Teachers at the John Colet School have been told they must improve following a critical Ofsted inspection.
Inspectors said pupils at the secondary modern in Wendover do not make enough progress, while teaching is ‘too often uninspiring’ and marking and feedback ‘are not good enough to help students make good progress’.
They were particularly scathing of science, describing class work as ‘scruffy and of a poor standard’.
Boys make ‘much slower’ progress than girls, particularly in English and the ‘most able students do not achieve as well as they should’.
Inspectors gave the school a rating of three out of four, which means it ‘requires improvement’ and is a drop from its last inspection in 2010 when it was awarded a two, meaning ‘good’.
However, they did praise students’ behaviour, ‘even in lessons which are not very interesting’. Their standard at maths was also highlighted as ‘good’.
In a statement the school said: “As a school community, we are disappointed by the Ofsted grading, however it does reflect the higher and more focussed expectations placed on schools in the current climate.
“Ofsted advised a number of improvements, including the need to achieve higher exam results, especially from the boys, and stronger teaching methods to ensure lessons are inspirational and challenging.
“Encouragingly, the behaviour and safety of pupils was assessed as ‘good’, and the school was also complimented on the improvement in Maths which is now judged to be ‘good’. We were delighted that the feedback from parents and carers through ‘Parentview’ to the Ofsted inspection team which was extremely positive and supportive.
“John Colet school has always taken great pride in our strong links to the local community, and student preparation for work; unfortunately these are no longer part of the Ofsted assessment criteria.
“The school remains committed to this work, as we believe by doing so students develop vital leadership and employability skills, however we will still remain focussed on achieving Ofsted recommendations.
“Ofsted findings are already being implemented and a comprehensive plan of action to address the areas requiring improvement has been drafted and will be put into place once approved by Ofsted. Much work is needed to ensure success in fulfilling all the objectives set by Ofsted, however, we are confident with the right effort we can achieve the goals.”