School name: Sage College

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1 Inspection Report School name: Sage College Address Calle Alemania, Jerez de la Frontera Cádiz Date of Inspection: Wednesday 3rd December 2014 Inspection Team: Daniel Jones Abigail Kay Overall Recommendation: The school is recommended for Temporary Authorisation until March 2016 for Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 5. Page 1

2 REPORT OF INSPECTION VISIT TO SAGE COLLEGE, JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA Date of inspection: 3 December 2014 Inspectors: Daniel Jones Abigail Kay Introduction Sage College opened in September It is owned by Campus El Sabio. The school is near Jerez de la Frontera in the province of Cádiz. There are currently 284 pupils on roll, from 3 to 17 years of age. Approximately eighty per cent of the pupils are Spanish native speakers, and the remainder is made up of a variety of nationalities. The school was last inspected in November 2013 and was granted full authorisation for key stages 2, 3 and 4 (KS2, KS3, KS4) and temporary authorisation for the early years foundation stage (EYFS), and key stage 1 (KS1). The purpose of this inspection is to reinspect the EYFS and KS1 and to assess key stage 5 (KS5) for authorisation. Accommodation and Resources Overall, the accommodation is appropriate and helps to create an effective learning environment for all ages and areas of the school curriculum. Additional resources have been purchased since the last inspection, but some areas of the curriculum are still insufficiently resourced to support learning effectively. The school is set in an attractive, well- maintained campus, which provides a pleasant learning environment for pupils of all ages. It comprises the main building and a separate, two- storey building for the primary school. The outside spaces next to the buildings are used for recreational and educational purposes. The main building is impressive and very spacious. It contains the secondary classrooms, the school library, a science laboratory, an information and communications technology (ICT) suite and an examinations hall. The two dining areas and on- site kitchen provide excellent lunch facilities. There are also school offices used by the administrative staff and by the school leadership and management team. At the front of the primary building there is a play area for the infant children with a safe, low- impact surface. Behind the primary block there is a small playground and a hard court area used by pupils of all ages during their recreation times and their physical education (PE) lessons. Next to the court, there is a securely locked large swimming pool used by the school in the summer months. The classrooms vary in size. Most of the primary classrooms provide sufficient space, but some rooms are too small for the number of pupils in the group with the result that it is more difficult to set up a range of different activities in lessons. The school plans to redesign some of the classrooms to create more space for play- based Page 2

3 learning. The secondary classrooms are large and provide an effective teaching space. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards and projectors. There are examples of attractive display work in the school. The main primary corridor is both colourful and stimulating learning. In secondary, professionally produced posters are used as visual aids in the classrooms to support pupils learning. However, in most primary and secondary classrooms little importance is given to the celebration of pupils work or to the use of visual materials to support learning. The school has a good wireless internet connection, which gives teachers and pupils the opportunity to use technology in lessons and around the school. Secondary pupils often bring their own computers and other electronic devices to school, and these can provide an effective tool to support learning in lessons. KS1 groups use the main ICT suite, but there are insufficient computers for all pupils. This means that the pupils have to work in pairs and, as a result, the opportunity for them to make good progress in ICT is more limited. The school is aware of the need to improve its ICT provision but has yet to decide upon the most effective way to do so. The science laboratory has been well designed and furnished to meet the needs of A- level science practical lessons. However, there is currently an insufficient range of chemicals and other practical resources to fulfil the requirements of the science A- level courses. Consequently, pupils have not yet been able to prepare fully for all areas of their courses. The room used for the school library is large, but there is a limited range of fiction, non- fiction and reference books to meet the needs of all pupils. The EYFS and KS1 classrooms have insufficient reading material and there is no scheme in place to monitor pupils progress in reading. The school has recently invested in an online reading scheme for its pupils and expects that it will help to raise reading standards. The staffroom in the main building provides an appropriate space for teachers to work, and there are additional rooms for teachers to relax. There is another staff room in the primary building for the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 teachers. Health and Safety The school provides a safe environment for pupils, staff and visitors. Evacuation plans are clearly visible in each classroom and fire drills are practised regularly. Toilet and washing facilities are appropriate and well maintained. Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that the adults who are employed are suitable to work with children. There is little evidence of bullying in the school. The anti- bullying policy is clear and pupils explain confidently that cases of bullying are effectively resolved by the school. Page 3

