School etc

Beech Hill School Closed - for academy May 31, 2014

see new The Beech Academy

Beech Hill School
Fairholme Drive

phone: 01623 *** ***

executive principal: Mrs Janice Addison


school holidays: via Nottinghamshire council

61 pupils aged 11—17y mixed gender
70 pupils capacity: 87% full

45 boys 74%


15 girls 25%


Last updated: Aug. 4, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
Close date
May 31, 2014
Reason closed
For Academy
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 452621, Northing: 362188
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.154, Longitude: -1.2146
Accepting pupils
11—19 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 17, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
East Midlands › Mansfield › Abbott
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Mansfield

Schools nearby

  1. The Beech Academy NG196DX
  2. 0.2 miles Oakdale Support Centre NG197HB
  3. 0.2 miles All Saints RC Comprehensive School NG196BW (1052 pupils)
  4. 0.2 miles All Saints RC Comprehensive School NG196BW
  5. 0.3 miles Broomhill First School NG196AP
  6. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright First School NG196BE
  7. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright Middle School NG196BE
  8. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright Primary School NG196TF
  9. 0.3 miles Wainwright Primary Academy NG196TF (408 pupils)
  10. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's School NG197AP
  11. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's School NG197AP
  12. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's (1561) Endowed School NG197AP
  13. 0.4 miles Queen Elizabeth's Academy NG197AP (663 pupils)
  14. 0.4 miles Oakdale Learning Centre NG196AH (26 pupils)
  15. 0.5 miles St Philip Neri with St Bede Catholic Primary School NG196AA (484 pupils)
  16. 0.5 miles Bull Farm Middle School NG197LJ
  17. 0.5 miles Redgate School NG196EL (39 pupils)
  18. 0.5 miles St Philip Neri With St Bede Catholic Voluntary Academy NG196AA (484 pupils)
  19. 0.6 miles Ladybrook First School and Nursery NG196EW
  20. 0.6 miles Bull Farm First School and Nursery NG197LF
  21. 0.6 miles Cumberlands Middle School NG196JN
  22. 0.6 miles New Rose Primary School NG196JN
  23. 0.6 miles Ladybrook Primary School NG196EW
  24. 0.6 miles Rosebrook Primary School NG196JN

List of schools in Mansfield

16 January 2014
Mrs Janice Addison
Interim Executive Headteacher
Beech Hill School
Fairholme Drive
NG19 6DX
Dear Mrs Addison

Special measures monitoring inspection of Beech Hill School

Following my visit to your school on 14 and 15 January 2014, I write on behalf of

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm

the inspection findings. Thank you for the help you gave during the inspection and
for the time you made available to discuss the actions which have been taken since

the school’s previous monitoring inspection.

The inspection was the fourth monitoring inspection since the school became subject
to special measures following the inspection which took place on 17 October 2012.
The full list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that
inspection is set out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is
Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time the school is
making reasonable progress towards the removal of special measures.
The school may not appoint newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring


This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.

I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of

State, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of Children, Family and

Cultural Services for Nottinghamshire.

Yours sincerely
Jane Austin

Her Majesty’s Inspector

Serco Inspections
Colmore Plaza
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6AT
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T 0121 6799163


The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in October 2012.

Improve teaching by making sure that:

teachers have high expectations of what students can achieve
teachers have a clear understanding of the levels that students are working at

and know how to use this to set work at the right level of difficulty for them

teachers check the progress students make in their lessons and adjust tasks

where appropriate, so that work is always suitably challenging for each

teachers have clear targets for improving their practice with timescales which

reflect the urgency of the school’s situation

teachers have effective training and personal feedback on their own teaching,

so that they understand how to make learning in their lessons good or better

the outstanding teachers in the school are used to coach and model best

practice for other teachers, so that all aspire to provide high quality teaching.

Improve students’ achievement by making sure that:

students make rapid progress in developing their reading skills by

strengthening their understanding of the sounds letters make and through
daily reading sessions

students’ literacy and numeracy skills develop more securely through well

planned opportunities to practise and apply these in all subjects

students are entered for qualifications well suited to their capabilities,

including being offered, where appropriate, the opportunity to gain GCSE
accreditation in some subjects.

