Good Ofsted Rating (6th form provision) 2017

Key findings for our 6th form provision (Ofsted 2017)

Sixth form students receive good-quality teaching. They feel well supported by teachers, who recognise their individual needs and provide effective one-to-one support. This support establishes strong relationships between students and teachers so that discussions about work are focused squarely on improvement. This enables students to make better progress. For example, this support enables the most able students in information and creative technologies to move on at a faster pace and use more complex website-design software.

The school offers study programmes in areas linked to the creative industries sector. Consequently, students particularly value the employability skills they gain through work experience, employer visits and the business dress code of the sixth form. Independent and team-working skills are developed well in lessons. Most students benefit from a range of work experience opportunities, for example with Somerset FM Radio. 

Most students are highly confident, courteous and well behaved. Moreover, students are articulate and willing to share their views. One student who spoke to the lead inspector talked knowledgeably and enthusiastically about a computer game he had designed, built and road tested. He clearly enjoyed talking about the work and did so in a calm, measured and mature fashion.

Students benefit from after-school clubs which provide them with further support so that they make better progress in their different subjects over time. For example, students can attend sessions after school to work on assignments and prepare for examinations with support from the teacher.

Students are aware of risks to their own safety and know how to keep themselves and others safe. Students feel safe and show respect for each other.

Students receive a well-planned programme of careers advice and guidance. They are clear about their intended destinations and feel well supported in making these decisions. As a result, retention rates are high because students complete their courses. They are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment.

The progress of students who completed academic level 3 qualifications in 2016, such as A levels, was in line with national averages. Current students are also making similarly good progress. Current students are making better progress because they have been set higher targets and teachers have higher expectations of their progress. 

Students who join the sixth form without having achieved a GCSE grade C or above in English or mathematics at key stage 4 make good progress towards securing these qualifications. Last year, for example, most students secured a grade C in English. The number of students who improved their grade in English and mathematics in 2016 was well above the national average.