4 A full- time qualified school nurse is employed by the school and there is first aid room on the school premises. Clear procedures are followed should medical assistance be required. The Curriculum The school s curriculum is based on the EYFS curriculum and the National Curriculum. In KS5, pupils can choose from two blocks of A- level subjects, and the school intends to introduce a wider range of A- level subjects as it develops. English is the main language of instruction and all teachers are sufficiently proficient in English to be able to deliver the curriculum. In all key stages, time is allocated appropriately to the different subject areas. All subject areas have long- term plans in place to give clear indications of what pupils are expected to learn during the year. However, there is a lack of more detailed curricular planning to outline teaching methods or pupil activities, or to make provision for pupils with different abilities or needs. Consequently it is more difficult for teachers to plan effectively for lessons and to ensure that all pupils make good progress. To enrich the curriculum the school offers extra- curricular ballet, football and karate clubs, and all pupils have golf lessons on the adjacent golf course. There is also an after- school mathematics club to support pupils who need extra help. There are plans to offer more after- school activities to enrich the curriculum in the future. For example, the school intends to offer an art club. The school organises trips and excursions. Over recent years there have been residential trips to London and a trip to Belgium is planned for next year. Pupils comment that they enjoy the trips and excursions and they would be keen for the school to organise more visits. Staffing The number of teaching staff is appropriate to the needs of the school and teachers are well deployed to make the most of their specialist knowledge. However, the majority of teachers do not have a suitable teaching qualification and some have had no formal teacher training. The school is aware that all teachers need to be appropriately qualified and trained and intends to provide training opportunities to address the problem. The school is also committed to providing professional development opportunities for its teachers. For example, all have recently received some training on a new phonics programme to teach reading, which has been introduced in the primary school. However, the school does not set clear priorities for the professional development of its staff. Staff retention is good. There is a blend of new and more experienced teachers at the school. Teachers speak highly of the positive relationships amongst colleagues and with the new leadership and management team. Page 4

5 The school has responded effectively to the recommendation of the last inspection report by employing a full- time learning support assistant in EYFS to help provide support for specific pupils. Apart from the three members of the senior leadership and management team, there are currently no other responsibility posts in the school. The introduction of positions of responsibility would better reflect standard British practice, supply better support to the senior managers and give staff members the opportunity to develop their careers at the school while contributing to the school s development. Teaching and Learning In EYFS, KS1 and KS5 the quality of teaching varies, but overall it is satisfactory. In most lessons there are teaching strategies and activities which to enable pupils to learn. In KS1 and EYFS, teaching is more effective where lessons have enough pace and challenge to interest the pupils. In lessons where the teaching is unsatisfactory, pupils are poorly behaved because they do not understand the tasks set or because there is a lack of appropriate challenge in the lesson. In KS5, where teaching is good, teachers are skilled at asking questions to help pupils to think more critically and extend their knowledge. In a global perspectives lesson about charities, for example, the teacher s questions challenged pupils thinking. They showed a high level of engagement and interest in the activity and in the subsequent debate. Through good teaching, the pupils had the opportunity to reflect and form new viewpoints, and consequently made very good progress. Where the teaching is unsatisfactory in KS5, the progress made by pupils is limited. Some pupils are not interested in the lesson because activities have an inappropriate level of challenge, because the pace of the lessons is too slow or because teachers fail to engage the pupils. In some A- level lessons, teachers have to simplify the content of their lessons because some of the pupils struggle with the demands of the course. English is mostly used amongst pupils in KS5, but not amongst EYFS or KS1 pupils. The level of competency in English varies widely amongst the student body. Assessment and Achievement The marking of pupils work is inconsistent in EYFS, KS1 and KS5. Marking is effective where teachers give feedback so that pupils know how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve. However, there is little evidence of detailed feedback to support pupils learning. In EYFS and KS1, teachers have begun to use I can statements to evaluate pupil progress. This is a positive step as it allows teachers to determine whether learning objectives have been achieved and helps them to consider the next steps for teaching. In KS5, the quality of marking is inconsistent across subject areas. For example, in biology, pupils are given constructive feedback about their work with a clear indication of how they can improve. In other subject areas, where work has been marked it does Page 5

