‘Outstanding’ Luton school praised by Ofsted inspectors

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Expectations of pupils’ learning is high

A Luton boys school has received a glowing Ofsted report with inspectors praising the ‘we are a community’ belief.

Giving the school an ‘outstanding’ rating Ofsted, lead inspector Christine Dick, said: “Challney High school for boys are immensely proud of their school. They recognise and value the breadth of opportunities that their education offers them. ‘We are a community’ is a phrase that is often heard as pupils speak enthusiastically about Challney’s ‘five-star’ values.

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“Expectations of pupils’ learning and conduct are high. The outstanding way they rise to these expectations is a well-established feature of school life. Pupils show exceptional manners and a warm welcome to visitors. New pupils settle in quickly."

The school is celebrating an outstanding Ofsted reportThe school is celebrating an outstanding Ofsted report
The school is celebrating an outstanding Ofsted report

Ms Dick praised the positive relationship between pupils and staff and said pupils are taught to stay safe and make safe choices in the community.

“Pupils enjoy a range of clubs and activities, including, for example, The Duke of Edinburgh Award, sports and chess,” she said. “Achievement beyond academic studies is valued. The vast range of pupil leadership roles on offer are sought after. The competition for the ‘student executive’ posts is strong. Older pupils eagerly anticipate the outcomes of their applications.

“Pupil leadership roles, work experience in Year 10, and the comprehensive careers education programme combine to ensure that pupils are very well prepared to take their next steps in education.”

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The school has an ambitious culture of achievement with school leaders and the academy trust working together to make sure pupils experience a broad curriculum.

She said: “Creative subjects, such as art and music, are increasingly popular. Curriculum teams value the support from the trust. This helps them to keep their subject knowledge up to date. Pupils make strong progress and typically achieve very well in examinations. Learning is planned to ensure that pupils remember more over time. The regular opportunities for revisiting previous content, mean that pupils can apply what they know to new ideas. Routine checks identify misconceptions and gaps in pupils’ knowledge. Teachers resolve misunderstandings quickly.

“Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported to learn the same curriculum as other pupils through careful adaptations. The school’s special educational needs coordinator works closely with class teachers to offer guidance. Pupils with SEND, and any who need extra support with their English, get the help they need to achieve well.”

She praised the school’s priority on encouraging a love of reading and said Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning were “exemplary”.

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“Staff are proud to work at the school. They know leaders care about their workload and well-being. The trust and governors fulfil their responsibilities to challenge the leadership team to continue to improve. They are regular visitors to the school, checking on the quality of pupils’ education and safeguarding,” she said.

Mark Mailer, Headteacher at Challney High School for Boys, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the recent Ofsted inspection acknowledges our school’s longitudinal commitment to excellence. This judgement is richly deserved by the school community and provides us with a strong moral imperative to continue striving for the very best education possible.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the dedicated parents, carers, teachers, and others who consistently notice and celebrate our students’ achievements. Our aspirational standards, strong promotion of reading, and support that inspires students to never give up shone throughout the report, embodying our vision of high achievement and access for all.

“Having only recently taken up the position of headteacher at Challney High School for Boys, I am honoured to build upon the legacy of excellence left by my predecessor, Mr Daniel Connor. This exceptional report is a testament to his tireless work in developing a ‘five-star’ curriculum, encouraging an ambitious culture of achievement, and establishing a school that we are immensely proud of.

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“Our students truly deserve this outcome. We will continue to support them in becoming exemplary young men who are empowered to make choices about their own lives.”

Go to Ofsted's website to see the full report.

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