Ofsted Monitoring Visit 2012
Students and staff at Strode College in Street are celebrating following the publication of a glowing report from Ofsted.
Ofsted's inspectors visited Strode in May to assess what progress the College has made since 2008 when it was judged to be 'good with outstanding features.' The June 2012 report awards Strode the highest possible rating, concluding that the College has made 'significant progress' in all areas.
Ofsted focused on Strode's educational provision for 16 to 18 year olds, in particular those studying advanced level courses such as A Levels and Level 3 BTEC Diplomas, which make up 80 per cent of Strode's students.
Principal of Strode College, James Staniforth said: "We are delighted to receive such high praise from Ofsted and to have our approach to teaching and supporting students judged to be highly effective. In particular the report recognises our outstanding teaching; the excellent progress students make when they study at Strode after their GCSEs; our above average pass rates, high grades and student progress for advanced level qualifications; and it recognises the high standards we achieve in guiding and supporting our students as individuals to make sure they reach their full potential and achieve success.
"In 2011 we achieved a great deal - we were the best performing college in Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall; the highest performing state school or college in Mendip, South Somerset and Sedgmoor; our students achieved their best ever results for A Levels and advanced level vocational qualifications, significantly above national averages; and the college was among the top seven per cent of 1200 schools and colleges nationally for improving students' performance after their GCSEs. Although we know that our approach to education is working, it's fantastic to have our success validated in this way by Ofsted."
Kieren Berry, President of Strode College's Students' Association said: "As a representative between students and governors of Strode College I am extremely proud that the Ofsted report is so positive about our college, but not particularly surprised. The staff here are really committed to getting the best out of the students and to helping us reach our full potential; I think they do this really well and the Ofsted report reflects this."
The Ofsted report notes: 'At the last inspection, teaching and learning were good... New arrangements have resulted in a significant improvement in the proportion of outstanding lessons.'
Improving students' performance
Commenting on how well Strode measures and improves students' performance Ofsted commented: 'target setting and the rigorous and systematic monitoring of progress have contributed to significant improvements in learners' progress... Support meets individual needs well.'
Pass rates, high grades and student progress above the high sixth form national average
Commenting on Strode's A Level provision the report notes: 'In A levels, pass rates and high-grade pass rates were above the high sixth form college national average... Learners' progress improved on the previous year.'
The report notes that: 'BTEC qualifications at Level 3 saw high success rates and learners' progress in the top 25%.'
Very effective student tutorials
The report found that student tutorials at Strode, which were previously judged to be good, had made significant progress: 'staff provide all students with regular tutorials which are very effective in monitoring their progress and setting challenging, but realistic, achievement targets... Staff and students use these very effectively.'
Helping students achieve their potential
The report also commented on Strode's work to identify learners at risk of underachieving or withdrawing from their studies, noting that systems for monitoring students performance: 'lead to interventions to support learners that are timely, appropriate and effective.'