OFSTED REPORT - JUNE 2013
Students receive an outstanding education at Valley Gardens Middle School. This includes their personal development as well as their academic achievement.
Teaching is outstanding. Teachers have high expectations and many lessons are innovative in their approach. Students say their teachers make learning fun and help them to do well. In a few lessons, however, learning and progress are not maximised, as teachers do not give students clear criteria for success or sufficient opportunities for them to reflect on how well they are learning.
Students experience a vast array of learning experiences that contribute extremely well to their outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Students are very appreciative of those opportunities and enjoy them immensely. They acquire skills that prepare them extremely well for the next stage in their education.
Students’ behaviour is excellent and the mature way in which they work and cooperate in lessons plays a major part in their successful learning. Students feel very safe and they promote safety well for others.
Equality of opportunity is excellent. All groups of students make outstanding progress from their starting points. By the time students leave at the end of Year 8 attainment is significantly above that found nationally. Attainment in mathematics, one of the school’s specialist subjects, is particularly impressive.
Leadership and management of the school, including governance, are outstanding. Leaders set themselves very high standards and respond extremely quickly to any apparent relative weakness, ensuring that the achievement of students and the quality of teaching are optimised. Those leaders in charge of subjects are fully involved in assuring the quality of learning and progress in their subject areas.
Alison ThompsonOFSTED - lead inspector
"Progress throughout the school is outstanding. By the end of Year 8 students’ attainment is consistently well above that found nationally, including that in English. Attainment in mathematics, one of the school’s specialisms, is exceptionally high."