Warden Park School


Name Warden Park School
Website http://www.wardenpark.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 19 January 2017
Address Broad Street, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 5DP
Phone Number 01444457881
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1490 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 17.4
Academy Sponsor Sussex Learning Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.4%

Information about this school

The Sussex Learning Trust name evolved from the original trust which took the school’s name when it became an academy in 2011. It was joined by a local primary school. The trust now wishes to expand and increase its partnership and work with other schools. Plans to achieve this are underway. The headteacher of the school is also the chief executive of the trust and is a national leader of education. His expertise is shared between Warden Park and the primary school and he will also contribute to the development of schools joining the trust in the future. The school is much larger than the average secondary school. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is below average. The SSC provides for 18 pupils assessed as having severe specific learning difficulties, speech and language needs and additional learning needs. The centre is funded by the local authority. Pupils registered in the SSC are fully integrated into school life, learning and participating in mainstream lessons with support. They also receive additional support from the school’s SCC specialist staff, to help them to be successful. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is well below average. Around 40 pupils in Year 7 are eligible for catch-up funding (for those who did not attain the nationally expected standards in reading, writing or mathematics at the end of primary school). Close to nine out of 10 pupils are White British with very small numbers of pupils from several minority ethnic groups. A below-average proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. Off-site training is made available for around 10 pupils in Years 10 and 11 to extend their learning experience. The school offers the following training at: – Brinsbury Agricultural College, which provides full-time and day ‘fresh start’ courses, sometimes blended with work experience – West Sussex Alternative Provision College, which provides full-time attendance but most pupils follow ‘blended learning’ courses where they study at home and a tutor visits them – Plumpton College, where pupils attend day courses on agriculture. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. In 2016, the school met the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school In three years, the enthusiastic headteacher and senior leaders have raised standards in all years at the same time as protecting the school’s very special culture and atmosphere. GCSE results in the EBacc subjects were well above average in 2016. Over four out of five pupils achieved high-quality grades in English and mathematics. Learning about life lessons encapsulate the outstanding, broad education pupils receive. Pupils are very well prepared for their future lives as thoughtful, considerate and knowledgeable citizens. The supportive governing body contributes strongly to the school’s success and popularity. Governors have backed senior leaders’ successful improvements in the quality of teaching and pupils’ outcomes. The questions posed in lesson are sometimes not challenging enough to stretch pupils’ thinking and extend their understanding. A few differences between disadvantaged pupils’ progress and that of other pupils still remain to be tackled. All pupils, including those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities, some of whom are registered in a Special Support Centre (SSC), receive the very best care, guidance and support they need. They are fully integrated into school life and lessons. Learning has moved into a higher gear with the introduction of tablets for all pupils. Teachers and pupils use them in many effective ways to generate rapid progress. Teachers are specialists in their subjects, which helps them to assess pupils’ work accurately and identify the next steps to follow in lessons. Pupils behave extremely well both in lessons and around the school. They are considerate, thoughtful and keen to do well. Their relationships with staff are mutually respectful. They feel safe at school. The school’s marking policy is not followed consistently by all staff so the quality of guidance that pupils receive varies. Some of the most able pupils’ achievements are not as high as they could be from their starting points.