The Kingswood School Inspection report

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1 The Kingswood School Inspection report Unique Reference Number Local Authority Inspection number Inspection dates Reporting inspector 1115 Northamptonshire September 007 Alan Clamp HMI This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 005. Type of school School category Age range of pupils Gender of pupils Number on roll School 6th form Appropriate authority Chair Headteacher Date of previous school inspection School address Telephone number Fax number Comprehensive Foundation 1118 Mixed The governing body Gordon Reynolds David Tristram November 00 Gainsborough Road Corby NN18 9NS Age group Inspection dates Inspection number September

2 . Crown copyright 007 Website: This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for non-commercial educational purposes, provided that the information quoted is reproduced without adaptation and the source and date of publication are stated. Further copies of this report are obtainable from the school. Under the Education Act 005, the school must provide a copy of this report free of charge to certain categories of people. A charge not exceeding the full cost of reproduction may be made for any other copies supplied.

3 of 11 Introduction The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty s Inspectors and four Additional Inspectors. Description of the school From September 004 the school has been designated as a Specialist Arts College. It has also grown in size since the last inspection, following the phased closure of a neighbouring school in 004 and 005. It is currently using the site of the school that closed. The proportion of students eligible for free school meals is slightly lower than the national average. The percentage with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is slightly above average. A small number of students are from minority ethnic groups, although very few do not have English as their first language. Key for inspection grades Grade 1 Grade Grade Grade 4 Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate

4 4 of 11 Overall effectiveness of the school Grade: The overall effectiveness of the school is satisfactory. The school knows its strengths and areas for improvement. Recent improvements have been made in the monitoring of provision by leaders and managers, the quality of teaching and learning, the breadth of the curriculum, attendance rates and the progress made by students. The capacity of the school to improve is good. The attainment of students on entry to the school is broadly average. They make satisfactory progress and reach standards that are also broadly average. The standards in English have improved, but there has been relatively little improvement in mathematics and science. Students in the sixth form make satisfactory progress and achieve broadly average standards. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make satisfactory progress. The personal development and well-being of students are satisfactory. Students generally enjoy their studies and behave appropriately. They take advantage of a range of opportunities to make a good contribution to the school and the local community. The school has done some good work to encourage students to adopt healthy lifestyles. This includes good participation in sporting activities and healthier eating options in the canteen. As a result, pupils have a good understanding of how to keep fit and healthy, although not all choose to eat the healthier foods. Attendance has improved and is now close to the national average. Incidents of bullying are relatively rare and most students and their parents report that any such incidents are dealt with effectively. The quality of teaching and learning is satisfactory. Many teachers plan lessons carefully and students benefit from a range of learning activities, often enabling them to make good progress. Progress is less effective in some lessons in which teachers do not focus sufficiently on meeting the individual needs of all students or on tackling low-level inattention or disruption. The quality of feedback on students' work is not always detailed enough to help students to make improvements. The school provides a satisfactory curriculum, including a good range of extra-curricular activities. Students benefit from satisfactory care, guidance and support, and pastoral support is good. The monitoring of academic progress is satisfactory, although the school is increasing its use of assessment information to plan learning, set challenging targets and improve students' performance. The leadership and management of the school are satisfactory. The senior leadership team has a clear focus on raising standards and improving the quality of provision. The quality of middle management is more variable, however, and this has had an impact on the effectiveness of improvement strategies, sometimes reducing the pace of change. Self-evaluation is comprehensive and accurate. Resources are satisfactory and the school is planning a major building project for completion in September 009. Professional development for the staff is starting to improve teaching and learning. Value for money is satisfactory. Specialist Arts College status has raised the profile of the school, improved attainment in some subject areas and contributed to curriculum development and activities aimed at boosting personal development and well-being. Effectiveness of the sixth form Grade: Provision for post-16 students is satisfactory. Students make satisfactory progress and achieve standards that are similar to the national averages. The overall quality of teaching and learning

