Millthorpe School Receives ‘Good’ Rating From School Inspectors

Inspirational leadership and good manners from polite and well-behaved students has helped Millthorpe School achieve an overall ‘Good’ rating from school inspectors Ofsted.

Inspectors said the school is “improving at a very swift pace. Achievement is rising rapidly, but particularly so in English.”

They noted that there has been a very successful drive to improve teaching, students feel safe and secure and that the head teacher, Trevor Burton, has a “clarity of vision” which has motivated the senior team and staff. Governors provided high quality support and challenge.

“We are all delighted that inspectors have recognised that we have come a long way in such a short time,” said Mr Burton, who took up his post in April 2011, shortly after the previous Ofsted inspection.

“School inspections have become a lot more rigorous and now scrutinise schools’ performance like never before. We achieved a ‘good’ rating last time, but it’s fair to say the bar has been raised considerably since then.”

Last year’s GCSE results were the best the school has achieved, with 70 per cent of students recording five A*-C grades including English and Maths. Inspectors said that the school’s tracking of students’ progress was “simple for all to understand, yet highly effective” and also “sophisticated in analysing students’ potential and identifying underachievement early”. Inspectors said: “The school’s accurate predictions for the future and other inspection evidence, indicate that this trend of improvement is likely to continue.”

Inspectors were impressed that the many parents who responded to the online Parent View survey are “overwhelmingly supportive of the school and say they would recommend the school to others.”

Some 45 lessons were observed over the two day inspection. The report noted: “Teachers go out of their way to make learning interesting. Students enjoy a challenge and extending their learning, particularly the most able.” Teaching assistants are well trained and provide “excellent support to those students who need it most.”

Bob Sydes, chair of governors, was also very pleased with the Ofsted inspectors’ findings. “We believe we are an effective governing body that successfully gets under the skin of the school,” he said. “We are able to do this this in part because the data shared with us is the most comprehensive and meaningful we have ever had. We believe our senior leadership team is performing at the highest level and they are to be congratulated on the very positive comments made by inspectors.”

Mr Burton said he is particularly pleased with students’ attitudes to learning and appreciated the endorsements from parents and governors – and he promised that improvements were ongoing. “We have stated in the past that we are ambitious and want to go from good to great. That ambition remains a commitment by the whole school community, which I am proud and feel privileged to lead.”

Click here to read the Ofsted Report.

Year 10 Mock Interviews

On Wednesday of this week, in conjunction with NYBEP we held mock interviews for 199 Year 10 students. The students had been well-prepared beforehand. They had to complete an application form similar to one used by companies. They had an assembly about the typical questions that can arise in a job interview and they had to research the company their interviewer came from. Students were allowed to come in normal uniform or dress in business attire: it just had to look smart! Many took the opportunity to “power dress” with a smart dress or business suit. They had to turn up 5 minutes before their appointed interview time, and nobody was late! Waiting for their interviews outside the Main Hall where the interviews took place, there were quite a few nerves, but after the interview students were more relaxed and many enjoyed it. Almost all said it was a really useful experience as now they knew what to expect from a job or college interview.

The employers were very impressed and several said they wanted to offer students a job!

Here are some of the comments employers made about our students (anonymised, of course!):

“Very personable young man. Caring. A clear idea of where he is going. Good eye contact, self-confident, open and able to give real life examples of statements he made. Very much enjoyed talking with him.”

“She was shy, but gave an excellent interview. She explained how she overcame the challenge of a new school. Very smart.”

“Good question to me. Great start, lovely young man. Very focused and knows what he wants to do. Knows his strengths and weaknesses. Very impressive.”

“Excellent! Really great interview. Answered all the questions very well in a calm and eloquent manner. Really good experiences. I was very impressed with her extra-curricular activities. I am confident she has a fantastic career ahead of her.”

“Excellent question asked. Polite & well-spoken. Nervous at the beginning but became more confident and gave very good answers. Maintained eye contact and was friendly & interested. Very good interview, just needs to be a bit more confident.”

“Well prepared and well presented. Good communicator. He gave good examples of teamwork and problem solving. Did his research. All round brilliant. Would employ.”

“Really good interview. Thought on his feet and brought out some good examples to turn the questions to his favour. Came across as mature and well-rounded individual. Quite open and honest.”

We were very pleased with both how well the event went and the feedback from employers and students. This is definitely going to be a fixture in our annual careers education cycle.

Mr Gillbanks
Deputy Headteacher

The Millthorpe School Big Read

Always keen to promote a reading culture at Millthorpe we took advantage of World Book Day to launch the Millthorpe ‘Big Read’ on Thursday 6 March. All students and staff were encouraged to bring a book so they could participate. In addition to quizzes and activities taking place in the library everyone in school put down what they were doing at 11.50am to take part in a ‘flash mob’ style read before continuing with their normal lessons. We hope that this encourages our students to continue to read for pleasure and take advantage of the excellent resources in our library.

Big Read Photos