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Ofsted’s report praises pupils
Pupils at Sheldon School in Chippenham have been praised for their exceptional behaviour by inspectors from Ofsted.
The 1,802-pupil school was inspected last month and the inspectors said the behaviour and safety of the pupils was outstanding.
The Ofsted report said: “Students’ behaviour is exceptional and they really enjoy being in school.
“They are happy, polite, well-mannered and look after one another very well, so everyone is included.
“When questioned, comments such as ‘This place is fabulous’ and ‘I love school’ were typical. Students always behave well both in lessons and around the school site. They are courteous to one another, staff and visitors.”
Overall the inspectors rated the school as good, with the behaviour of pupils rated as outstanding.
When the school was last inspected in 2008 it was judged outstanding but headteacher Neil Spurdell said the goalposts have changed under the new, more rigorous Ofsted framework.
He said results in GCSE and A-levels had improved since the inspection in 2008, with the school achieving its best ever GCSE results this year.
The Ofsted inspectors said pupils make good progress in most subjects and outstanding progress in some, particularly English, physical education, design and technology and art.
They said while standards in maths and science were not quite as strong as in many other subjects, they were on track to improve substantially in 2013.
The inspection happened just five weeks after Mr Spurdell became the headteacher but the report said he had made an “impressive start” and the staff had confidence in his leadership.
Mr Spurdell said: “I was delighted that behaviour was judged to be outstanding – it really couldn’t have been anything else – and with such a rigorous framework there is pressure on all schools to demonstrate significant progress from some often quite high starting points.
“Sheldon is a great school, which we want to make even better.
“The inspectors themselves said that they would have enjoyed teaching in such a wonderful environment and there can’t be many who leave schools saying that.”
To improve further, the inspectors highlighted the need for the very good teaching observed in the classroom to be taken to an even higher level.
This includes the use of more careful tracking and monitoring of student performance data to help effect greater progress.