5 5 of 11 in the sixth form is satisfactory. Progress is monitored regularly and there is increasing emphasis on supporting any underperforming students. Many students play an active role in the school and local community. Students receive good guidance on entry to the sixth form and benefit from useful advice and support through the pastoral programme. The sixth form has grown in numbers in recent years and progression to higher education has increased. The leadership and management of the sixth form are satisfactory and the capacity to improve is good. What the school should do to improve further Improve the progress made by students, particularly in mathematics and science. Ensure that all teaching focuses sharply on meeting students' individual needs. Make sure that feedback to students on their work is detailed enough to help them to make improvements. Ensure consistent and effective implementation of improvement strategies. A small proportion of the schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory but which have areas of underperformance will receive a monitoring visit by an Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection. Achievement and standards Grade: Grade for sixth form: Standards are broadly average and achievement is satisfactory. Standards have risen in English, but there has been relatively little improvement in mathematics and science. The overall test results in 006 for Year 9 students were slightly below the national average. Standards were similar at the end of Year 9 in 007, although there was a notable increase in the proportion of students achieving Level 5 or above in English. The proportion of students in Year 11 gaining the equivalent of at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C in 006 was similar to the national average. The proportion achieving at least five GCSEs at grades A* to C including English and mathematics was also broadly average, as was the average points score per student. Standards achieved by students at the end of Year 11 in 007 were similar to those in 006, despite these students having slightly lower attainment on entry to the school. Students in the sixth form make satisfactory progress and achieve examination results that are generally similar to those seen nationally. The attainment of students on entry to the school is broadly average. The overall progress made by students has improved and is satisfactory. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make satisfactory progress. Personal development and well-being Grade: Grade for sixth form: The personal development and well-being of students are satisfactory. Students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is satisfactory. Students are generally polite and considerate. They respect each other, the adults in the school and the world around them. Behaviour is often good in lessons but can be boisterous at other times. Students are respectful of people with views and traditions different from their own but have a relatively limited understanding of religions and cultures in the wider community. Students know how to keep

6 6 of 11 themselves safe and know they are well looked after at school. They report that incidences of bullying are taken very seriously by the school, but a small minority of younger students remain concerned about the possibility of harassment. Students generally enjoy school and this is reflected in their improved attendance, although it remains slightly below average. Students have a good understanding of healthy living. Most take regular exercise and make sensible choices about what they eat. Students accept responsibility and make a good contribution to the school and wider community. Although students' attitudes to learning are positive, their preparation for continuing education and for future employment is only satisfactory because skills, particularly in mathematics, are below average at GCSE. Quality of provision Teaching and learning Grade: Grade for sixth form: Teachers prepare their lessons with learning aims that they share with students, but these aims are sometimes too general. Teachers are not always clear enough about what different groups and individuals need to learn in each lesson. Not all lessons have precise enough or measurable learning objectives. Consequently, the activities in lessons lack the fine tuning necessary for students to make the individual progress necessary for them to reach their targets. This is the main factor that prevents teaching from being better than satisfactory, even though there are some lessons in which students make good progress. Lessons generally have a suitable structure and a sequence of activities that promote learning. Teachers usually engage well with students so that attitudes and behaviour are appropriate and support steady learning, although there are occasions when there is some low-level inattention or disruption. The school has identified and begun to implement ways of raising students' achievement on a subject-by-subject basis. The overall quality of teaching and learning is improving. Curriculum and other activities Grade: Grade for sixth form: The curriculum is satisfactory with some good features and has been amended appropriately since the last inspection to take account of the changing needs of students. The school has been innovative in introducing a weekly philosophy lesson for all students in Year 7 to develop their thinking skills and in offering a course in GCSE Latin for the most able students. There is an increasing emphasis on meeting the needs of gifted and talented students and this is starting to have a positive impact on the standards attained by the most able. The specialist status has resulted in the school providing interesting opportunities for students to take part in drama, dance and musical performances and to work with visiting musicians and artists. The curriculum is enriched with a good range of clubs, trips and sports activities. Although the school is investigating possible ways to do so, it still does not meet fully the statutory requirements for religious education

