Ofsted inspectors have heaped praise on staff, students and leaders at St Peter’s School following an inspection that took place earlier this month.
The secondary school, based in Huntingdon, was confirmed to be ‘Good’ overall – the second highest grading a school can achieve – and was rated ‘Good’ in four of the five inspected areas. The report comes just half a year after the academy joined The Cam Academy Trust.
Speaking of the academy’s leadership and management, inspectors stated that ‘the headteacher’s unwavering integrity has ensured that school improvement is deep rooted and systematic’ and found that ‘standards in behaviour, teaching and achievement have risen considerably’. The report highlighted that work by the school’s leadership team is ‘maintaining the good standards in teaching, learning and assessment identified in the last inspection’.
The report follows an inspection last year which found weaknesses in the school’s record keeping for the safeguarding of a small minority of its students and, consequently, judged the school to be ‘inadequate’. The latest report highlights a dramatic transformation finding that ‘safeguarding is now not only effective, but a real strength of the school’ and that the school ‘champions best practice in safeguarding’.
The quality of teaching and learning was also praised with inspectors adding ‘teaching, learning and assessment is typically good across all key stages, with some that is better’. Inspectors also added that ‘pupils make the most of their learning time, and respond to staff instructions quickly and appropriately’ and that ‘poor behaviour, which was all too apparent in the past, is now very rare’.
The report noted that the good teaching and learning has been built upon teachers having ‘very positive relationships with pupils, based on respect and learning’.
The personal development, behaviour and welfare of students were also rated as being ‘Good’. Inspectors found that ‘most pupils at St Peter’s are well mannered, respectful and considerate towards each other and staff. The report also commented that the students ‘hold doors open, are courteous, and are increasingly proud of their achievements’.
The report also stated that the ‘school is calm and orderly’ and inspectors found that ‘pupils say that behaviour has improved considerably over the last few years, and that they enjoy school’.
Inspectors also observed pupils arriving ‘punctually to school and lessons with positive attitudes, have the right equipment and are ready to learn’ and felt that ‘pupils’ behaviour for learning and their attitudes towards learning are good’.
The school’s sixth form was also reported to be a strength with inspectors finding that ‘good teaching, high quality leadership and monitoring, and targeted intervention, led to steady improvement in the sixth form outcomes in 2016’. They also added that the ‘overall progress in academic subjects that students made in 2016 was in line with the national average, while in applied subjects this was above the national average’.
Outcomes for pupils were also noted to have significantly improved. Inspectors commented that ‘results in 2016 showed significant improvement’ and that ‘pupils made progress that was broadly in line with the national average, while non-disadvantaged pupils made progress that was significantly above the national average’.
Christopher Bennet, Head Teacher of St Peter’s School, said: “This report is a true reflection of the hard work and commitment shown by the staff, students, parents and community to create the ‘Good’ school they deserve. I’d like to thank the whole community for the role they have played in making this happen.
“The school has faced some challenges over the past few years, but the improvements that we have made collectively are now having a real and meaningful impact. Over time I am confident this will help to improve outcomes for all students in the community.”
Stephen Munday, chief executive of The Cam Academy Trust, said: “This is an excellent Ofsted report and the school should be very proud. The school had already made significant improvements when it joined our Trust in September and we are delighted to have helped them achieve the ‘Good’ rating they deserved.”
The ‘Good’ overall judgment is the first time the school has reached this standard since becoming an academy in 2012.
The report has been published on Ofsted’s website and will also be made available at www.stpeters.cambs.sch.uk
A summary of the findings are available here