St Marks highly praised by Ofsted in thorough inspection

Education: Secondary / Mon 6th Nov 2017 at 02:32pm

OFSTED have written a glowing report following a short inspection at St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School in Harlow.

The education watchdog visited the school in October.

The overall rating is Good.

The report states:

“The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the previous inspection.

You and your senior colleagues have led the school with determination, integrity and a clear sense of moral purpose. You have worked steadfastly towards fulfilling the school’s stated mission statement: ‘Each person is recognised as an individual, valued and enabled to fulfil her or his potential to the highest possible standard.’ The effectiveness of leadership at the school is recognised by a large majority of pupils, staff and parents alike.

You have helped to shape a highly inclusive school, where there are high expectations of what all pupils can achieve regardless of their background, race or religion. You welcome pupils who have not found it is easy to settle into other schools and those who may have recently arrived in the country. Almost all pupils, including those who are disadvantaged and the most vulnerable, make good progress and move successfully to the next stage of their education or employment.

School leaders have successfully prioritised the welfare and personal development of pupils. All pupils receive very strong levels of support, guidance and care and they feel highly valued as a result. Pupils are very proud of their school and clearly enjoy it. They attend regularly and behave exceptionally well. They are polite and courteous to adults and each other. They move around the site in a calm and orderly way and look after their facilities carefully.

Teaching continues to be effective. There is a purposeful, productive and industrious atmosphere in all lessons. Pupils work diligently and with enthusiasm. Teachers consistently create and sustain constructive, trusting relationships. One pupil reflected: ‘It is the people who really make St Mark’s such a great place!’ Pupils are happy to contribute to lessons and they ask and answer questions articulately. They are not afraid of being wrong. The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced. School leaders continuously evaluate it to ensure that it represents an extremely wide range of experiences for pupils and enhances their social, moral, cultural and spiritual education.

The school is not complacent. You understand that there is more to be done for it to become outstanding. The school’s self-evaluation is thorough and perceptive and school leaders ensure that detailed plans are quickly put in place to secure any necessary improvements when areas for development are identified. For example, senior leaders acted with due urgency when the 2016 key stage 5 results were disappointing and the plans you have put in place are now starting to have a demonstrable impact. You have enhanced the opportunities that teachers have to share effective practice so that over time all teaching can be as good as the best and the remaining inconsistencies in the performance of different subject departments can be eliminated.

The full report can be found here

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