Posted: Fri 5th Feb 2016

St Alban’s rated ‘Good’ by inspectors /
This article is old - Published: Friday, Feb 5th, 2016

A recent inspection conducted by Estyn, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales, on St Alban’s R.C. High School during December 2015, provided an overall judgement on the school’s current performance and on its prospects for improvement. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The report published today (Friday 5th February) has judged the school’s current performance as ‘Good’ and its prospects for improvement as ‘Good’. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr David Yeowell, Torfaen’s Executive Member for education services said: ‘This is a good all round inspection report with strong pupil performance backed by effective school leadership. Achievements in the key level 2 threshold which includes English and Maths has been above expected outcomes for several years and pupil performance is above the national average.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Inspectors found: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Performance in the level 2 threshold, including English and mathematics, and the capped point score has been above modelled outcomes for the last four years
At key stage 4, in nearly all indicators, pupils’ performance compares well to the performance of pupils in the family of similar schools; the proportion of pupils gaining A* or A grades is above the averages for similar schools and nationally
In many indicators, pupils make strong progress from previous key stages and nearly all pupils behave extremely well and have positive attitudes to learning.
In many indicators, pupils make strong progress from previous key stages and nearly all pupils behave extremely well and have positive attitudes to learning
In nearly all lessons, there are strong working relationships and a highly supportive, purposeful working environment
In many lessons, teachers have high expectations and carefully plan a wide range of engaging and challenging activities
In many lessons, pupils make strong progress in their knowledge, skills and understanding
The school’s strategies to develop pupils’ literacy are effective in improving
pupils’ skills
The caring and inclusive ethos successfully promotes high expectations for all
pupils and strong mutual respect between all members of the school community
The school works effectively with a range of providers to enhance pupils’ learning experiences. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

At key stage 4, in 2015, the performance of boys in mathematics declined and is below the average for the family of similar schools
Strategies to develop pupils’ numeracy skills across the curriculum are not as well developed as those for literacy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Inspectors also judged the school’s prospects for improvement are good because: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The head teacher and senior leaders successfully communicate a clear vision for school improvement, based on high aspirations for all pupils
Leadership has secured strong outcomes for pupils and a positive school ethos
Leaders at all levels set challenging targets for themselves and all pupils
Senior leaders have a thorough understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for improvement ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Leaders at all levels analyse performance data well to monitor pupils’ performance and plan effective interventions
Many leaders carry out line management responsibilities consistently and rigorously in order to hold staff fully to account
Governors play an important role in setting the school’s strategic direction, and challenge and support the school effectively. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A few leaders are not consistently rigorous enough in their line management, self-evaluation and improvement planning. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Yeowell added: ‘Like all schools and all inspection reports, there is always room for improvement. The education service will continue to work closely with the head, governing body and school leaders to ensure the school’s good standards are maintained; improvement is made where necessary; and the inspector’s recommendations are met.’ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The inspectors have provided the school with several recommendations, which are to; improve pupil outcomes in mathematics, especially among boys; plan more effectively for the development of pupils’ numeracy skills in appropriate contexts across the curriculum; increase the proportion of excellent teaching by sharing the outstanding practice identified in this report; and ensure that line management, self-evaluation and improvement planning are consistently rigorous in all areas. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The school will now draw up an action plan that shows how it is going to address the recommendations. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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