Improve the impact of leaders in the school by:

reviewing the current management structure and establishing a leadership

team which can respond effectively to the needs of the school

establishing a system to check students’ progress over time so that teachers

can use accurate information to ensure that that their teaching meets the
needs of all students

establishing a system for checking the quality of teaching which identifies

what needs to improve at whole-school level, as well as for individual

reviewing the curriculum to ensure that the needs of all students are being

met effectively through suitable courses in school or, where appropriate, by
external providers

ensuring that governors understand their role in holding school leaders to

account for their work and set leaders clear targets for improving the
standard of education provided

ensuring that governors interpret information about students’ achievement

accurately, keep a check on the quality of teaching and take steps to ensure

that the pupil-premium funding is spent effectively.

Report on the fourth monitoring inspection on 14-15 January 2014

The inspector observed the school’s work including parts of nine lessons, taught at
Beech Hill and at The Brunts Academy, and two tutorial periods. Five lessons were
observed jointly with the head of school. She heard some Year 7 students read,
scrutinised documents and met with the interim executive headteacher, the head of
school, senior and middle leaders, four governors including the Chair of the
Governing Body, a school ambassador, a group of students and a representative of
the local authority.


One teacher left the school at the end of the autumn term. The number of students
on roll is increasing. The formal consultation process on whether the school should
become an academy is underway.

Achievement of pupils at the school

The rate of students’ progress is increasing. Most students in Key Stage 3 are

making good progress towards the challenging targets set for them across the
curriculum, although this is not the case in mathematics. Year 10 students are also
making good progress towards their targets except in English and mathematics. In
these subjects, gaps in their learning resulting from weak provision in the past,
mean they have some distance to travel to reach their challenging targets. Year 11
students are on track to gain qualifications which recognise their functional skills in
English and mathematics. They are also expected to achieve BtECs in science and
hospitality, AIMS awards and an information and communication technology (ICT)
award. This significant increase in the number and level of qualifications students
are working towards reflects the high expectations the school now has of its
students and the considerable improvements to provision. Nonetheless, previous
shortfalls in their learning mean Year 11 students are unlikely to make the overall
rate of progress expected during their secondary schooling. Post-16 students are all
on track to achieve their targets in a range of courses including functional skills in
English and mathematics.
The process for setting students challenging targets and tracking their progress
towards these at regular intervals is now firmly established. Staff are increasingly

skilled and confident in assessing students’ achievement accurately, in part as a

result of support from subject-specialist staff at The Brunts Academy. Consequently,
assessment information is more reliable and is being used more effectively to
identify where students require additional help with their learning. Students know

their targets, where these can be found in their books and where they are displayed

in classrooms. Regular references to the level of work in lessons helps students
understand the progress they are making.
The benefits of a range of strategies to improve students’ literacy skills, introduced
last term, are already apparent. Some of the pupil-premium funding has been used

to purchase new reading resources appropriate to students’ ages and abilities.

Students are enjoying these in their tutorial sessions and are keen to rise to the
challenge of reading five books. They are increasingly confident to read aloud in
class. A number of Year 7 students have made very substantial gains in their reading
skills in a short period as a result of following the ‘Switch On’ programme. Some
success is evident following the introduction of a phonics scheme and a focus on
increasing the number of high-frequency words that students recognise. Across the
school a drive to improve handwriting is paying dividends.
In order to improve the achievement of a small number of students, pupil-premium
funding has been used to help pay for places at a local college and with alternative
education providers. The behaviour and attendance of these students has improved
and this is contributing positively to the progress they are making.

The quality of teaching

Increases in students’ progress are a consequence of a marked improvement in the

quality of teaching. A much greater proportion of lessons are regularly good and
none are typically inadequate. Teachers’ expectations are higher and consequently
they are challenging students to tackle more demanding topics. For example, last
term Year 11 students made rapid progress studying

Of Mice and Men


while Year 9

students successfully got to grips with the witches in


Much more is being

demanded of students in terms of written work and their successes are being
celebrated through attractive displays throughout the school. Students are proud to
show off their work.
Where learning is most successful, teachers use a wide range of engaging strategies
such as hot seating, modelling and mind mapping. The type and level of recording
expected of students is carefully matched to their individual needs and preferences.
Very effective use is made of photographs and film to record what students have
achieved, remind them of previous learning and show what is expected of them in a
particular task. A good example of this was the use of a film clip of older students
from The Brunts Academy presenting a scene. This helped Year 7 and 8 students in
a performing arts lesson understand and succeed in the activity. In subjects such as
science and food technology, teachers demonstrate practical skills clearly which
increases students’ confidence to ‘have a go’ themselves. Teachers and teaching
assistants are skilled at managing students’ learning and behaviour because they

know students’ individual needs very well.

In some lessons observed where learning was less successful, the level of challenge
was not sufficient for all students. At times, tasks were not modelled clearly and the
steps in learning were not appropriately staged. The presentation and level of text

did not always match students’ abilities closely enough.

