‘Unrecognisable from its former self’ – the local secondary school that has jumped THREE Ofsted categories!
Norham High School, a school serving North Shields in North Tyneside, was recently inspected by Ofsted. The team, including a Lead HMI for the North East, visited the school in order to assess the improvements it has made since it was placed into Special Measures in October 2018.
Over two days of rigorous quality assurance, inspectors observed lessons across the school, reviewed curriculum plans and pupil work, spoke with staff, pupils and parents, and immersed themselves in the daily life of the school.
The report, published today, confirms that Norham High School ‘has been transformed’ and is now a GOOD school in all areas.
HMI Lee Elliot said that there are ‘warm, genuine, friendly interactions’ between pupils and staff. He acknowledged the now ‘ambitious curriculum’ that the school has introduced and saw great examples of pupils working and speaking passionately about their learning, the improvements that have been made, and how they use their lessons to discuss issues that mean something to them.
Pupils say they feel safe and happy, and Ofsted recognised that the school provides an ‘abundance’ of opportunities for pupils to develop personally.
Ofsted described the school as ‘a focal point for the community during the pandemic’. He highlighted how the school enabled all pupils to learn from home by investing in Chromebooks for every child, internet access, food parcels and other essentials. The school delivered over 4,000 live lessons during lockdown to try and ensure pupils did not fall behind.
Literacy and the support for pupils with Special Educational Needs were also highlighted as strengths of the school. Staff and pupils work well together to overcome the barriers pupils face through a ‘respectful and supportive culture’.
The Head Teacher of Norham High School said that ‘the school is immeasurably proud to see that Ofsted have recognised the immense strides the school has taken since I took up the post of Head Teacher in September 2019. The team of dedicated staff that I work with care deeply about our pupils and always have done. Now, through working in new, creative and highly focused ways, we get the best out of every member of our school family. We knew we were taking the right steps, prioritising the right things, and we are thrilled to say that despite the challenges the school faced previously - which we have eradicated - standards of behaviour, conduct and enthusiasm continue to excel. We are pleased Ofsted have recognised and stated we offer a good education to the children of our community – it’s what every child deserves.’
‘This is just the beginning of our school journey and we continue to be ambitious for our pupils and the community we serve. Anyone who visits Norham High School recognises the unique family feel of our school, something so rare in secondary education.’
Overwhelmingly, staff said they felt supported and cared for, as did pupils. While conducting the inspection, parent’s views were collected with 94% stating that their child was happy at the school. 96% said that the school has high expectations of their children. 94% also said they would recommend the school to another parent, a jump of 39% since the previous inspection.