Heathfield Community School


Name Heathfield Community School
Website http://www.heathfieldcommunityschool.com/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 22 January 2015
Address School Road, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton, Somerset, TA2 8PD
Phone Number 01823412396
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1327 (49% boys 51% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.1
Local Authority Somerset
Percentage Free School Meals 11.0%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.9%

Information about this school

Heathfield Community School is larger than the average-sized secondary school. The sixth form is relatively small, however, as it specialises in the performing arts and does not offer other subjects except for students working towards achieving GCSEs in English and mathematics. The school has a performing arts specialism, and the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre is located at the school. This is used by the community as well as being part of the school’s provision. The school is the only secondary DfE Teaching School in Somerset and is part of the Taunton Teaching Alliance. The school works in partnership with many other schools, but in particular it acts as a cluster hub school within the Somerset Challenge partnership. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress in secondary schools. Almost all pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is just above the national average. There is a specialised base for autism (The Cedar Centre) that is attended by 11 students. Most of these attend regular lessons for at least part of the school day. The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium (extra government funding provided to support the learning of looked after children and those known to be eligible for free school meals) is much lower than the national average. (This group of students is referred to as ‘disadvantaged’ within the report.) The school does not currently use alternative providers for vocational courses, but a very small number of students attend the Taunton pupil referral unit.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. The successes of this outstanding school are founded upon a school-wide focus on nurturing and enhancing the learning, achievements and well-being of every individual student. The headteacher leads the school with unwavering moral purpose which permeates all areas of the school’s work. The focus on continual improvement for all within the community is conspicuous and highly effective. Leadership is very productively distributed. At all levels, those with leadership responsibilities are resolute in their goal to help each and every student to succeed. Furthermore, the principle that all within the community should be involved in shaping the school is valued and embraced. GCSE and sixth form results are typically much higher than average, sometimes from quite low starting points. Students achieve particularly well in English, mathematics and science, preparing them very well for further study and employment. The school’s performing arts specialism makes an exceptionally strong contribution to the achievement of students; it enriches their school experience and promotes strong cultural, personal and social development. Relationships between staff and students are highly positive, and teachers employ their considerable expertise diligently. The quality of training and support for teachers and support staff is exceptionally high. Students consequently make very good progress as they move through the school. Students enjoy their school experiences, are motivated to work hard, and attend school regularly. Their behaviour is outstanding. They are typically courteous, respectful to all people and take care of their environment. Students feel very safe in this school, and parents agree. The school’s work to keep students safe and secure, both within the school and in a wider context, is outstanding. The sixth form provides specialist courses and experiences for the performing arts and is outstanding. Students typically leave the sixth form well equipped to pursue careers in performance and associated roles, or to utilise their increased confidence and personal skills in other areas. Governors are highly committed to the academic and wider achievement of students, and to their safety and well-being. They carry out their monitoring and evaluation roles with conviction and to good effect, often coming into the school to see their work in action.