The Ashcombe School

  Stuart: 5133 Tudor: 4536 Windsor: 5237 York: 4943

House Points

Stuart: 3228 : Tudor: 2837

Windsor: 3225 : York: 2996

Top Tutor Group: 7XY: 574

Ofsted Reports

2015 Ofsted Inspection

Download the 2015 report here

This letter was sent out on receipt of the 2015 Inspection Report:

Download a copy of this letter here

See Mr Blow's letter (2nd Feb) about the DfE Performance Tables

Dear Parents,

We are very pleased to share the outcomes of the recent Ofsted Inspection of our school with parents, pupils and the wider community, and attach the Report. We are extremely appreciative of the tremendous response to ParentView (with over 300 responses within 36 hours).  The overwhelmingly positive responses were acknowledged by the Ofsted team, commenting that parents felt fortunate to have such a school locally.

The recently published Department for Education (DfE) Performance Tables http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/index.html  confirmed the academic strengths of the school across the ability range, and this is endorsed in the Ofsted Report.  We are delighted that the Report also praises other facets of the school not found in the Tables such as the "exceptional pastoral care" and the wider curriculum. "The school makes an impressive contribution to students’ personal, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development."… "The strong moral purpose of the school assists students’ moral development and they know clearly the difference between right and wrong."…."It provides many opportunities for students to take part in sporting, musical, artistic, charitable and voluntary activities." "..the school prepares students well for life in modern Britain”.  The text of the report gives a strong positive flavour of what the school is like. 

The teaching in Maths and English was particularly commended, and taken as a whole the teaching over time and careful planning by staff was considered to lead to progress which is significantly above the national average across subjects.  The Report refers to the excellent results achieved at A-level by those who have entered the school as "most-able" (Level 5 in KS2 English and Mathematics) and also said "information … about students’ attainment and progress… is used to good effect in ensuring that each student does as well as they can", so we were surprised by the comment in the Summary about the work set at KS3, but unfortunately the process did not give us an opportunity to challenge the inconsistency.

The Ofsted team told us how close we were to being judged "outstanding", so it is tantalising that we were not because of Ofsted's stance on the level of detail in marking at Key Stage 3, especially as the DfE has just issued Guidance which makes it clear that schools should make "Sparing use of more detailed marking and written feedback, appropriate to children's age and stage."  The report commends the high quality verbal feedback given to students and Inspectors commented on the helpful marking of exam class work.

The Ofsted team praised the atmosphere and ethos permeating the school.  "One of the strategic intents is that the school ‘is a safe, warm and welcoming place’. Inspectors found this to be so".   "The school is quiet and calm even at breaks and lunchtimes. Students move around the buildings in an orderly manner. They are extremely polite and courteous to visitors. They greet each other and adults warmly."…."Each member of the community is valued and their well-being matters to everyone."

We will continue to work hard to maintain and improve the already high standards in the school across the academic, pastoral and extra-curricular areas for the benefit of all pupils.

Yours sincerely

D.J. Blow                            Mrs B. Brigham
Headteacher                     Chair of Governors

2010 Ofsted Inspection

This letter was sent out on receipt of the 2010 Inspection Report (download 2010 report here):

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are delighted that our recent Ofsted inspection rated the school’s Outcomes for Pupils as outstanding, along with both Outcomes in the Sixth Form and the Sixth Form as a whole. Similarly, pupils’ achievement and the extent to which they enjoy learning, pupils’ attainment, “the extent to which pupils feel safe” and “the extent to which pupils contribute to the school and the wider community” were also rated as outstanding.

We are particularly pleased because there has been a new framework since 2009 in which “the bar has been raised” with new descriptors given of each of the judgements for each of the many areas in which the school was judged, and in every single one the school was judged to be either “good” or “outstanding”. The inspection took place on Wednesday and Thursday of Production Week (we were informed at 9.30 on Monday morning just as the performance for primary school pupils began!) which posed challenges, especially as we also had to run a GCSE Modular Science exam for Year 10 and some Year 11 on the Thursday (with the Hall out of use) amidst the torrential rain. One inspector visited the canteens taking the view that the conditions would put the general behaviour of the pupils to the test, and he was impressed by the way they coped!

The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being was also judged to be outstanding (“ a resounding success in the local area”) reflecting the school’s work not only in the Dorking Schools Partnership, but also through its Leadership Partner School work in supporting other schools both in Surrey and further afield.

The full report including the official letter from the Lead Inspector to the pupils and students is attached. It is also available on request from the school, and will also be available on the school website and the Ofsted website in the very near future.

The Report contains several phrases which we believe are central to the ethos and values of the school:

  • Outcomes for students are outstanding as a result of high quality assessment information to track students’ progress, good quality teaching and good behaviour.
  • Students speak proudly about their ambitions, both personal and academic, and they know that staff do their utmost to help them succeed.
  • Students enjoy Ashcombe School because many lessons are good and they take advantage of the wealth of opportunities
  • Students make an outstanding contribution to the school and wider community, committing to events in the annual charities week and keenly participating in activities with local schools .... vivid symbol of students’ willingness to support those less fortunate.
  • An overwhelming majority of responses to the parental questionnaire were positive, expressing appreciation for good leadership of the school and good care and safety for students .... exceptionally pleased with transition arrangements for Year 6 to 7
  • The commitment to and vision for improvement by senior and middle leaders, complemented by effective work with the governing body, ensures that high standards are maintained year-on-year.

We will address the points raised in the Report and will continue to develop and improve the quality of provision, opportunity and support for all pupils at the school.

D J Blow - Headteacher

Mrs J Housden - Chair of Governors

 

2008 Ofsted Inspection

This Press Release followed the publication of the 2008 Report (download 2008 report here):

Ofsted report praises Ashcombe

The report highlights:

  • the obvious pride the pupils had in the school, and the way in which they were able to describe how all the systems operated to ensure that both they and the school knew how they were doing and what they needed to do to progress
  • outstanding curriculum, and the enormous range of opportunities offered together with outstanding care, support and guidance.
  • Sixth Form is outstanding in all respects.
  • The inspectors had expressed an interest in advance about how the school was seeking to develop “community cohesion” and celebrate diversity, and they were very impressed by the way in which the pupils were able to describe the range of opportunities through the Language College for trips and exchanges, but also how they were raising money for Sponsor-a-Child and to bring Tanzanian students over here on the biennial exchange.
  • outstanding academic standards including the KS3 CVA results for the school which were one of the highest in Surrey,
  • “the school is exceptionally well led and managed”

Three-quarters of all the grades were 1 (“outstanding” / excellent”), including the improvements since the last inspection and the outstanding capacity to improve further.

The Headteacher, David Blow, said “We were pleased to receive such a glowing report, but we are not complacent, and will continue to work very hard to give all the pupils a wide range of opportunities and a really good education.”