You will be aware that an Ofsted inspection of The Bramcote School took place in April 2015. The report is now available, below and on the OFSTED website.
Although the report describes us as ‘a quickly improving school’, the overall judgement is that the school is judged to be a Category 3 – Requiring Improvement. The main reasons for this are historic weaknesses in certain areas, particularly Maths and some inconsistencies in teaching, leadership and the way that behaviour policies are applied. We are obviously disappointed with the overall picture, however we are encouraged by the recognition that we are on the right track and improving. The report makes several key points:
At our last inspection, English was highlighted as a serious cause for concern. Inspectors found that ‘in English, there has been a big improvement since the last inspection because teaching of it has improved significantly. Standards are on-track, currently, to be above average, demonstrating students’ good progress’.
Attainment in Mathematics has been lower than we would like over the last 2 years. This has been the biggest achievement issue for us. Inspectors found that in Maths ‘the school’s decisive actions have led to a greater proportion of Year 11 students being on-track to make expected progress compared to last year and getting much closer to standards nationally’.
Inspectors found that standards are rising and many subjects have a track record of good achievement. ‘Students learn consistently well in, for example, modern foreign languages, science, physical education and information and communication technology. Standards are rising this year in history and religious studies’.
Groups of students:
Ofsted describe children on free school meals as ‘disadvantaged’. Results for this group of students have been low in recent years. However, ‘the progress of disadvantaged students is improving because the school now knows their needs accurately and has a fitting programme of academic and pastoral support for them. This year, the progress made by disadvantaged students is on track to be in line with other groups of students in the school and in line with the latest national progress comparisons’.
The report highlighted some variability in teaching, which has led to slower progress for some. However, they found that ‘teaching is improving because senior leaders provide coaching and training to strengthen teachers’ practice’. ‘A school culture is being established in which the quality of teaching and a more positive response from students to their learning are expected’.
The report states that we need to be more regular and thorough in the way we check students’ work and progress. It does recognise that we now have much better systems to do this, and that this has led to improved progress. The impact of Directors of Learning and Mrs Lowe’s new role in raising achievement for disadvantaged students is praised in the report, and inspectors recognised that we are rigorous in the way we are improving the quality of teaching.
Behaviour and Safety:
Despite the very positive student attitudes and behaviour found in the large majority of cases, inspectors judged that ‘a small minority of students are inattentive and behave immaturely’ in some lessons. Safety was praised and judged to be good.
Inspectors were very positive about the curriculum. They felt that ‘pupils are suitably well prepared for life in modern Britain’.
Overall, therefore there was a strong recognition that the school is improving, and improving quickly. We have the systems and the staff in place to make the necessary changes. However, there is much to do and we are determined to do it.
We will be reviewing our Action Plan to ensure that all the areas identified in the report are fully covered, and that our rapid improvement is maintained. Sometime over the next term, we will have a visit from an HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspector) who will judge whether we are taking effective action to address the issues in the report. We will give parents an opportunity to discuss the report in more detail at our next Parents’ Forum, on June 10th.
It is our unwavering ambition that The Bramcote School provides the best possible education for your son or daughter. We thank you for the faith you show in us by sending them here, and we will continue to work with you to make their time here as successful as possible.
The report can be accessed below or directly from the Ofsted website: http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/.