In the main, work is marked regularly in line with the school’s policy. Students can
see the level at which they have met the learning objective for the lesson and are
often given pointers for improvement. Leaders have identified the need to follow
these up with students as an area for development.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

The school is calm and purposeful. Students say that improvements in the quality of
teaching have resulted in a decrease in the number of students who disrupt or leave
lessons. They say that lessons are interesting and enjoyable and this is central to
improvements in behaviour. Students’ attitudes to learning have improved and
generally in lessons they are collaborating more effectively. In a Year 11 physical
education lesson, for instance, students took their safety responsibilities seriously

and celebrated one another’s successes enthusiastically. Students have been

involved in the introduction of more activities at lunchtimes which are helping to
keep them engaged, so reducing incidents in the afternoon.
The behaviour management system is now firmly established. Lesson-by-lesson staff
record positive and negative points for students. The ratio of positives to negatives
has risen from 4:1 in the summer term 2013 to 13:1 currently. Students are
motivated by points and the rewards these bring. They were very proud to have
their successes recognised at the Christmas celebration. Any incidents are followed
up and dealt with very promptly. Exclusions have reduced. The need for repeated
exclusions last term prompted a swift review of individual needs and the suitability of
provision, resulting in changes for the better for those involved.
Students spoken to say that there is no longer any bullying in school. They have
confidence in the staff to deal with any incidents should these occur. Students have
gained an understanding of the various types of bullying through work in a range of
curriculum areas, the anti-bullying campaign and the ‘Get Wise’ days which focus on
aspects of their personal and social development. Staff are more realistic regarding
bullying and track incidents which may develop in this direction to prevent problems
Arrangements to ensure that Year 11 students feel safe and secure when they move
back to the Beech Hill site next September are in place. Visits and participation in
school events are underway.
Last term attendance rose and the number of students who are persistently absent
declined. Overall attendance remains low, although the attendance of those students
who are not persistently absent is broadly average. The school employs a wide
range of strategies to support parents of students who are absent persistently,
drawing on the expertise of a number of specialist agencies. Despite this, a small
number of parents continue to keep students at home for minor ailments.

The quality of leadership in and management of the school

The interim executive headteacher’s dynamic and uncompromising drive to improve

the school is starting to pay dividends in better teaching, progress, behaviour and

attendance. The strategic direction provided by the interim executive headteacher is

supported very effectively by the head of school’s operational lead. He has

successfully established the key systems required to move the school forward,
providing considerable training, support and challenge for staff to enable the
improvements to take place.
Much-increased accuracy in the system for assessing students’ achievement,
combined with rigorous monitoring of teaching and learning, is providing leaders and
governors with an accurate picture of the school’s performance. Monitoring is
regular, varied in method and closely linked to training: feedback is unequivocal. The
management structure, roles and responsibilities are clear and enabling leaders to
hold staff to account. Regular, minuted meetings between middle and senior leaders
help to keep developments on track. Staff are also being held to account through
the introduction of performance management with suitable targets. Better
management of staff absence has been introduced following extremely high levels of
absence last year.
Governance systems are developing well. The sub-committee structure is working
efficiently and recently governors have been linked to subject areas in order to
increase their understanding of the curriculum. Some have worked with the assistant
headteacher to gain a grasp of the assessment and tracking system. Governors are
developing a protocol for visiting lessons. The local authority has worked with senior
leaders from The Brunts Academy to help governors set a viable budget for the next
financial year, which will support a new staffing structure appropriate for the

school’s future needs. The Chair of the Governing Body is appropriately involved in

the proposed change to academy status.
Opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s learning are increasing. At

the beginning of the year parents were invited to come and meet their child’s tutor.

Shortly, there will be a formal opportunity to see how well their child is progressing
towards their targets. In addition, a growing number of parents are attending events
such as the Christmas celebration.

External support

The local authority has provided very considerable financial and professional support
to the school. Regular reviews of performance and progress against the action plan

contribute to the school’s self-evaluation. Local authority specialists have trained

staff in the delivery of a reading programme which is proving successful. The
targeted support team helps families deal with a range of issues which are impeding

their child’s education. Liaison between the local authority and The Brunts Academy,

which is the key partner in school-to-school improvement, is effective. Joint working
in areas such as improving attendance and human resources has been productive.
Staff from The Brunts Academy provide considerable support to Beech Hill, including
through teaching lead mathematics lessons each week. Year 11 students will spend
the whole year at The Brunts Academy and are taught by the academy’s staff.

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