The Hinckley School Celebrates a Transformational OFSTED Rating
The Hinckley School's transformation continues at great pace as the school is rated 'Good' in all areas by Ofsted.
The Hinckley School has undergone a significant improvement journey over recent years, with their transition to become part of The Futures Trust, a change of name (formerly Hinckley Academy), a curriculum overhaul and substantial investment in facilities and teaching and learning. Led by Headteacher Ms Lisa Hickman, The Hinckley School has transformed into the excellent school that the community deserves and has now finally had their undeniable progress officially recognised by Ofsted.
The Hinckley School was inspected by Ofsted on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th September 2023. A team of five inspectors conducted a rigorous examination of all aspects of school life and following their inspection judged all five areas: The Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership and Management and Sixth-form Provision, as ‘Good’, leading to an Overall Effectiveness rating of ‘Good’.
During the two-day visit, inspectors met with the senior leadership team, teachers, support staff, governors and students as well as conducting a parent voice survey. Inspectors visited lessons, conducted group student voice sessions, explored enrichment classes and met with staff and students on a one to one basis to learn about the curriculum, behaviour, safeguarding and student experience.
Staff at The Hinckley School make every decision by considering their set of core values, ‘Students First, It’s About Learning, No Barriers’ so it is fitting that the Ofsted report begins by praising students for their positive conduct, “Pupils at The Hinckley School are polite and respectful.” With inspectors also sharing how delightful students were with teachers during their visit. The report details how staff support students to contribute to the school community positively, “There is a real sense of community in the school shared by pupils and staff” “Pupils learn about positive relationships and how to get along with one another.” As well as preparing them for life in modern Britain, “Pupils understand British values, diversity and equality.”
Being awarded a rating of ‘Good’ in all areas highlights the high expectations and aspirations staff have for their students and how they are supported as individuals from their first day in Year 7, all the way up to their last day in Year 13 “The school has high aspirations for all pupils. Pupils in Year 7 are well supported in ‘The Bridge’ to help them make the transition from primary school. Strong pastoral guidance continues through the school. Students in the sixth form value the personalised support they get to help them realise their ambitions.” This supported seven-year journey is a strong feature of The Hinckley School and inspectors noticed how staff work hard to ensure all year groups receive the individual focus they deserve.
Rating the quality of education as ‘Good’ and calling students’ seven-year learning journey “broad and ambitious”, inspectors recognised that students in “key stage 3 enjoy a wide range of subjects that include classics and Latin alongside more traditional subjects”. The school says that Latin and Classics are loved by students and build root knowledge to support learning and progress in other curriculum areas. The report goes on to praise the curriculum further “Curriculums are carefully sequenced so that pupils learn the right knowledge at the right time. Teachers work well together to create learning activities that interest pupils. They focus on vocabulary and communication so that pupils have confidence to talk about what they learn.” As well as how teachers “skilfully help pupils to make links between new knowledge and what they know already.”
The Hinckley School has a values-based Character Development programme, with all students learning about the importance of PRIDE: Perseverance, Respect, Independence, Discipline and Engagement - vital attributes required for success both academically and personally. Ofsted praised the school for this programme “There is a curriculum to support pupils’ wider personal development so that they are ready for their next steps in education and their lives in modern Britain.” PRIDE works to underpin a school which values community, fosters belonging and celebrates achievement, with inspectors acknowledging the success of this in their report “The school has worked hard to establish a culture of belonging based on strong relationships between staff and pupils. Leaders want all pupils to feel part of the school community.”
The inspectors noted that “Reading is a priority in this school.” A vital skill the school nurtures through targeted interventions, group reading activities and library events including author visits, areas which were praised by Ofsted “Staff quickly identify pupils who need extra help with reading. These pupils get the support they need to catch up quickly. Pupils benefit from a well-stocked library. They read together from well-chosen quality texts.”
The report highlights that students enjoy a rich tapestry of opportunities outside of the classroom with an inclusive and extensive extra-curricular offer “All pupils have access to a wide range of enrichment activities that they can attend at lunchtimes or after school. These include music, drama, computer programming and geology.” This broad and balanced enrichment programme has been designed by the school to ignite new passions, build knowledge and create life long memories.
The school’s sixth form provision, The Hinckley Sixth Form, where 100% of 2023 leavers went on to positive destinations, was rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and received praise in the report for their success in supporting students to prepare from their post-18 destinations and for contributing as role models within the wider local community “Students in the sixth form are well prepared for higher education and their future careers. Many sixth-form students are involved in supporting younger pupils in the school and other projects in the wider community.”
The school is ambitious and has no plans to slow down it’s improvement work, with a brand new multi-million-pound STEAM (Science, Technology, Art, Maths, IT) building soon to be built. Continuing with the momentum it has created, The Hinckley School proudly shares that it aims to become an outstanding school within the local community. To aid this goal, staff utilise the experience of colleagues from outstanding schools within The Futures Trust to continually improve and this was clear to the visiting inspectors “Leaders enjoy valuable support from The Futures Trust. Trustees and governors know the school well. They make sure that leaders continue to develop all aspects of the school’s provision.”
Headteacher, Lisa Hickman, said, “I am delighted to share the wonderful news about our recent Ofsted inspection. This achievement is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and unwavering commitment of our entire school community. I couldn't be prouder of our students, who have consistently demonstrated our PRIDE values and impressed our external visitors. Our teaching and support staff have gone above and beyond, as they always do, fostering an environment where every student can thrive academically and personally."
She added, "This transformation isn't just about numbers and ratings; it signifies a significant positive change for our community. A ‘Good’ rating means that we are providing a quality education that equips our students with the skills and knowledge they need for a brighter future. It instils confidence in parents that their children are in the best hands and that The Hinckley School is serving its community in the best way possible. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this achievement. We will continue to strive for the best for our students, invest in our multi-million-pound STEAM build, work with our community, and continue with our seven-year journey for our students so that they can flourish, both personally and academically.”