Ofsted inspectors have rated Dane Court Grammar School as good overall, with an outstanding for Sixth Form, in their latest inspection.
The school, which is now a member of the Coastal Academies Trust, was last inspected 15 years ago and received an overall outstanding grade but , the inspection framework has changed several times since then and become much more challenging for schools.
Inspectors identified a number of important areas of strengths with the report noting the school’s curriculum is broad and ambitious, and that leaders have high expectations of all students to work hard and try their best.
The inspectors were impressed with the behaviour of students in lessons and during social times. They noted that students feel safe and are proud members of the school.
The education watchdog also praised the wide range of clubs and extra-curricular activities, explaining that students have experiences of leadership, sporting success and achievement in the arts.
Inspectors also graded the Sixth Form provision as outstanding and commented on the high proportion of students who leave at the end of Year 13 to study at a higher level.
Inspectors said: “Students in the sixth form are highly ambitious and are well supported by staff to achieve positive outcomes. There is a strong academic focus and breadth of ambition provided through the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.”
Head of Sixth Form, Chris Pleasant, said: “We are delighted that the Sixth Form was judged to be ‘outstanding’. This is a significant achievement. An ‘outstanding’ judgement confirms what we knew already – that the quality of our sixth-form provision is exceptional.”
Headteacher Martin Jones, said: “We are very pleased that the team recognised the many strengths of our school and the progress that we have made in recent years, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“This judgement reflects the hard work and dedication of the whole staff team as well as the support of the Coastal Academies Trust, our governors, parents and carers and, of course, the attitudes and hard work of our fantastic students.”
“We are also very pleased that the inspectors recognised the ambition and breadth of our IB curriculum, the high quality of teaching and the excellent attitudes of our students. In recent years, a large number of our students have secured some exciting destinations, including places at top universities and on highly competitive courses.”
Kate Greig, CEO of the Coastal Academies Trust, said: “We are delighted by the achievement of Dane Court which is a school that is going from strength to strength. Two of the schools in our Trust, Hartsdown Academy and Dane Court, have received excellent Ofsted outcomes and great reports this academic year. We know that by working closely together we can achieve the best education possible for all our Thanet youngsters.”
Ofsted says areas for improvement at Dane Court are making curriculum documents clearer in some subjects so pupils know and remember key knowledge and for leaders to
evaluate the current approaches they use to communicate important messages, particularly about bullying, to pupils to make sure their concerns are handled appropriately.
Recently a small number of sixth-form students have been trained as mental health ambassadors to provide additional support younger pupils.