Ofsted Result and Report - 20/06/2022
Dear Parents, Carers and Pupils
As you know the Sewell Park Academy was inspected by Ofsted on the 4th and 5th May 2022. Ofsted impose a long ‘wait time’ following an inspection before the judgement can be shared, but finally I am in a position to release their report to you all.
Before I go into detail, I will simply state that we have been judged as being a ‘Good’ school in each of the four areas that Ofsted scrutinise:
In the words of the Lead Inspector during the feedback session, “this is the best the school has ever been”. It was emphasised by the inspection team that “it is important that the community sees the school for what it is, and not the school it used to be”.
Ofsted look extremely carefully at the decisions that a school has made in developing their curriculum. As you are aware, we have spent hundreds of hours carefully thinking about what we teach our pupils, and how those decisions will enhance their life chances in the future. During a feedback session, the Inspection Team noted that, “...considerable thought has been put into constructing a curriculum with appropriate content for the children in the school.” The inspection report states that, “Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum”, and that, “pupils take a broader range of subjects than was previously the case.” Our Social Curriculum, comprising our Habits for Success programme, our focus on enhancing cultural capital through our Big Ideas lessons, as well as raising aspiration through our focus on ‘Future You’, were all recognised as being of the highest value.
The commitment and quality of our staff are a key reason for the strength of our school. The inspection report states that, “teachers have a strong knowledge of their subjects, and know how to teach them well.” The inspection report also notes that the school, “communicates a strong vision of nurturing young people with the ‘social knowledge and skills’ to do well in life” and that they, “learn about how their subjects equip them with the knowledge for a wide range of professions.”
Support for pupils
The inspection team concluded that the way in which we support pupils including those with special educational needs is good. The inspection report states that, “pupils know that teachers care about them” and that the school, “...ensure[s] that teachers know how best to help pupils with special educational needs.” Official recognition of our deep commitment to supporting all learners is well received.
The conduct of pupils at SPA was exemplary, with any poor behaviour problems that might have existed years ago no longer present. During conversations with the inspection team it was stated that the school’s approach to managing behaviour through clearly understood rules, rewards and punishments was, “impressive not oppressive.” Our clearly articulated and universally applied rules and social routines were seen as effective, the team noting that there were, “well accepted routines and expectations across the school and in all areas.”
The report itself states that, “Pupils are respectful” and that they, “...learn in a calm and purposeful environment.” Further sentences which should instil a deep feeling of pride in our community: “[Pupils] work positively with each other and independently. Older pupils demonstrate a mature attitude and a passion for learning. They are strong role models for younger pupils.” For us as a school this clearly demonstrates how we develop the children that learn with us over the time that they are at SPA, ‘growing them’ into polite, supportive and focussed young people.
From officially Good to… even better!
Although the ink is barely dry on the inspection report we are already thinking about how we can develop the school and make it even better. The Ofsted report does provide us with a few development areas (for example the use of more frequent review of learning) and we have some emerging ideas of our own:
Revisit our use of Brain Stars, Brain Badges and the setting of tricky work. We want to carefully push our most able learners throughout their years in the school in order to maximise their exam success
Working with all subject teachers to develop approaches in lessons to further develop pupils’ ability and skills in speaking, writing and reading english
Embedding specific ‘leadership workshops’ to enhance the skills of student leaders- and give them wider opportunities to apply those skills
Exploring ways to celebrate what our pupils do in the wider community- and prompting more of such endeavours
Sharing and better celebrating the cultural highlights of the group of nations that comprise the 36 languages spoken within the school
Create and introduce well designed behaviour coaching programmes to support the small number of pupils who lack the core social skills needed to function effectively and constructively in modern society.
Although you have today received a copy of the report, it will also appear on the Ofsted website from Thursday 23 June 2022. Throughout the inspection, the team spoke to just under 200 students, regarding their experiences and views, alongside those views of parents and staff. From this, and visiting over 60 lessons, they were able to draw their conclusions regarding the educational provision within the school. We feel that this report captures what we do at Sewell Park and is one that our students and staff should be able to share with pride as we continue to move forwards.