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Denmark Road High School

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Ofsted Report: "Pupils introduced to the best that has been thought and said ’’

“Pupils work hard, strive for and achieve success. In lessons, it is typical to see pupils deeply engaged in scholarly discussion.”

On 13th and 14th October 2021, Ofsted conducted an inspection of our school using their new demanding 2019 Education Inspection Framework, grading the overall effectiveness as good.  Inspectors visited the school for two days, conducting curriculum reviews and lesson visits followed by a number of focused analyses on behaviour, safeguarding, personal development, special educational needs and fostering of reading. The inspectors met with groups of students, teachers, the Headteacher, members of the Senior Leadership Team, heads of subject, pastoral leaders and members of the Trust Board.


 “Through the curriculum, leaders introduce pupils to ‘the best that has been thought and said’.

Inspectors concluded that the curriculum at Denmark Road High School is ambitious and stimulating.  They noted the expertise of our teachers and how the school encourages our students to look at issues from a range of perspectives.  Headteacher Claire Giblin said “In particular, we are delighted that the reimagining of our curriculum by our teachers and subject leaders has been recognised.  We have a well-structured and ambitious curriculum that recognises and celebrates our diverse student body.”  The inspectors commented on this as a “striking feature” of our curriculum.  The use of assessment and how our students remember and can apply what they learn confidently was also praisedInspectors also noted the work of subject leaders in designing the curriculum to expand students vocabulary.  Noting it had the effect of “lending finesse to pupils’ writing and helps to deepen their thinking.”


“Pupils learn about the importance of achieving a balance between study and leisure activity. They are encouraged to be kind to themselves and to support one another.”

 The inspection team also recognised how well teachers know their students and the composure, courtesy and self-control those students exhibit.  Claire Giblin, said “I am delighted that our progress towards our key school improvement priorities have been celebrated by inspectors. Our school has taken, and continues to take, a proactive approach in the crucial areas of mental health and the demands made on young people, particularly in response to the pandemic.”


“Pupils participate in an extensive range of sporting, creative, technical, cultural, and spiritual pursuits. Pupils discuss and debate their views on current and international affairs. They become active citizens who want to improve society.”

The school’s ‘DRHS+’ and ‘DenmarkRoad365’ approach to the wider curriculum and school experience was also recognised by inspectors who noted the tolerant, well-rounded and active citizens the school creates.  Claire Giblin said “I am delighted that the inspectors have recognised so many of the fantastic qualities of our amazing school.  These, like other awards and accolades we receive, are just a snapshot of the Denmark Road experience.  We do not stand still.  We will continue to work with our students, staff, parents, trust board and our community to ensure we build and improve on the wonderful experiences of all those connected with our school.”   


The full report will be available on our Ofsted page shortly, but in the meantime you can download it here.