Ryedale School, Gale Lane, Nawton, Helmsley, York, YO62 7SL

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Ryedale School

Gale Lane



YO62 7SL

Summary of the inspection report


LEA area: North Yorkshire

Headteacher: Mr G Jenkinson

Date of inspection: 3 - 6 December 2001


The school was inspected by 13 inspectors, led by Mr J W Ashton. This is a summary of the inspection report, which is available from the school.



Ryedale School is a smaller-than-average, 11 to 16 comprehensive school. Situated midway between the small towns of Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside, on the southern edge of the North Yorkshire moors, the school draws pupils from a wide geographical and mainly rural area. There are 513 pupils on roll, almost 150 more than at the time of the last inspection in 1996. A lower-than-average proportion of pupils is eligible for free school meals. The school's intake, on average, has as many pupils whose attainment exceeds the national expectation as it has pupils below the expectation for their age group. There are very few pupils of a minority ethnic background, and none at an early stage of learning English. The 75 pupils on the school's register of special educational needs include 36 at the higher stages (stages 3 to 5) of the special needs code of practice. Their educational needs are mostly due to specific and moderate learning difficulties.



Ryedale is a very good school. It takes in pupils with a range of levels of attainment that are close to average overall, and adds good value to their achievement by the time they leave. This it does through a combination of very good teaching, which brings about very good learning, and very efficient leadership and management. As a result, pupils and teachers are able to carry out their work very effectively. The school provides very good value for the money it receives.



bulletPupils achieve well by making good progress throughout the school.
bulletThe quality of teaching and learning is very good.
bulletThe school is very well led and managed.
bulletAttitudes and behaviour are very positive.
bulletThere is a strong work ethic in the school.
bulletProvision for pupils' moral and social development is very good.
bulletPupils are very well cared for.
bulletProvision for pupils with special educational needs is very good.
bulletParents are very positive about the school.



There are no major areas for improvement. Governors, however, may wish to build into their development planning the need for the school to:-

bulletImprove access to and the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in some subjects.
bulletImprove the library provision, to make it more accessible as an active learning resource area for pupils and less tied up as a classroom.
bulletEnrich its acts of collective worship, which are efficiently organised and interesting but would benefit from a warmer and more inspirational atmosphere.
bulletRelate assessments more closely to National Curriculum attainment levels in some subjects and share them appropriately with pupils to guide them in raising standards.

The areas for improvement will form the basis of the govemor's action plan.



The school was last inspected in October 1996, since when it has made very good progress in virtually all the areas identified then as needing improvement.

* All its available data on students' attainment and progress is now drawn together and systematically analysed so as to better inform its curriculum and financial planning.

* The school's short and longer-term priorities are aligned more closely to departmental planning and there are more evident links to the budget in the school development plan.

* Health and safety issues raised during the last inspection have been attended to, and risk assessments are regularly carried out across the whole school.

* The school is closer to meeting fully the requirements to provide a daily act of collective worship for all students than the vast majority of secondary schools.

* The National Curriculum in ICT is now fully implemented.

There are numerous other areas of improvement, including: systems of school self-evaluation; the quality of teaching and learning; the provision and teaching of both food technology and religious education; the coordination of the separate aspects of humanities and of technology; the building improvements for music, technology and science, and in collaborative projects with other schools.



The table below shows the standards achieved at the end of Year 11 based on average point scores in GCSE Examinations.

Performance in:

Compared with



all schools

similar schools


Well above average

Above average


Below average

Well below average











End of Key Stage 3 tests






GCSE examinations







Attainment of pupils on entry is consistently either just above or just below average.

By the end of Year 9 in the Year 2001, the proportions of pupils attaining the expected level (Level 5) and above in the national tests improved to well above the national average in each of English, mathematics and science. When compared to the results of similar schools, the proportions were well above average in English, above average in mathematics and very high (in the top 5 per cent of schools in the country) in science.

Overall GCSE results have improved steadily over the last five years, slightly faster than improvements nationally. They have been generally at least above the national average for all schools, and at least in line with the national average for similar schools. 2001 was a good year. The school achieved its performance targets for GCSE and results were well above average even when compared with similar schools, and no pupil left the school in 2001 without at least one GCSE grade.

Achievement: Very good in Years 7 to 9, good in Years 10 and 1 1, equating to good achievement overall.





Attitudes to the school

Very positive. A real strength of the school. Pupils come to school prepared to work. They are simulated by challenging activities and achieve well.

