A SECONDARY school in Thornton has made vast improvements, but still has more to do, according to Ofsted.

Beckfoot Thornton, which has been administered by the Beckfoot Trust since 2016, was visited by the education watchdog between September 17 and 18 this year.

It is the school's first inspection since it became an academy.

Ofsted rated the school "Good" in four out of the five categories.

But there was recognition that improvements need to be made in the quality of education and that meant the school received an overall rating of "Requires Improvement".

The inspector was particularly impressed with Beckfoot Thornton's sixth-form, pointing out that, due to its small size, students are taught well and have a lot of opportunity to receive support and help.

The report states: "Students are heavily involved in a wide range of leadership activities.

"For example, some students deliver whole-school assemblies or help younger pupils

with their reading skills."

Leadership across the whole school is strong, according to the report.

This spreads from the new headteacher, who teachers say has helped to make pupil behaviour much better.

The report states: "Pupils enjoy coming to school. They say that they feel safe and that they learn a lot.

"Older pupils told us that the school has really improved in the last few years. Teaching is improving too.

"This is helping pupils to achieve more than they would have done in the past."

Even though teaching is improving, the report does outline that the quality does vary.

It states: "Sometimes, when teachers assess what pupils know, they do not use the results as well as they could."

The curriculum is only just beginning to be reviewed as well, with leaders now starting to think about what pupils learn and in what order.

The report states: "Pupils in key stage 3 spend two years learning a curriculum.

"In Year 9, they pick their GCSEs, which reduces the number of subjects they study.

"This means that teachers teach about a broad range of topics but they do not explore subject content in depth.

"This leads to gaps in pupils’ understanding."

Religious education in particular is an area that needs work, with it lacking prominence in the current curriculum, according to the report.

But, in English, action has already been taken to redesign subject plans in Year 7, after noticing current Year 11 students struggle to evaluate written text.

Jeremy Richardson, Headteacher at Beckfoot Thornton School, said: "I am delighted that this report recognises the enormous improvements that we have made since we joined the Beckfoot Trust.

"We are determined to continue to transform Beckfoot Thornton into a school that our community is proud of.

"We couldn't have made these significant improvements without the fantastic support of our parents, carers and their children.

"They have been instrumental in turning the school around."

To improve, the report states the curriculum must continue to be developed to allow pupils to progressively know more and remember more over time.