School celebrates retention of Good Ofsted rating

Pupils and staff celebrate Beccles Free School's Good Ofsted rating. Picture: Beccles Free School

Pupils and staff celebrate Beccles Free School's Good Ofsted rating. Picture: Beccles Free School - Credit: Archant

Pupils and staff at Beccles Free School were celebrating after being rated Good in their most recent Ofsted inspection.

The rating from the inspection on May 9 is the same as the last time they were inspected, with the school on Castle Hill praised for its “distinctive ethos, nurturing environment, curriculum tailored to the needs of its students, and wide-ranging enrichment programme.”

The school is part of The Seckford Foundation Free Schools Trust and its placing in the top 10pc for exceptional student progress in GCSE results nationally last year was highlighted in the report.

Ofsted also highlighted the school’s leadership following a recent restructure where David Lees became joint headteacher of both Beccles and Saxmundham Free Schools.

Pupils were said to have described their school as “a community built on co-operation and positivity where staff are caring and attentive” while parents say the school provides “an atmosphere of constant inspiration that leads to happy, confident and fulfilled young people.”

The Ofsted report also praised the school’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and “co-operation, humour and respect” between students and staff.

John Randall, who inspected the school, said: “Inspection evidence shows that the gains are built on long-term improvements, and not quick wins.

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“Pupils make better progress because teachers are experienced, knowledgeable, meticulous in their planning, and have high expectations of what pupils can do.

“Innovative teaching enables pupils to extend their knowledge and understanding rapidly.”

He added: “Lessons are predominantly lively and engaging. Where practice is most effective, it is characterised by teachers’ good subject knowledge and high expectations being used well to plan work that pupils find challenging. “Pupils’ pride in their work is evident and they respond articulately to teachers’ probing questions, using technical vocabulary accurately.”

David Lees, headteacher at Beccles Free School, said: “We are proud to maintain our Good Ofsted result, which is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of our teachers and staff.

“We have high expectations of our students and we’re committed to providing a supportive, nurturing environment where everyone can learn and achieve.”

Beccles Free School was last inspected in 2014, two years after it opened in 2012.