6 not explain how pupils should improve. In some subjects, there is no evidence of pupils work being marked at all. As a result, pupils are not aware of how well they are doing or what they need to do to improve. The school collects a limited amount of assessment data on pupil progress. In KS5, teachers use summative tests to assess pupil attainment. However, the school does not have a system in place to measure how much progress pupils are making. Consequently, it is difficult to identify clear next steps in learning for pupils, and to set specific, measurable targets for improvement. Attitudes and Behaviour There is a positive ethos in the school. Pupils treat each other with respect and they are proud of their school. They believe that the school is improving, particularly in terms of pupil behaviour. Pupils in KS5 commented on the strong rapport they have with their teachers and with the school s new senior leadership team. Pupil behaviour is excellent in KS5. In EYFS and KS1 some pupils exhibit poor behaviour in lessons where the teaching is unsatisfactory. Leadership and Management The school is led and managed by a motivated and committed senior leadership and management team made up of the head teacher, the head of curriculum and the head of infants. All three members of the team were appointed to their roles only this year, due to the departure of the previous senior management team at the end of the last academic year. The change in the senior leadership and management team has caused concern amongst some members of the school community and the school has sensibly appointed an independent officer to deal with complaints. Teachers and pupils agree that the new leadership and management team is having a positive impact, particularly on the standard of pupils behaviour. Senior leaders and managers have high aspirations for the school and are committed to raising standards. Teachers and pupils hold them in high esteem and feel supported by them. The school is well organised. Procedures are clear and are followed, and members of staff understand their responsibilities. Regular communication between the school s leaders and other members of staff helps to ensure the smooth running of the school. All teachers attend a weekly staff meeting led by the leadership and management team. The school does not currently have self- review procedures in place and there are no school or curriculum development plans. These would provide the school with a more effective framework to identify, implement, monitor and review areas for improvement, and potentially raise standards more consistently across the school. By monitoring the quality of teaching and learning, the senior leaders and managers would better understand the school s developmental needs and could then identify school- wide areas for development. Page 6

7 Response to the previous inspection report The school has responded to some of the recommendations of the previous inspection report. The use and quality of displays have improved and the main primary corridor now provides an attractive and stimulating learning environment. Additional resources have been purchased in EYFS and KS1, but resourcing in key areas is still insufficient. A learning support assistant has been recruited. However, the quality of teaching and learning in EYFS and KS1 is still too inconsistent in quality and some classroom sizes in the EYFS and KS1 are still inadequate. There is still a lack of a consistent approach to marking which informs pupils how to improve. The school is starting to develop sound assessment practices in EYFS and KS1. Conclusion Sage College offers a British education based on the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum in England and Wales. The school continues to develop and to improve its educational provision. Recommendation Temporary authorisation for EYFS, KS1 and KS5 until March In order to develop further the owners and leaders should: provide appropriate training opportunities to ensure that all teachers are suitably qualified improve resources for the younger pupils, for ICT and for science in KS5, and increase the range and amount of books in the school senior managers should: improve the unsatisfactory teaching as a priority introduce more detailed planning procedures for lessons to make learning and the tracking of pupils progress more effective implement and monitor more consistent and more effective marking procedures across all subject areas which help identify how pupils can improve their work and teachers should: match activities to individual pupils abilities more consistently in lessons so that all pupils have an appropriate level of challenge in their work Page 7

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