Self-Evaluation Summary

At Sir Thomas Rich’s, we are committed to ensuring that our provision is as good as it can possibly be.

We have a rigorous programme of self-assessment, with each department and the whole school reviewing its practice on a continuous basis. While we judge out provision to be outstanding in all of the main areas, we are not complacent and seek to embed a culture of continual improvement.

The following Self Evaluation Summary contains some extracts from the school’s full self-evaluation document.

Quality of Education (Outstanding)

Curriculum Intent

All pupils have access to a broad and rich curriculum which aims to develop self-discipline, a thirst for learning, enquiring and creative minds and an appreciation of our heritage. The curriculum is ambitious and designed to ensure that all pupils can access knowledge, understanding and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

Pupils’ resilience is developed through the curriculum and the School’s approach to Learning and Teaching; pupils are encouraged to take risks and think for themselves, to learn from their mistakes and take ownership of their learning.

The rationale for our curriculum design is clearly set out in our curriculum policy.

Curriculum Implementation

A three-year Key Stage 3 ensures that our pupils do not specialise too early; pupils study eighteen subjects including two modern foreign languages and separate sciences. At Key Stage 4, students take a core offer which includes a compulsory MFL and either Trilogy or Separate Sciences along with a free choice of up to four other GCSEs taken from thirteen subjects. At Key Stage 5, students choose three or four A Levels to start with. Subjects are chosen from 20 A Level courses offered.

Pupils are taught in mixed-ability groups except where setting has led to improved outcomes, for example, in mathematics.

Reading is facilitated and encouraged within and outside the curriculum to develop pupils’ fluency, confidence and enjoyment and allow them to access the full curriculum offer.

Carefully considered and memorable learning activities help pupils to embed and use knowledge effectively as well as develop their understanding of key concepts. Lessons engage and challenge all pupils as well as support pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities to apply their knowledge fluently.

Questioning is used skilfully to check understanding, deepen learning and encourage higher order thinking; pupils are routinely asked to hypothesise, evaluate and justify. Questioning is used very successfully to offer challenge and extension, develop the skills of critical analysis and promote independent thought.

High quality formative and summative assessment informs teachers and pupils of progress and the next steps in learning. Pupils are guided to consider strengths and areas for improvement. Pupils routinely respond to feedback and identify strengths and weaknesses in their own and in each other’s work.

Careers advice, guidance and support ensure that pupils are well-prepared for the world of work and are inspired and motivated to fulfil their potential. Pupils develop high aspirations and consider a broad and ambitious range of careers, training and higher education through individual support and guidance, which includes real-life contacts.

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
Area of focus Action we are taking
Further strengthen the quality of marking and feedback provided to all pupils. Updated guidance on effective RtF made available for all form tutors and pupils (Year 7 – Year 13).
RtF is included in Year 7 – Year 13 tutor programme.
Joint work scrutiny (Head of Department and SMT line manager) to ensure greater consistency in assessing pupils’ work and that pupils effectively and routinely respond to feedback.

Curriculum Impact

Pupils achieve at the highest level in their GCSEs:

Source – Fischer Family Trust (FFT) Governor Dashboard – March 2020
Progress 8+0.76+0.52+0.66+0.59+0.69-
SEN Progress 8--0.95+0.67+0.63+0.09-
PP Progress 8+0.82+0.33+0.71-0.09-0.39-
% A/A* (7-9 from 2018)766865676980
% students gained at least five top grades (9-7 or A/A*).908182838587
English Progress +0.77+0.56+0.26-0.04+0.29-
Maths Progress+0.79+0.46+0.66+0.79+0.55-
Ebacc Progress+1.03+0.76+1.20+0.93+1.03-
Open Progress+0.47+0.31+0.38+0.51+0.72-

*In 2020 GCSE examinations were replaced by Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) and no Government progress figures were published in relation to these.

Progress for 2019 is described as ‘well above average’ on the Government ASP website and consistently places the School in the top 10 % of state-funded schools and is significantly positive for High and Middle attainers.

In 2019 and 2020 all pupils, except those taking full course RS GCSE, took RS short course in Year 10. Their achievement was excellent: 100% GCSE grades were grade 4 and above; 80% were at the top GCSE grades of 9-7 in 2019 and for 2020 CAGs this figure was 81%. Top set mathematicians sat Additional Mathematics (FSMQ) in Year 11 alongside their GCSE Mathematics with 19 of them achieving the top grade and 84% achieving grades A-C in 2019.

Pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities achieve highly. Between 2017-2019 we have had seven pupils who received specific support for SEND reach the end of Key Stage 4. These pupils achieve progress scores that are in line with their peers.

Pupil Premium pupils make expected progress. Between 2017-2019, 15 pupils in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant have reached the end of Key Stage 4. Their average Progress 8 score was +0.1 which is in line with national progress.

The School has high expectations for all pupils, including those at risk of underachievement. Challenging attainment targets are set (based on at FFT 20 in Key Stage 4). Progress towards these targets is tracked carefully through Order grades, which are awarded for Approach to Learning and Attainment. Departments and Pastoral teams (Heads of Year and Form Tutors) review this data which is reported to parents and informs interventions.

Outcomes of pupil and parent surveys conducted independently rate every subject strongly, and most as outstanding. The overall rating score from parents in January 2020 was 90%, and pupils in June 2018 was 88.5%, where anything above 80% is considered excellent.

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
  • Improve attainment at GCSE in English Language and Literature.

Behaviour and Attitudes (Outstanding)

Pupils’ behaviour and attendance are outstanding. Lesson observations indicate that pupils cooperate exceptionally well with each other and with teachers. Pupils are typically enthusiastic about learning and engrossed in their work. They are punctual to lessons and courteous to each other around the school site.

Absence Rate (%)

 2016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021
Years 7-
Persistent Absence9%8%5%2.6%4.3%

Attendance certificates are issued to pupils who achieve 100% attendance in a term (typically over 200) and through the full academic year (around 100). This encourages very good attendance.

Detentions are issued weekly for poor behaviour. The significant increase in number from September 2019 represents a ‘tightening up of standards’ rather than a deterioration in attitude to school life.

Detentions (Numbers)

2015-20162016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021

The proportions of detentions awarded to pupils with key characteristics (e.g. SEND) are analysed and where these are not in line with numbers in Year groups, key staff take action.

Supervised homework detentions are issued daily for non-production of homework. Many pupils use the Learning Resource Centre on a voluntary basis to complete homework tasks.

Supervised Homework Detentions (Numbers)

2015-20162016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021

Bullying, including homophobic and cyber bullying is extremely rare and dealt with highly effectively through the PSHE curriculum, tutorial programme and pastoral staff. In the independent 2018 Pupil Survey (Kirkland Rowell), control of bullying was rated highly.

Bullying Incidents

2015-20162016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021

There are very few racist incidents:

2015-20162016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021

Action is always taken to address deal with incidents swiftly, effectively and comprehensively.

Pupils are proud of their school and show considerable respect for all members of the School community. Incidents of discriminatory and derogatory behaviour and language are rare and discouraged by an effective PSHE programme, assemblies and tutor time. Respect, courtesy and good manners are modelled by all adults.

There have been no permanent exclusions since the last inspection. Fixed period exclusions are relatively rare:

2015-20162016-20172017-20182018 -20192019-20202020-2021

Staff work very hard to keep pupils safe and free from harm. They know and understand the individual needs of pupils and any associated risks. For example, pupils are helped with low moods and attention-needing behaviour.

The number of pupils on Child Protection and Child in Need Plans is low, nevertheless safeguarding concerns are thoroughly addressed with partner agencies, such as multi-agency safeguarding hubs and Children and Young Peoples services (CYPS [NHS])

The School is part of the Government’s Trailblazer programme and pupils can be referred to Educational Mental Health Practitioners to receive ‘early help’.

All new staff and volunteers receive safeguarding induction training and then staff and governors receive regular update training in safeguarding and child protection. Five senior members of staff have undertaken DSL Advanced Practitioner training.

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
Area of focus Action we are taking
Further improve our offer of ‘early help’ through participation in the GCC NHS Trailblazer programme. Provide work space for Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs).
Work with the NHS to develop systems and frameworks that will lead to the implementation of the trailblazer programme in Gloucestershire.
All staff to have completed accredited ‘Mental Health First Aid Lite’ course by July 2020.

Personal Development (Outstanding)

Pupils make an outstanding contribution to the School and wider community and develop their teamwork and leadership skills through their involvement in an exceptional range of extra-curricular activities. This leads to strong personal development.

