Inspectors rated the school as good – the second highest out of four grades – up one grade from satisfactory when it last had a full inspection three years ago.
They recognised the scale of improvement in exam results at the school since head Derek Trimmer took over nearly two years ago.
Five inspectors visited the school over two days on Thursday 7 February and Friday 8 February.
They said: “The school has gone from strength to strength since the last inspection.
“Results for Year 11 students have improved significantly year on year so that the proportion of A* to C grades is now in line with national averages and progress across a very large majority of subjects is good with evidence of further improvement.
“The rapid improvement in students’ achievement is a direct result of the transformation in teaching, which is now good and in some cases outstanding.
“Students recognise and appreciate the positive changes in the school and say that this has helped to improve their achievement and their behaviour.
“Behaviour is good, attendance is improving rapidly and exclusions are falling.
“The recently appointed head teacher’s ambition and determination permeates and motivates the whole school.
“His promise of improvement, particularly in teaching and achievement, has been realised and his vision for the future is shared by senior and middle leaders as well as the governing body.
“Students, staff, and parents and carers are extremely proud to be associated with the school.
“The sixth form is good. Students achieve well and make a positive contribution to the life of the school.
“It is not yet an outstanding school because
- Achievement is not yet outstanding because students do not use their numeracy skills as well as they use their literacy skills.
- The quality of teaching is not yet outstanding as students are not always challenged enough to bring about outstanding learning.
- Teachers do not give enough individual feedback to students about how to improve their work.
- Occasionally, students do not have enough time to find things out for themselves.”
Mr Trimmer said: “The report recognises the rapid improvements in standards and achievement which it attributes to a direct result of a transformation in teaching.
“I am also very pleased that the report is an accurate reflection of our own self evaluation of the school and a measure too of the quality of leadership at all levels.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff, students, parents and governors for their continued commitment, support and encouragement in achieving this transformation so quickly.
“This report is the perfect spur we need to ‘prick the sides of our intent’ as we drive ourselves towards becoming an outstanding school by the time of our next visit.”
To improve further, Ofsted said that the school needed to “increase the proportion of students who make outstanding progress and the proportion of outstanding teaching”.
It said that this could be achieved by
- raising the level of challenge to promote excellent learning in all sessions
- developing students’ higher-order thinking skills and greater independence in learning
- using assessment consistently to provide more individual feedback to students
- making sure that students use their numeracy skills as effectively as their literacy skills
The school, with sites in Hangleton Way and Nevill Road, Hove, has 1,600 pupils and specialises in languages, including Mandarin Chinese, earning it recognition from the British Council.
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.