OFSTED Impressed with Writhlington School

Writhlington School is celebrating following its ‘Good’ Ofsted Inspection at the end of September 2023. Inspectors were impressed with the school and have graded it as Good in all areas; Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership and Management and the Sixth Form.

The report states that ‘pupils benefit from a well-rounded education’, that ‘relationships between staff and pupils are positive’ and that ‘pupils feel happy and safe’; all of which exemplifies how the school has undergone a period of rapid improvement since joining the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership in 2019.

Inspectors were impressed with the ‘ambitious and well sequenced curriculum’ meaning that ‘pupils focus on their learning well, discussing their learning and exploring their ideas. Pupils understand the ‘high expectations’ and ‘as a result benefit from a well rounded curriculum’. ‘Pupils benefit from a calm and structured learning environment’

‘Pupils of all ages describe a respectful school culture’ where pupils ‘behave with respect and responsibility’. This reflects the school values of respect, resilience, ambition, confidence, kindness and success. Ofsted also noted that ‘bullying is unusual and the school is prompt to respond to acts of unkindness’. Pupils are at the heart of Writhlington School and ‘through pupil leadership groups, such as school council pupils share their views on improving the school’.

Ofsted were full of praise for ‘the wide range of enrichment activities and clubs on offer’ and that the school makes sure there are opportunities for all pupils. ‘From film club to sports clubs many pupils participate. Inspectors were impressed with the world famous Orchid Club and the Combined Cadet Force, alongside the Music bursary that supports pupils to learn a variety of musical instruments.

Students appreciate the community feel of the Sixth Form’ and ‘benefit from a wide range of vocational and academic subjects. As a result, many students go to university or take routes that enable them to follow their chosen careers’

The inspection report makes it clear that ‘the school places reading and literacy at its core’ and that ‘students with SEND receive appropriate adaptation when they need it.’ ‘Teachers quickly identify any student when they need extra help’ with their learning and as a result ‘pupils focus on their learning well’.

Headteacher, Keith Howard took up his post in June 2021 and has overseen the rapid improvements at the school over the last couple of years. He said “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the hard work and significant progress the school has made. We are very proud of our students, who demonstrated how brilliant they are. This is a strong report that is evidence of the rapid and sustainable improvements made since the last inspection. Inspectors were very impressed with all aspects of the school and noted the positive relationships and high expectations that allow students to thrive.

I would like to thank all the staff, students, parents and governors for their support, passion and hard work in bringing about this transformation and making Writhlington a school that our community can be proud of, providing high quality education alongside excellent facilities and opportunities.

I am very pleased they saw the strong teaching and learning, excellent behaviour and attitudes and the relationship between staff and students. There are areas for improvement mentioned in the report which we are already working on and this report represents a milestone in the journey of improvement which continues as we strive for excellence in every aspect of Writhlington School.”

The report is very positive about the changes made at Writhlington School, which ‘is ambitious for its pupils’ with ‘staff, parents and pupils welcoming the improvements at the school’. Clearly the school has lots to celebrate following this very positive report.