Outstanding coaching in Physical Education lessons and after school clubs, a comprehensive PSHE programme, together with effective use of the self-evaluation tools such as ‘The Gloucestershire Online Pupil Survey’ and Healthy Schools’ audit ensures pupils’ physical wellbeing, and safety. PSHE/Citizenship lessons cover health and wellbeing, with the aim of developing emotionally confident and well-informed pupils.

RE makes an outstanding contribution to pupils’ personal and spiritual development and their education about, and appreciation of, other faiths. Pupils are able to justify their own ideas while providing detailed evaluation of the perspective of others and are aware of the dangers of extremism.

Sport is extremely strong. Up to 18 sports’ fixtures take place at weekends. These are regularly attended by parents. This helps pupils’ social development.

Over 25 House competitions, as well as extensive extra-curricular programme provide a myriad of opportunities for pupils to participate in School life beyond the classroom.

A large number of educational visits, of which many are residential, provide rich experiences and opportunities for pupils’ social and cultural development. Low-income families, including pupils who receive Pupil Premium, are financially supported so that they can take part.

Pupils are well prepared for their ‘next stage’. They are given careful guidance on GCSE and ‘A’ Level choices. The Year 7 and Sixth Form induction programmes are carefully constructed and delivered to ensure pupils settle quickly. Pupils are supported by comprehensive advice and guidance as they progress through the School.

The School has developed extremely strong community connections. It is very well utilised by local groups outside school hours. Commercial Operations make an important contribution to the local area, as well as to the School’s finances.

A long-standing partnership with PMM School in Uganda, gives pupils an opportunity to understand the lives of the people in the developing world. In Founder’s Week, pupils organise fund-raising events to sponsor the education of 20 girls at PMM. A nominated charity is supported each term.

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
Area of focus Action we are taking
Develop use of tutor time and PSHE curriculum to promote self-discipline, a thirst for learning and enquiring and creative minds. Tutor time programme introduced Year 7 –Year 11.
Embed use of mindfulness and psychoeducation in Key Stage 3.
Explore means of delivering resilience programme in Key Stage 4.

Leadership and Management (Outstanding)

The School has a clear vision which is shared by pupils, parents, teachers and governors. A concise annual School Improvement Plan with ambitious attainment targets and a broader four-year Development Plan indicate a drive to continue to improve and maintain the highest levels of achievement and personal development for all pupils.

Senior leaders have overseen considerable and consistent improvement across the School since the last inspection and there are clearly established plans to continue this work. The Headmaster is set targets by the Governors’ Personnel Committee which focus on specific school improvement goals. The school improvement partner, Dr Smallwood ensures that the targets are challenging, rigorous and rooted in effective external evaluation. The Headmaster is and NLE and Lead Mentor on the NPQSL programme and Deputy Head is an SLE and Lead Mentor on the NPQML programme.

Effective school self-evaluation informs future planning. Each Department completes an annual SEF that includes examination results analysis, evidence of monitoring including lesson observations, pupil work scrutiny, curriculum development, outcomes of consultation with pupils, teachers’ professional development, and a development plan.

Rigorous financial management underpins school improvement and ensures solvency and probity.

Learning and teaching is monitored and evaluated effectively through the triangulation of findings from lesson observations, learning walks and pupil work scrutiny, as well as discussion with pupils and analysis of data. Action is always taken to improve outcomes by ensuring that teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogical repertoire is developed throughout their career.

CPD is informed by a rigorous staff appraisal process linked to the Teachers’ Standards, salary progression and school improvement. Whole staff training is delivered at key points in the year and supplemented by bespoke CPD based on individual need and at specific points in a teacher’s career.

The School has secured excellent appointments and retained, through career development, the best teachers. Underperformance is challenged and appropriate strategies are put in place to support colleagues.

Governors bring a strong mix of expertise to the School, including legal, business, finance as well as educational experience. Presentations delivered at meetings keep them abreast of developments in School.

Governors regularly hold senior leaders to account through the active roles they play in Governor Committees and scrutiny of the School Improvement Plan. Governors also ensure that policies meet the needs of the School and they evaluate their impact and effectiveness through Governor visits.

