According to a Government report published this month schools are still not doing enough to ensure the most able students fulfil their potential. Andover’s Harrow Way is bucking this trend with news that 100% of their students who achieved a Level 5 or higher in their primary school, Year 6 English SATS tests went on to achieve expected or higher GCSE results. This places Harrow Way 1st in the league table for Hampshire and against similar schools nationally.

The Most Able Students Report, finds that many of the most able children who attend non-selective secondary schools are failing to achieve their potential, compared with students who attend selective and independent schools. The Ofsted survey found in the most successful non-selective schools, the most able students thrive because school leaders provide a challenging curriculum and are tenacious in making sure that teaching is consistently good or better for all students.

Michael Serridge, Headteacher said: “No other school in Hampshire is able to boast the same level of achievement as Harrow Way. There has historically been a belief amongst some in Andover that more able students need to travel out of town to receive the level of education that they need but results clearly show that this is not the case. The fact is students have more chance of doing well at Harrow Way than at any other schools in Hampshire.”

At Harrow Way levels of achievement were strong for the more able in Mathematics with 95% achieving expected levels of progress, a result matched or bettered by few schools locally. The figures further demonstrate the continued success story of Harrow Way results, arriving in a year where the number of students achieving 5 A*-C grades including Maths and English was an impressive 63%. 85% of all students made expected progress in English with 80% achieving a C grade or higher while 70% of all students made expected progress in Maths.

According to Ofsted successful leaders use the information they receive from primary schools to make sure that students are doing work that stretches them as soon as they join Year 7. At Harrow Way, this is supported through a successful transition programme and setting challenging work that prepares students fully for GCSE including cross curricula work based around the novel ‘Warhorse’. Student feedback has noted the appropriate rise in challenge since primary school.

The report goes on to say that schools must identify and nurture the talents of students so they can achieve the best they can and schools must ensure that the education they provide challenges and encourages children at all levels. Michael Serridge goes on to explain how Harrow Way’s achieves Ofsted’s recommendations: ‘We offer a programme of activities for all students, encouraging success and progress. We work with institutions such as Winchester University to offer higher education visits and sessions and offer students the opportunity to experience diverse activities outside of the classroom such as engineering, computing, welding and performance.”