Upper Wharfedale School marks being rated outstanding

Students and staff at Upper Wharfedale School are celebrating an ‘outstanding’ judgement following their recent Ofsted inspection.

Student behaviour and attitudes to learning were described as exemplary

The Threshfield secondary school gained the top grade in all four categories: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for pupils.

Lead inspector Dr Janice Gorlach praised the “happy, caring and inclusive” ethos of the school when reaching her judgement on overall effectiveness, adding in her report: “The headteacher, supported by governors, leaders and staff, has developed an exceptional learning culture... leaders are uncompromising in their ambition for pupils.”

She also commented on the “vibrant and rich curriculum” with student outcomes being “truly outstanding in the widest sense… pupils are able to thrive both academically and in their personal development.”

Headteacher Andrew Taylor welcomed the report’s findings, saying: “I am delighted that the inspection team managed to capture the unique, ambitious and inclusive nature of the school, recognising the hard work and capabilities of our amazing students, staff and governors. I am also grateful for the tremendous support we receive from parents and carers in order to provide the best education we can.

“Of course, we won’t stand still and there will always be more to do; we have a fantastic team of teaching and support staff who are not complacent and who will continue find ways of improving even further. I am very proud to be part of that team.”

The report, which followed the visit in early June, also highlighted teachers’ “excellent subject knowledge” and their “highest of expectations for every pupil in their care”. Student behaviour and attitudes to learning were described as “exemplary” and “the principles of equality and respect permeate every aspect of the school”.

Dr Gorlach described the governors as “passionate advocates” of the school, and Stuart Bond, Upper Wharfedale’s chair of governors, said: “Governors have always been confident that the school does its very best for each and every child. This judgement confirms that and is richly deserved. 

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to every single staff member for their dedication, hard work and commitment to making Upper Wharfedale such a special place.”

In her report, Dr Gorlach also noted: “Leaders show extraordinary care for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities. They adapt the curriculum thoughtfully, where needed, so that pupils are able to thrive both academically and in their personal development.”

She added: “Outcomes in mathematics are excellent. Pupils work steadily and consistently to master skills and secure their understanding so that the vast majority of pupils make excellent progress over time.”

Meet the headteacher, staff and students at an open evening at Upper Wharfedale School on Monday, 23 September, from 6pm to 8pm. There will be presentations at 6pm and 7pm as well as the chance to tour the school and see demonstrations.

To find out more information about the school, please visit the website www.uws.n-yorks.sch.uk