A ‘Governance Improvement Plan’ will secure further improvements to governance including implementing actions identified in a recent external review of governance (November 2019)

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
Area of focus Action we are taking
Continue to monitor closely quality of learning and teaching, evaluate performance and put in place appropriate strategies to secure further improvement. Deep dives completed in departments identified as under-performing and action plans devised.
Joint work scrutiny completed by senior leaders and curriculum leaders with subsequent action points.
Teacher CPD with evidence-based focus on development of long-term memory, active learning and curriculum design.

Sixth Form – Suggested grade: (Outstanding)

The mixed Sixth Form is extremely popular and heavily oversubscribed. The majority of our pupils progress from Year 11 into our Sixth Form:


Students begin a three or four A Level programme in Year 12. In Year 13, the majority of pupils study three subjects. Pupils in the top quintile can take four or five A Levels and undertake an Extended Project Qualification.

A Level lessons are taught by teachers with expert subject knowledge evidenced by the searching questions teachers ask to deepen pupils’ learning and provide challenge, and teachers’ clear explanations.

Students are routinely offered opportunities to take part in discussion and debate and are guided to present their thoughts and ideas with increasing sophistication, clarity and independence.

Students’ work is regularly assessed. Teacher feedback is personalised and students are expected to take responsibility for their progress and consider the next steps in their learning by, among other mechanisms, responding to feedback and self-marking tests and examination questions.

Students have confidence in their teachers: relationships in the classroom are purposeful and built on trust.

Attainment is amongst the highest nationally:

Source – Fischer Family Trust (FFT) Governor Dashboard – March 2020
% A* - B81.581.773.472.473.581.3
% A* - E99.810099.799.899.5100
Value added+0.04+0.07+0.00-0.05-0.01-
Disadvantaged value added-0.02+0.7-0.41-0.75+0.01-
a mean UCAS score135132129127125131

*In 2020 GCSE examinations were replaced by Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) and no Government progress figures were published in relation to these.

At Key Stage 5, despite the high attainment and progress already made at Key Stage 4, pupils make further progress in line with both the national average for all schools and that of other selective schools who share data through Fischer Family Trust Collaborate.

Pupils who join our Sixth Form from other schools add value at A Level (School Analysis: A Level in 2019 +0.04) as do those in the lowest attainment quintile based on GCSE performance (School Analysis: A Level in 2019 +0.14)

Pupils in Years 12 and 13 are provided with regular one-to-one support including an annual pastoral interview by their Form Tutor, Head of Year or Head of Sixth Form. Pupils of Academic Concern have regular further one-to-one support. This includes discussions regarding Private Study after each data drop (Students with value added of less than 1.5 are given an individual study programme).

Careers guidance ranges from timetabled Careers lessons in Year 12, whole year support in both Year 12 and 13, and one-to-one interviews depending on need. Pupils who seek employment or training after A Levels receive an individual action plan.

A well-structured Higher Education Planning Programme ensures that students progress to appropriate university courses (% going to first choice shown);


Support for students who apply for ‘Early Entry’ courses includes tutor seminar preparation, one-to-one mock interviews and MMI practice. In 2020 41% (2018-19 52%, 2017-18, 58%, 2016-17, 54%, 2015-16, 65% and 2014-15, 50%) of Early Entry interview pupils were successful in gaining an offer from their first choice institution.

There is a timetabled enrichment programme for Year 12 and 13, which covers a wide range of topics highlighting fundamental British values. Sessions also cover diverse religious views, sexual health and relationships, drugs, voting behaviours, safer driving and financial management. These topics are reviewed annually, and the programme is adapted to meet the needs of the cohort.

Our official Key Stage 5 retention figures are as follows:

From the cohort who completed Key Stage 5 in 2018, 191 students were registered as having started an A level programme. Of these 5 did not complete an A Level assessment and within this group 4 students did not return and complete a second year of study.
From the cohort who completed Key Stage 5 in 2019, 204 students were registered as having started an A level programme. Of these 11 did not complete an A Level assessment and all 11 of these students did not return and complete a second year of study.

In order to continue to be outstanding we need to:
Area of focus Action we are taking
Improve the percentage of A*/A grades (all subjects) Teacher CPD with focus on planning for active learning to enable students to think with the aim of developing metacognition.
Schemes of Work adapted to ensure that topics are interleaved and spaced in order to promote development of long-term memory.