Chester village school given Good report by Ofsted inspectors

A CHESTER village school has been given the thumbs-up by Ofsted inspectors.

Bishop Heber High School has been rated as a Good school following an inspection carried out in November. The report has been published in December 2022.

The school was rated Good in all areas. It had previously been rated as Outstanding in the last full inspection in 2011, and Good in the full inspection prior to that in 2008.

Ofsted inspectors, in their report, noted: “At Bishop Heber High School, pupils and students in the sixth form are proud to belong to the school. There is a strong sense of community.

“Pupils and students are welcoming and supportive of each other, living out the mantra that states all will be happy at Heber. Leaders and teachers have high expectations for all pupils and students to succeed, both academically and personally. Pupils and students achieve well.

“Mostly, students, pupils, parents and carers told inspectors that there is someone that a pupil or student can talk to if they have a problem or concern. If bullying occurs, there are strong systems in place to deal with it and staff that will provide support. This helps pupils and students to feel safe in school.

“Pupils and students share mutually respectful and supportive relationships with their teachers. During social times, pupils’ behaviour is calm and considerate.

“During lessons, most pupils can learn without disruption. Leaders provide effective support for the minority of pupils who struggle to regulate their own behaviour in lessons, including for those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

“The strong personal development programme provides pupils and students with regular opportunities to debate and explore relevant social issues. This gives them a strong understanding of diversity and respect for others.

“Pupils benefit from wider enrichment opportunities to develop their character and confidence, for example by representing their peers on the student council or taking part in the cadet programme. Pupils and students enjoy an extensive range of extracurricular clubs and activities.”

Identifying where the school can improve, Ofsted inspectors noted: “At key stage 3, leaders’ systems to check on how well pupils are learning the curriculum are new. In a small number of subjects, some staff do not use these systems well enough to identify and address pupils’ gaps in learning.

“Leaders’ systems for supporting those pupils who are behind with their reading knowledge are underdeveloped. This means that some pupils, particularly those in key stage 4, do not receive the targeted support they need to catch up quickly in reading.”

Chester and District Standard | Education