Inspection Dates: 28-29th January 2020
|The quality of education
|Behaviour and attitudes
|Leadership and management
|Previous inspection grade
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What is it like to attend this school?
Recently, leaders have raised their expectations of pupils’ behaviour at The Kingsway School. This is helping some pupils to enjoy their learning. Many pupils told inspectors that they have a trusted adult who they can talk to if they have any worries or concerns. For the most part, pupils feel happy and safe at school.
Despite leaders’ efforts to improve pupils’ behaviour, a few pupils reported that some of their peers do not treat them well. Some pupils are subjected to discriminatory language. A small number of pupils said that they do not report this unkind behaviour because they perceive that a few staff do not take their concerns seriously. Nevertheless, when pupils report bullying, leaders take appropriate action.
Leaders expect pupils to achieve well. To this end, they have designed a suitably ambitious curriculum. However, leaders have not ensured that some pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and those who have fallen behind their peers in their reading knowledge, benefit from appropriate support. Some pupils’ learning across the curriculum is uneven as a result.
Pupils typically appreciate the wide range of extra-curricular activities that leaders provide, including sports clubs and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Nonetheless, pupils do not learn sufficiently well about the importance of tolerance and respect for others.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Recently, leaders have taken judicious steps to improve the quality of education that pupils receive. Subject leaders have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn. Most subject leaders have defined the essential knowledge that they expect pupils to remember. This is helping most pupils to learn increasingly well. However, leaders work to ensure that pupils with SEND, including those in the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND (specially resourced provision), access the same ambitious curriculum is in its early stages.
Teachers have secure knowledge of the subjects that they teach. In the main, they design effective learning activities that enable pupils to build on what they know already. Teachers frequently check that pupils have learned and remembered the knowledge that is most important for subsequent learning. Some pupils achieve well.
Typically, leaders identify the additional needs of pupils with SEND in a timely way. Leaders provide teachers with useful information about the needs of these pupils. Despite this, many teachers are not equipped to successfully adapt the delivery of the curriculum for pupils with SEND. This means that some pupils with SEND, including those in the specially resourced provision, do not achieve as well as they should.
Leaders have prioritised reading through the wider curriculum. For example, teachers use a range of strategies to develop pupils’ vocabulary. However, leaders do not have effective systems to identify and remedy the gaps in the reading knowledge of those pupils who do not read as fluently and confidently as they should. This hinders how well these pupils access the wider curriculum.
Most pupils are focused on their learning and want to do well. Typically, this leads to a calm and orderly atmosphere in classrooms. However, a minority of pupils sometimes cause disruption in lessons and around the school site. Leaders have started to take action to address this negative behaviour. Leaders ensure that pupils learn a range of information to prepare them for life in modern Britain. For example, pupils learn about the differences between people. However, some pupils continue to use derogatory language, including sexist and homophobic language, towards their peers. Leaders have not tackled this aspect of pupils’ behaviour effectively. This is affecting some pupils’ enjoyment of school.
Pupils experience a suitable careers programme. For example, pupils in key stage 4 spoke enthusiastically about their recent mock interviews. These have helped pupils to prepare for the next stage in their education or training.
Trustees recognise that the school needs to improve. They have taken action to begin this process. Governors have begun to challenge leaders more effectively to raise standards. They have gained a thorough understanding of leaders’ improvement priorities. Leaders are taking appropriate actions to address areas of concern. However, at times leaders at all levels have not had sufficient oversight of the impact of their actions. This means that some actions have not made the positive difference that leaders intend within the planned timescales.
Leaders are mindful of staff’s workload and well-being. Many staff recognise that the school needs to improve. Nevertheless, they feel proud to work at the school.