OFSTED Section 8 Monitoring report - 28 September 2018
We were recently visited by OFSTED on the 28th September. The OFSTED monitoring visit was conducted by Her Majesty’s Inspector, Mr Steve Shaw.
Such monitoring visits are designed to challenge and support schools that are judged as requiring improvement at their last full inspection. During such visits, the lead inspector makes a single judgement stating whether or not senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement.
I am pleased to say that Her Majesty’s Inspector found us to be taking effective action.
This judgement recognises the hard work of all colleagues since the start of term and the significant steps taken by the school to improve to a good school.
OFSTED gave us three key areas to focus at the last full inspection and these are integral to our school improvement plan.
- Improve teaching so that it is at least good and leads to all pupils achieving well and attaining at least average outcomes
- Strengthen the impact of leadership and management on teaching and learning and on pupils’ outcomes
- Improve attendance, so that it is at least in line with the national average, by building on recently introduced strategies aimed at reducing absence, particularly for disadvantaged pupils and those who have SEND
Her Majesty’s Inspector recognised that Almondbury is a very unique school – It is a through school and has a number of local situations. He gave us feedback on three lines of enquiry:
- Improving Teaching to good
- In most cases the school is not yet achieving average outcomes.
- Matching to pupil needs – there is evidence of work set at differentiated level
- Teachers are using questioning to bring out knowledge and there is some skilful questioning. Saw some complex knowledge being acquired in (in Y7).
- No discernible difference in the expectations of SEND & disadvantaged. Teachers expected all children to work well. This is a positive.
- Marking & feedback – Leaders have focused on policy and there is evidence of greater feedback. Pupils are responding to feedback across most of the books.
- Pupil’s books are consistently well presented which shows teacher expectations. There is a sense of real pride and this is setting a positive climate for learning.
- Pupils say they feel challenged most of the time but there are times when they don’t feel challenged. Need to be aware of this.
- Mobility – this has changed significantly in the last 2/3 years. The school is 10% below the national average for stability and is declining, therefore it would be unreasonable not to take this into account
- Leadership & Management
- Developing but not there yet
- Evidence of growing confidence
- Q&A cycle is effectively working
- Not afraid to challenge – difficult conversations are taking place. This should be commended as the teams are small and it is harder to have difficult conversations in small teams where there is a close working relationship.
- Leaders know what to do.
- Governors are passionate about the school and have openness. They are holding leaders to account but are not following up on agreed actions.
- School Improvement plan is very thorough and realistic.
- The school has been addressing the key issues – T & L and middle leaders (not focussed on peripheral things which don’t make a difference. Therefore the school has the capacity to move on.
- School is honest – not saying that we are national
- School has taken actions and there are signs of improvement.
- Attendance is ahead of where it was this time last year
- SEND & PPREM – attendance has improved and the gap is narrowing, although it is still wider for SEND. SEND have some very challenging needs.
Additionally, Her Majesty’s Inspector has asked us to continue to:
- Speed up the pace of improvement in teaching and learning by tightening further the recently introduced quality assurance process n
- Further improve rates of attendance for all groups of pupils, including those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities and those who are disadvantaged.
We will take the lessons learned from this monitoring visit and ensure they inform our work across the school. Thank you for your continued support.