OFSTED inspectors have visited a Herefordshire secondary school which lets students pluck pheasants to check if it is still as good as it was five years ago.

In 2017, John Masefield High School in Ledbury was judged to still be a good school by the school inspectorate Ofsted after its most recent full, graded inspection in 2013.

Once again, Ofsted has now revisited the school, in Mabel’s Furlong, to carry out an ungraded inspection – saying it continues to be good.


Inspectors Antony Edkins and Janet Lewis said the school, with 889 pupils aged between 11 and 18, made pupils feel happy and safe, with staff making time for students, listening to their concerns and rewarding them for hard work.

They said students, who behaved well, appreciated confidential support with bullying, with a dedicated app allowing them to report it anonymously.

The pair said "pupils can do unusual stuff at this exciting school" such as making two-tone cupcakes, plucking pheasants, taking part in an escape room team-building exercises, going to the theatre in Cardiff or visiting Normandy or Berlin.

They said: "Pupils make the most of these opportunities. They speak highly about the wider benefits of belonging to John Masefield High School."

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It was also said school leaders, under headteacher Andrew Evans, have built a rich and engaging curriculum and were ambitious that all pupils could access and learn from a broad range of subjects.

The reports also praised subject leaders who had designed their curriculum to clearly specify what pupils should know and be able to do at each stage in their learning. It said this helped teachers to plan well-ordered lessons and pupils also revisited key knowledge often.

Leaders were also said to provide strong support for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), with safeguarding effective, good personal development and careers curriculum.


However, inspectors said senior leaders had not checked that all pupils in key stage four were learning enough in information technology (IT).

As a result, only pupils studying GCSE computing learned and developed specific digital and media skills. Leaders were told to check the provision for information technology across key stage four, which is years 10 and 11 (14 to 16 years old).

"They should do this to ensure teachers help pupils to learn and use relevant information technology skills effectively," they added.