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Ofsted

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Forest Hill School was last inspected by Ofsted on 6 and 7 December 2017. Click here to read the full report.

The inspection followed one of the most challenging periods in the school’s history with the 2016/17 academic year severely affected by destabilising financial issues, staff restructuring and much lost learning time due to industrial action. These factors clearly had a significant impact on the progress of the school and Ofsted rated Forest Hill School as ‘Requires Improvement’.

Despite the overall outcome, the inspectors recognised many of the strengths which Forest Hill School is very proud of, including:

  • Robust procedures to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare
  • Leaders and governors taking bold decisions to improve school organisation and routines leaving it well placed to move forward
  • Strong leadership of the sixth form leading to good provision and opportunities for students
  • Examples of good teaching leading to good progress of pupils

The second point is key. Forest Hill School made some very bold and difficult decisions in 2016/17 in order to secure rapid and sustained improvement for the school.

Now in 2019, at the heart of the school’s response to the inspection remains a relentless focus on the quality of teaching, behavior for learning, and outcomes for all students.

1. Quality of Teaching

What Ofsted said the school should do

Improve the quality of teaching and learning to be more consistently good by ensuring that:

  • Teachers’ expectations of pupils are consistently high
  • All pupils are given challenging work
  • Standards of presentation in books reflect pupils’ pride in their work

What the school is/has been doing

  • Reviewing the curriculum and re-writing schemes of work to ensure that all students are stretched and challenged but that a breadth of curriculum is retained
  • Continuing to place emphasis on the development of literacy skills so that all students are able to produce high quality written work which will enable them to do well in exams
  • Ensuring that a focus on the presentation of work and the quality of feedback continues (there has been a huge improvement in 2019)
  • Continuing to work with teachers to ensure clarity of subject knowledge, high challenge for all students and pace in lessons
  • Further developing practice around homework by publishing an updated Homework Policy
  • Putting in place premium quality professional development for teachers to support higher levels of staff retention

2. Behaviour for Leaning

What Ofsted said the school should do

Improve pupils’ behaviour for learning further by ensuring that:

  • Pupils are interested by the work they are given
  • The school’s good behaviour systems are applied consistently by all teachers

What the school is/has been doing

  • Improving the quality of teaching so that it leads to better engagement of students in lessons
  • Implementing a revised system of classroom behaviour rules to promote excellent behaviour for learning
  • Working together to give very clear messages to students about the Core Values that students are expected to adopt at Forest Hill School
  • Working to ensure that the Behaviour Policy is implemented fairly and consistently across the school, and where inconsistencies arise, staff work with more experienced colleagues to develop their practice

3. Pupil Outcomes

What Ofsted said the school should do

Improve pupils’ achievements by ensuring that:

  • The progress of all pupils, including the most able, is boosted
  • The achievement difference between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is further reduced

What the school is/has been doing

  • Focusing on support for students during the end of year exams to ensure they make the best progress possible
  • Giving constructive feedback after the exams are marked to help students improve
  • Identifying students who struggled in the end of year exams and making sure that both the subject leads and the Heads of Year focus on support for them the following year
  • Planning for how the new Heads of Year can work effectively with key students and key groups  to help support their progress

Click here to see Ofsted school data.