Behaviour, in and out of classrooms

Very good behaviour is regarded as the norm.

Personal development and relationships

Pupils are courteous to adults and each other, treat their surroundings with care, and are completely trustworthy. They support each other in their learning and have a very good rapport with their teachers, which sustains a very good learning momentum.


Attendance is well above the national average. There is no significant lateness and lessons start promptly.



Teaching of pupils:

Years 7 - 9

Years 10 - 11

Quality of teaching

Very good

Very good

Inspectors make judgements about teaching in the range: excellent,. very good,. good,' satisfactory,' unsatisfactory, poor, very poor. 'Satisfactory' means that the teaching is adequate and strengths outweigh weaknesses.

The quality of teaching and learning is very good overall, and it is excellent in some design and technology and German lessons. It is never less than good overall in any subject, including English, mathematics and science. It is very good in art, music, ICT, history and German, and for pupils with special educational needs. The skills of literacy are well taught across the school; those of numeracy are taught satisfactorily.

Every one of the 111 lessons inspected was at least satisfactory, 85 per cent were at least good, 44 per cent were at least very good and four lessons were excellent. These proportions of good, very good and excellent teaching are, high. There were no unsatisfactory or poor lessons.





The quality and range of the curriculum

Good quality. Broad and balanced and meets legal requirements.

Provision for pupils with special educational needs

Very good. The special educational needs co-ordinator monitors the, curriculum closely to ensure that it is appropriate for the special needs of these pupils. There is excellent monitoring of pupils' performance.

Provision for pupils personal, including spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Provision for pupils' moral and social development is very good. Provision for their cultural development is good, and that for their spiritual development is satisfactory. Acts of collective worship are efficient and interesting but would benefit from more music and a warmer atmosphere.

How well the school cares for its pupils

Pastoral care is very good.

The school works very well in partnership with parents, who in turn are very supportive of the school





Leadership and Management by the head-teacher and other Key staff

Very effective and meticulous leadership and management from the head-teacher and his senior team. Strong and caring pastoral leadership. Subject leadership is good, and some is very good.

How well the governors fulfill their responsibilities

Very well. Legal responsibilities are fulfilled effectively. A good mixture of expertise, which complements well that found within the school.

The school's evaluation of its performance

Detailed evaluation of its performance against all schools nationally and against similar schools.

The strategic use of resources

The school practises well the principles of best value and this has led to considerable savings on major projects.


There are sufficient appropriately qualified teachers, and they represent a well-balanced team in terms of gender, age and teaching experience. The school-based additional teachers (SBATS) are very effective and efficient in making the appropriate special needs provision for the pupils. Most aspects of the curriculum are adequately resourced to support teaching and learning. The deployment of computers and software within subject areas has improved since the last inspection, but limited access to the computer suite inhibits further development of ICT. The extensive grounds surrounding the school and the premises themselves are well maintained and in good order.



What pleases parents most

What parents would like to see improved

Over 95 percent of the 234 parents who responded to the questionnaire think that:-

bulletBehaviour in the school is good.
bulletThe teaching is good.
bulletThe school is well led and managed.
bulletThe school provides an interesting range of extra-curricular activities.
bulletThey would feel comfortable approaching the school with questions or a problem.
bulletThe school expects their children to work hard and achieve their best.


bullet14 percent of parents responding are concerned about excessive amounts of homework.
bullet18 percent would like more information about how their children are getting on.

The inspectors findings confirmed the parents' positive comments in the questionnaire. They also found the views expressed in the parents' meeting overwhelmingly positive. The school uses homework well as a way of extending and reinforcing work begun in class. It also already gives parents more information than most secondary schools on how well their children are progressing.



The governing body is responsible for drawing up an action plan within 40 days of receiving the inspection report, showing how the school will tackle the improvements needed. This action plan will be circulated to all parents at the school.


The contractor appointed by OFSTED for this inspection was:

Westminster Education Consultants, Old Garden House, Bridge Lane, London, SW1 1 3AD

Any comments, concerns or complaints about the inspection or the report should be made to the inspection contractor. Complaints which are not satisfactorily resolved by the contractor should be raised with OFSTED by writing to:

The Complaints Manager, Inspection Quality Division, The Office for Standards in Education, Alexandra House, 33 Kingsway, London WC2B 6SE.


This document may be freely reproduced in whole or in part, for non-commercial purposes, provided the source and the date are acknowledged.

Full OFSTED Report.pdf