Sheldon Receives Good Ofsted Rating

14 May 24
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Sheldon School declared ‘Good’ in all categories during its Ofsted inspection on 12-13 March 2024.

Click here to read the Ofsted inspection report.

The report praised the behaviour and conduct of the students and the “purposeful ethos” of pupils in lessons. Students reported that they feel part of the “Sheldon community.”

Peter Lynch, Headteacher of Sheldon School, expressed his pride in the positive outcome of the report. He said, "We are delighted with the 'Good' rating across all categories. It reflects the hard work and dedication of our students, staff and the entire school community. Everyone should be incredibly proud of this school. The next step is to build upon this strong foundation and develop a truly exceptional school for Chippenham and its community.”

The inspectors commented that they did not see any poor behaviour or low-level disruption during the two-day inspection, which is a credit to all the pupils and staff. They reported that “the school has high expectations of pupils and all students are encouraged to be the best.”

Sheldon School is working hard to create an atmosphere of kindness, respect and inclusivity. Students reported feeling safe at school and free from prejudice. The school has “refined and clarified its expectations for pupils’ behaviour” since September and the “students and parents value the impact of this.” This is reflected in the classrooms and around the school.

The inspection team noted that “the school has worked with parents and pupils to review how the school deals with incidents of bullying or discrimination. The school community has focused on promoting equality and inclusivity. Pupil’s report this has caused a marked improvement. Incidents have reduced. The school responds quickly when pupils report their concerns.”

Along with many schools in the country, Sheldon School found that action was needed to improve standards after the Covid pandemic. The arrival of a new Headteacher in September 2023 enabled a reset in standards and expectations for staff and pupils, resulting in a significant improvement this academic year. 

Louise Carver, Chair of the Board of Governors, commented: “The recognition by Ofsted that Sheldon is deserving of its ‘Good’ grading is confirmation of the progress that has been made at the school over the 14 months since the last inspection. I’m enormously grateful to our staff in teaching and non-teaching roles who have contributed to this outcome, to our students and to the Chippenham community for their support. Sheldon is a school of which we can all be very proud.”

The report praised the school for developing “a broad and ambitious curriculum” with students describing their learning as “scholarly.” In Sheldon Sixth Form, “there is a wide programme of study” and all students are “well prepared to take the next steps into higher education, apprenticeship or other training.” This is supported by a well thought out PSHE programme.

Along with academics, Sheldon is renowned for its extra-curricular offer including sporting, dance, drama and musical clubs. Students stated that “they enjoyed attending a range of clubs” and “relish their roles as subject ambassadors and prefects.” This helps them “contribute to shaping the school.”

Teachers were praised for their “high level of subject knowledge,” and high-quality teaching. The inspectors said they found “highly inclusive” practices and “students with SEN receive the right support to help them.”

Headteacher Peter Lynch commented: “Along with many other schools in the nation, Sheldon School has faced challenges in recent years due to cuts in funding and support for families and schools. We are proud of this Ofsted result and will continue to work with parents, carers and external organisations to get the best for all our students, including those with SEN.”

Looking back with hindsight and at the overall picture, I absolutely loved my time at Sheldon.
Sally Shaw MBE - Director at Firstsite (Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021)