Magdalen College School


Name Magdalen College School
Website http://www.magdalen.northants.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 17 October 2011
Address Waynflete Avenue, Brackley, Northamptonshire, NN13 6FB
Phone Number 01280846300
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1287 (47% boys 53% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 20.0
Percentage Free School Meals 2.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.4%

Information about the school

This large secondary school on a split-site campus serves the local community and surrounding villages. The school is a Specialist Mathematics and Computing College. Almost all students are White British. Some minority ethnic groups are represented, although the numbers in each group are small, and few students are learning English as an additional language. The percentage of students known to be eligible for free schools meals is well below average. The proportion of students that are identified with special educational needs and/or disabilities is average, as is the proportion of students with a statement of special educational needs and/or disabilities. The proportion of students who join or leave the school at other than the expected times is about average. Among its awards, the school has the International Schools Award

Main findings

Magdalen College is a good school. Under the strong and purposeful leadership of the headteacher it provides a very caring and supportive environment for students and is an important part of its local community. The curriculum has been radically overhauled and is now outstanding. One of the key features that now makes it outstanding is the effectiveness with which courses offered are tailored to the needs of the full range of students at the school. The practical vocational and work-related elements in particular make coming to school worthwhile for some students who had previously disengaged. This coupled with the outstanding partnership work with external agencies and partners have significantly contributed to the much improved attendance and reduction in persistent absence. Attendance is now high. The progress of most students is good and progress in English and mathematics is now accelerating rapidly. GCSE results are above the national average and are now on a strong upward trajectory. There is effective support for those students who enter the school partway through their education, and for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Students behave well in lessons and around the school. They are courteous and co-operative with one another. The great majority of students responding to the questionnaire felt that they were safe in school. Students know who to turn to for help, and are confident that any concerns they have will be taken seriously and dealt with effectively. The school provides good care, guidance and support. Students lead active lives and are clear about how to live a healthy lifestyle. They mix exceptionally well socially and have a clear understanding of what is right and wrong. The school’s provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is outstanding overall. There is an excellent range of opportunities for spiritual development; for example, through the use of the school chapel which is widely used by many students for music activities and as a stimulus for art and photography. Students are highly thoughtful and reflective. They demonstrate mature insight into difficult issues in today’s world as well as developing a strong sense of their own cultural backgrounds. The sixth form is good and is improving due to strong leadership and management. There has been a well focused drive to reduce the differences in results between sixth form subjects. The school’s senior leaders and governors have a clear understanding of the most important areas for improvement, and have drawn up appropriate plans to address them. The school has rightly focused on the quality of teaching which is now good and improving. In the outstanding teaching seen, students experienced rich and challenging tasks that fully engaged their interest and developed their understanding through active and independent learning. In those classes where teaching is satisfactory, teachers explain concepts clearly and plan activities for students, but do not always use assessment information to set work that is closely matched to students’ abilities and needs. Most school leaders carefully and accurately monitor the progress of all groups of students and this contributes to the clear, upward pattern of improvement. However, not all school leaders demonstrate this systematic approach to analysing student data and implementing effective intervention strategies to secure rapid student progress. The school has made good progress since it was last inspected, demonstrating good capacity for sustained improvement.