Second “GOOD” rating from Ofsted at Sittingbourne Community College
A Sittingbourne secondary school has been given Ofsted’s second highest rating as the education watchdog paid tribute to the new executive headteacher’s “drive, determination and expertise”. The Sittingbourne Community College in Swanstree Avenue is part of the Swale Academies Trust, which serves other Sittingbourne schools such as The Westlands School, Westlands Primary & Regis Manor School and various schools around the South East.
The Sittingbourne Community College was inspected on November 21 and 22 and its overall effectiveness was judged to be ‘good’.
Its “effectiveness of leadership and management”, “quality of teaching, learning and assessment”, “personal development, behaviour and welfare”, “outcomes for pupils” and “16 to 19 study programmes” were all rated ‘good’.
And it follows a similar result to the Swanstree Avenue school’s last inspection in 2013 where it was also given the second best of Ofsted’s four ratings.
In a 14-page report, lead inspector Sarah Hubbard said executive headteacher Seamus Murphy had “galvanised leaders” whose actions were having a “profoundly positive impact on improving the school”.
She said: “Teaching has improved following a dip. New, agreed approaches are employed skilfully and consistently across the school. Teachers use information from assessments to identify and fill any gaps that pupils have in their learning.
Harmonious atmosphere in school.
“New approaches to managing behaviour mean pupils are more focused on learning. There is a harmonious atmosphere in school.
“Leaders carefully focus their work so it benefits the high number of disadvantaged pupils. Pupils are provided with the bespoke support they need to overcome any barriers.
“Work promoting an ethos of inclusivity, tolerance and reasoned debate is noteworthy because it is positively influencing pupils’ hearts and minds.
“Processes and procedures for keeping pupils safe have improved. Pupils said that they feel safe and that any bullying is tackled well.”
Ms Hubbard added the pace of change was “rapid” meaning the “current and accurate progress information is more positive than 2017 published results” for the school of 1,130 pupils aged between 11 and 19.
She said leaders were “rightly focusing on improving pockets where practice in teaching is less well developed” but added that there were some things the school could still work on.
To improve further, Ms Hubbard says the school needs to share best practice in how to stretch and challenge all pupils so that this aspect of teachers’ practice is as consistently effective as other aspects.
And she said it also needs to extend work on literacy so that it better supports pupils in developing their writing.