AN Ellesmere Port high school has received an improved report from Ofsted inspectors.

Ofsted said that "governors, leaders and staff at The Whitby High School have successfully tackled the weaknesses identified at the previous inspection."

Back in 2019, the school, was given a rating of 'Requires Improvement', following an inspection carried out in February that year.

However, the school, which has 1,564 pupils on the school roll, 183 of them in the sixth form, has now had its rating upgraded to 'Good', following an inspection carried out in May 2022. The report was recently published on the Ofsted website.

Ofsted inspectors reported: "Staff expect pupils to behave well. Mostly, pupils live up to these expectations during lessons and around the school. Pupils enjoy lessons that are typically free from disruption. They are usually calm, polite and respectful when they move around school.

"Pupils and staff share respectful and positive relationships. The majority of pupils said that they trust staff and would approach them for help if they needed to. This helps pupils to feel safe in school.

"Pupils and students speak highly of the many different clubs, charities and trips in which they enjoy taking part. Pupils appreciate what staff do to make these opportunities welcoming to all; for example, by adapting sports and reading clubs to encourage pupils of all abilities to participate."

In terms of teaching, the inspection team noted: "Teachers have secure subject knowledge. They use their expertise to design demanding activities so that pupils can learn well. Teachers’ approaches to assessment strategies are focused well on the knowledge that they want pupils to have learned.

"This helps teachers to identify and address pupils’ misconceptions quickly. Pupils and students typically gain an increasingly rich body of subject specific knowledge."

The inspectors added: "Leaders have suitable processes to identify and share the needs of pupils and students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Specialist staff provide well-matched support to help these pupils to overcome the barriers that they face.

"Most teachers skilfully adapt how they deliver curriculums so that pupils with SEND can access the same ambitious curriculums as their peers and achieve well.

"Leaders and staff provide appropriate challenge and support for those pupils who do not attend school regularly enough. As a result, many of these pupils are attending school more often."

The school's safeguarding skills were also commended as "effective", with inspectors noting: "Leaders carefully consider the care that vulnerable pupils and their families need. They make extensive use of expertise from school staff and other safeguarding partners to support these pupils as best they can.

"Leaders check regularly how well this support contributes to pupils’ welfare and safety."

Identifying where the school can improve further, inspectors said: "In a small number of subjects, some teachers do not deliver intended curriculums so that pupils and students get sufficient opportunities to build on what they know and remember.

"This hinders how well pupils in these subjects can recall earlier learning and make links with what they know already. Leaders should ensure that teachers in these subjects get the support that they need to deliver intended curriculums effectively."

They added: "Some pupils who are at the earliest stages of learning to read do not always get the support that they most need. This impedes some pupils in making gains in their reading knowledge.

"Leaders should ensure that staff understand how to identify specific gaps in pupils’ reading knowledge. They should ensure that support for pupils is more closely matched to their specific needs."

Finally, the inspectors said: "In the sixth form, leaders are still refining the personal development curriculum for students. This means that some students in the sixth form do not get enough opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of some aspects of this curriculum.

"Leaders should ensure that students in the sixth form benefit from a more comprehensive programme of personal development."