The 'good' North Staffordshire school where staff take action to tackle bullies

Moorside High School students Olivia Hicks, Freddie Cliffe, Sam Kileen, Millie Lowndes, Charlotte Kinder with headteacher Darryn Robinson -Credit:Stoke Sentinel
Moorside High School students Olivia Hicks, Freddie Cliffe, Sam Kileen, Millie Lowndes, Charlotte Kinder with headteacher Darryn Robinson -Credit:Stoke Sentinel

Ofsted has praised a North Staffordshire high school - describing its pupils as 'courteous and respectful' while hailing the passion of the staff. Moorside High School in Cellarhead has been rated 'good' following a two-day inspection back in February.

The school, which is part of the Potteries Educational Trust, was previously judged to be 'good' back in 2017. This was its first inspection since converting to academy status in 2021.

The recently-published report states: "Moorside High is an inclusive and welcoming school. Staff know their pupils well and have high ambitions for them. The majority of students behave well in lessons and around the school site. Pupils are courteous and respectful to others. The school has recently introduced ‘Moorside manners’. These values exemplify the high standards the school expects.

"Pupils and staff agree that, as a result, pupils’ behaviour has improved. Pupils know how to report well-being concerns. Pupils who spoke to inspectors said that staff deal with concerns promptly. Staff take appropriate action to address any reports of bullying. Pupils know that inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable. They are confident to report incidents swiftly to a trusted adult.

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"The curriculum is ambitious for all pupils including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). All Year 7 pupils now study two modern languages and there is now a wider range of GCSE and vocational options. The school offers many extra-curricular clubs as well as trips and visits.

"During the inspection, over thirty pupils were performing ‘We will rock you’. Pupils talk positively about the range of opportunities that are available to them. They also appreciate the extensive careers guidance on offer."

-Credit:Stoke Sentinel
-Credit:Stoke Sentinel

The report adds: "The school has a clear approach to identify pupils who need extra support. Staff help pupils with SEND to achieve in line with their peers. The school makes good use of additional funding to support disadvantaged pupils. The school’s reading curriculum develops pupils’ wider literacy. The school promptly identifies weaker readers. Targeted support helps pupils to improve their fluency.

"Pupils understand the importance of good attendance and the school is proactive when following up on pupils’ absence. Pupils learn effectively about healthy relationships through ‘challenge days’. Pupils know how to stay safe online and the importance of consent and respect.

"Teachers are passionate about their subjects. They enjoy a range of career development opportunities. These include working in partnership with other schools in the trust. Governors and trustees recognise the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They engage with leaders at all levels to further improve the school.

"Many parents say that the school has improved, though some parents are not fully supportive of recent changes at the school. Staff are proud to work at Moorside High School. They are positive about how school leaders help to manage their workload and well-being."

In a statement, the school said: "This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, students, and the entire school community. The OFSTED report identified strengths across the school in the quality of teaching and learning, behaviour of students, effective leadership, and the positive school culture that we have fostered.

"This rating is a reflection of our collective efforts to provide the best possible education for our students. We look forward to building on this success and continuing to strive for excellence in all areas of school life. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to making Moorside High School a truly exceptional learning environment."

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