Fantastic Performance for Shakespeare School Festival

21 students from Year 9 and 10 performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham on Wednesday 24th  October as part of the Shakespeare School Festival. The performance was a great success and the students concerned had a fantastic experience and can be very proud of having performed in a professional theatre to a professional standard!  Well done to all students and staff involved, we are very proud of the excellent talent and representation of Ounsdale.

OFSTED Inspection September 2013

On 25th September we received a phone call from OFSTED to advise us that they would be visiting the school on the 26th and 27th September 2013 to review provision under their revised Framework for Inspecting Schools. The report of their findings is now available and details of the key strengths and areas for improvement are shown below.

 OFSTED identified the following strengths of the school:

  • The sixth form is good. Standards are rising. Good leadership has brought about improvements in teaching and learning
  • Students have positive attitudes to learning. They work well with each other and on their own.
  • The most able students are making increasingly good progress.
  • Students’ behaviour is good. They feel safe in the school, are polite and treat each other with respect.
  • Students attend regularly and persistent absence is rare.

 They also identified the areas where the school needs to focus its improvements:

  •  Teachers do not always match the work set to students’ abilities. This means that some groups of students are not making good enough progress.
  • Marking is not always detailed enough. This means that sometimes students do not always know what they need to do to improve their work, and are not able to show quick improvements.
  • GCSE results in English and Mathematics have been inconsistent in recent years and the school’s leaders have not ensured sustained improvements over time.
  • Boys are not doing as well in English as girls and this gap has grown in recent years.
  • School leaders do not always identify underachievement at an early enough stage to provide the necessary support.
  • School leaders and governors could be more effective in checking to see whether the extra help for students supported by the pupil premium is having the intended impact.
  • Governors should challenge senior staff more over the underachievement of groups of students and the governing body could be more effective in holding the school to account for its performance.

During the Inspection the team saw clear evidence of the improvements we have made in improving standards of attainment (which are above the national average), they saw examples of good and outstanding teaching and recognised the potential of the changes that have been made to strengthen leadership and management. However, their view was that the school requires improvement because these changes have not yet had enough impact on ensuring good provision for all groups of students and provision is not always as consistent as it should be.

Through our own self evaluation mechanisms we were already aware of the areas for improvement identified by OFSTED and had already put plans in place to address these.  However, since the Inspection we have reviewed these plans again and produced an OFSTED Action Plan to ensure that these specific areas for improvement are addressed as quickly and effectively as possible. The OFSTED Action Plan will be shared with the Local Authority for their approval and we will also be visited by an OFSTED HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) who will assess the progress we have made with our Action Plan. Details of the OFSTED Action Plan and outcomes of both of these visits will be published on the school website.

As part of the inspection the team met with students and parents and also considered feedback given during the two days through Parent View. We appreciate the support and feedback from students and parents and will continue to seek student and parent views on the actions we are taking to improve the school during the course of this year. As always, parents are welcome to contact the school at any time to share any issues or concerns that they may have.

Christine Brown


October 2013

To view the full OFSTED Report please click on the link below.

Ounsdale High School OFSTED Report September 2013