Alcester Grammar School

Name Alcester Grammar School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 04 March 2009
Address Birmingham Road, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5ED
Phone Number 01789762494
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1206 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.0
Percentage Free School Meals 1.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.8%

Information about the school

Alcester Grammar is a mixed, selective school where students’ attainment at age 11 is above average. Very few students are eligible for free school meals and very few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is well below average. There is a relatively large nonselective sixth form which makes up about half the school. The school gained specialist status in performing arts in September 2004 and a further specialism in science in April 2008. It was awarded high performing specialist school status in 2007. A substantial building programme for science has been approved and construction on a new teaching block will begin in June 2009.

Main findings

Alcester Grammar School is an outstanding school. It is a harmonious and well ordered community, steeped in high expectations and mutual respect for all. Even though it is successful, there is an unrelenting drive to make the school even better and there is a constant pursuit for excellence. As one student commented, ‘This school helps you to achieve your dreams.’ Standards are exceptionally high but the school also rightly focuses on ensuring that students leave as well-rounded human beings. Students participate in a wide range of enrichment activities, from helping in local primary schools to visiting places as far afield as Russia, Honduras, India, China and Mozambique. The school’s international links are a significant strength. Other inspection findings are listed below. • The outstanding quality of teaching and learning; staff work hard, are well qualified and they ensure that all students do their best. • The curriculum is rich and varied, and it offers an excellent range of learning experiences. • Leadership and management are outstanding. Senior leaders have an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and how it needs to develop further. This is based on rigorous systems for gathering and analysing relevant data, and taking any necessary actions. • The school has continued to build upon its strengths over recent years and it has maintained its outstanding performance. Priorities for further improvement are appropriate and they are known and understood by all. Staff value the approaches taken by senior leaders and morale is high. They rightly believe that opportunities for professional development are outstanding. As a result of these factors, the school’s capacity for sustained improvement is outstanding. • There is some exemplary marking of students’ work in some subjects but this is not consistent across departments and between teachers, especially in the main school. • The school promotes community cohesion generally well. Its links with the local community are outstanding. However, the school has not yet adopted an explicit strategy for ensuring that it prepares all students for life in a culturally and ethnically diverse society.