an “exceptional range” of additional activities and educational visits.

Inspectors highlighted some areas the school could work on to become outstanding, including making sure all teachers consistently matched work to the stage students had reached and making a greater use of questioning in lessons to challenge their thinking.

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