7 7 of 11 Care, guidance and support Grade: Grade for sixth form: Care, guidance and support are satisfactory. There is effective personal care for students based on the school's knowledge of them as individuals. The school works well with a wide range of external agencies to support students' welfare and education. For example, it works closely with behaviour experts to support students who are at risk of exclusion. The number of exclusions is relatively high, but work by school staff and external partners is proving effective in reducing the rate of exclusions. Health and safety measures are robust. Although not all staff have received training on child protection procedures in the school, all the necessary checks are made on adults who come into contact with students. The overall quality of academic guidance is satisfactory but it varies across the school. Students do not always get detailed individual advice through marking and other feedback from their teachers on how they can make their work better. Leadership and management Grade: Grade for sixth form: Leadership and management are satisfactory. The headteacher manages and motivates the staff well and gives clear direction about what has to be done to bring about improvement. It is widely recognised that he has led the school well through a period of significant change involving the inclusion of students from a neighbouring school which closed. He is well supported by a senior team who show commitment to raising attainment and improving the quality of education. Monitoring and evaluation have improved since the last inspection, but variability in middle management has limited the overall impact of some quality improvement strategies. The school sets challenging targets but these have not yet had a positive impact on standards. The school has just started to use a detailed, and potentially very effective, information system to set targets, track students' progress and provide support when necessary. Parents are supportive of the school and confirm their children's view that they are generally happy in school. Governors are also supportive of the school and ask appropriate questions about the standards achieved. They are proud of the school's successes, understand the challenges it faces and are keen to ensure that the more able students reach their full potential.

8 8 of 11. Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaints about school inspection', which is available from Ofsted s website:

9 9 of 11 Annex A Inspection judgements Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade good, grade satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate Overall effectiveness How effective, efficient and inclusive is the provision of education, integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners? Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being? The capacity to make any necessary improvements Achievement and standards How well do learners achieve? The standards 1 reached by learners How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners How well learners with learning difficulties and disabilities make progress Personal development and well-being How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the learners? The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles The extent to which learners adopt safe practices How well learners enjoy their education The attendance of learners The behaviour of learners The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being The quality of provision How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of the learners' needs? How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners? How well are learners cared for, guided and supported? School Overall Yes Yes 1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.

10 10 of 11 Annex A Leadership and management How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners? How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination tackled so that all learners achieve as well as they can How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements? Does this school require special measures? Does this school require a notice to improve? Yes No No Yes

11 11 of 11 Annex B Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection 7 September 007 Dear Students Inspection of The Kingswood School, Corby, Northamptonshire NN18 9NS On behalf of the inspectors who visited The Kingswood School on the 6 and 7 September 007, I would like to thank you for welcoming us to your school. We enjoyed the opportunity to share your achievements and talk with you. Many of you helped us find our way around and let us know your views. We think that you might like to know what we found out about the school. These are some of the good points about your school. You are starting to achieve higher standards in English. Many of you make a good contribution to the school and the local community. You take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, particularly in sport and the performing arts. You receive good personal care and support within the school The senior managers in the school know what is needed to make further improvements. What we have asked your school to do now. Improve the progress you make, particularly in mathematics and science. Make sure that all teaching focuses on meeting your individual needs. Give you more detailed feedback about the quality of your work to help you make improvements. Make sure that improvement plans are implemented effectively throughout the school. The Kingswood School is a satisfactory and improving school. The school has high hopes for the future and it will need you to play your part, particularly in terms of the effort you make in lessons and in your own time. We wish you every success. Best wishes on behalf of the inspection team. Alan Clamp Her Majesty's Inspector

12 Inspection report: The Kingswood School, 6 7 September of 11 7 September 007 Annex B Dear Students Inspection of The Kingswood School, Corby, Northamptonshire NN18 9NS On behalf of the inspectors who visited The Kingswood School on the 6 and 7 September 007, I would like to thank you for welcoming us to your school. We enjoyed the opportunity to share your achievements and talk with you. Many of you helped us find our way around and let us know your views. We think that you might like to know what we found out about the school. These are some of the good points about your school. You are starting to achieve higher standards in English. Many of you make a good contribution to the school and the local community. You take part in a range of extra-curricular activities, particularly in sport and the performing arts. You receive good personal care and support within the school The senior managers in the school know what is needed to make further improvements. What we have asked your school to do now. Improve the progress you make, particularly in mathematics and science. Make sure that all teaching focuses on meeting your individual needs. Give you more detailed feedback about the quality of your work to help you make improvements. Make sure that improvement plans are implemented effectively throughout the school. The Kingswood School is a satisfactory and improving school. The school has high hopes for the future and it will need you to play your part, particularly in terms of the effort you make in lessons and in your own time. We wish you every success. Best wishes on behalf of the inspection team. Alan Clamp Her Majesty s Inspector

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