Frederick Gent School, which has 777 pupils on its books, has been given a ‘Good’ rating by inspectors from the education watchdog.
And “delighted” head Chris Woollard felt he could now say he had achieved his aim of creating a school with “a clear vision to teach pupils the knowledge they need to succeed in learning and life”.
In a letter to parents, Mr Woollard said: “This judgement is well deserved.
"It recognises the commitment, ambition and professionalism of the school’s staff.
"It also acknowledges our students’ positive attitudes, which are a testimony to us all and proof of how lucky we are to work with them every day.
"The past couple of years have been challenging, but that has never stopped us ensuring our students receive an education which is rooted in our values of being ambitious, brave and caring.”
Mr Woollard also praised the support the school has received from families, governors, its management trust and the South Normanton community.
A secondary school for youngsters aged 11 to 16, Frederick Gent is part of The Two Counties Trust, which runs nine secondary schools across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, including Ashfield School at Kirkby and Manor Academy at Mansfield Woodhouse.
As well as being ranked ‘Good’ overall, the school received the same rating in the categories of quality of education, personal development and leadership and management.
Ofsted inspectors praised Frederick Gent as “welcoming and inclusive”. Most pupils were happy and recognised that they were well looked after, especially those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
"Pupils encourage each other and listen respectfully to the views of others,” said the report.
"Conduct around the school and in lessons is calm and orderly. Pupils behave well and focus on their work.
"Most parents are also supportive of the school. One reflected the views of many when they said it had shown remarkable improvement in recent years.”
Ofsted said the school’s curriculum was “ambitious”, while teachers had “strong subject knowledge” and “ensure clarity”.
"Leaders’ actions have brought about positive change, and they are determined to improve the school further,” the inspectors said. “Staff are proud to work here.”
The upshot was that “pupils are achieving better than in the past because leaders have improved the quality of education”.
Pupils’ attendance was also good, and they were “polite and hard-working, treating others with kindness and respect”.
They learned about other cultures and faiths and were “well prepared for life in modern Britain”.
Safeguarding was effective too, and discrimination was not tolerated.
The only category in which Frederick Gent fell short was behaviour and attitudes, which received a ‘Requires Improvement’ rating.
The inspectors found that some pupils disrupt lessons, which had a “detrimental impact on the enjoyment of the school for others”.
And although bullying was taken seriously, “some pupils do not always feel confident about reporting it”.
The inspectors urged leaders to ensure systems were “consistently applied” to manage behaviour.
They also felt that expectations in some subjects, particularly science, were “not always high enough”.
And they were worried that, sometimes, “teachers do not check carefully enough that all pupils have understood the learning before moving them on”.