Date: 17/12/2008 Category: Learning and Achievement
The Thomas Aveling School has been highly praised in its recent Ofsted report. Overall it is a good school with several outstanding features and no major weaknesses. It is a close-knit community where students enjoy their education, are friendly and welcoming and highly supportive of their school. Students achieve well throughout their time at school thanks to effective teaching, a curriculum that matches their needs and the excellent support they get. Lessons are carefully planned and involve a range of interesting activities, which engage students’ interest. Students enter the school with below average attainment. The number of students attaining five or more passes at grades A* to C in GCSE by the end of Year 11 is well above the national average, although substantially below it when English and Mathematics are included. The excellent level of care, guidance and support encourages students to remain engaged in education and to gain qualifications. Indeed, students told the inspectors that they were appreciative of the ‘extra mile’ that teachers and other staff go to, to help them out with any difficulties they encounter. The school’s involvement in the sixth form brings clear benefits as it widens the range of courses available to students. The school also works with local universities, which helps to raise aspirations and encourage students to go on to further and higher education. The headteacher and his senior team provide outstanding leadership and management. They have an excellent understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the school and set very clear direction, encouraging staff to improve their practice and be innovative. The headteacher Richard Hart said: ”We are delighted with this excellent report. It reflects the continued hard work and commitment of the whole school community who are proud to belong to a school where everyone is encouraged to achieve their full potential in a safe, happy and supportive environment”. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Les Wicks said: “The Thomas Aveling School should be very proud of this report. It highlights many outstanding features including the level of support and guidance that is given to the students, which is very important. This is an excellent result which is thoroughly deserved.” Director of Children’s Services Rose Collinson added: “Many congratulations to The Thomas Aveling school. I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised the strengths of Richard and his team in supporting and encouraging young people to aspire, achieve and be ambitious for their future. The school goes more than 'an extra mile' for their students, rather a marathon!” To improve, the school needs to raise the acheivement of higher attaining students in GCSE and equivalent qualifications in the main school and in A-level courses in the sixth form. The school should also build on current good practice to ensure that the marking of students' work is of a consistently high standard.