Heckmondwike Grammar School is a relatively rare school, in that it is one of just 163 state Grammar schools in the country. In recent years the new Ofsted framework, introduced in 2019, has placed less emphasis on examination outcomes – one of our key strengths, and more emphasis on student experiences observed on the day. We were last inspected in 2007, under a very different regime and whilst our Overall Effectiveness grading is now Good, we have strong evidence to show the school is just as strong now as it was back then and even more robust in a number of key measures.
You will read that the report itself highlights many elements of excellent provision, as well as the next steps needed to take the school forward. Throughout the whole process, we were commended for our openness and honesty and willingness to take on board suggestions in a spirit of learning, just like we profess to our students. What is most satisfying, is that the areas for development were already identified in our school improvement plan prior to the inspection and strategies are already in place to ensure developments are implemented swiftly and effectively.
Overall, this is a very good report, with many things to be proud of:
- “Heckmondwike Grammar School is an exciting place to learn, expectations are high”
- “Behaviour is exceptional”
- “Over time, pupils make very strong progress, the pace of learning is fast”
- “The extra-curricular life of the school is very strong, the vast majority of pupils take up something from the wide-ranging offer.”
- “There is a detailed programme of personal, social and health education (PSHE) for all pupils from year 7 to 11.”
- “Arrangements for safeguarding are effective.” “Pupils feel safe. Their strong relationships in the school mean pupils have an adult they can talk to. Pupils have confidence that staff will help them solve any problems.”
- “The vast majority of learners in the large sixth form achieve high grades. Many of whom go on to gain places at the most competitive of universities.”
- “The Headteacher is passionate about the school and has a clear vision for its development.”
- “Leaders know their school well, both strengths and weaker areas.” “Staff Morale is high.”
With any inspection, as expected, there are areas to further improve and these include some aspects in the sixth form:
The inspectors felt some sixth form learners, particularly those coming from other schools, struggle with the skills required for success at A level. Inspectors also felt further development is required of the PSHE curriculum in the sixth form. And finally, we will be further developing our work experience program post covid, and ensuring sixth formers have an enhanced careers advice provision, particularly during the current difficult economic position we are in.
Complementing the report, our latest parent and student surveys, Spring 2022, yielded responses in excess of 95% saying they agreed or strongly agreed that their child is happy at the school; making good progress; and also their child is well looked after and taught well. These are exceptional scores and we are very grateful to our parents and students for being so pleased with the service we provide.