Brislington Enterprise College
Headteacher: Mr John Matthews
1247 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||109280|
|Local Authority||City Of Bristol|
|Inspection dates||13–14 October 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Andrew Harrett HMI|
|Type of school||Comprehensive|
|Age range of pupils||11–18|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||1137|
|Of which, number on roll in the sixth form||43|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Desmond Craddock|
|Headteacher||Mr John Matthews|
|Date of previous school inspection||18 September 2006|
|School address||Hungerford Road|
|Bristol BS4 5EY|
|Telephone number||0117 307772055|
|Fax number||0117 30777 2056|
|Inspection dates||13–14 October 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by two of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 32 lessons, and held meetings with governors, staff and groups of students. They observed the college's work and looked at the college's planning documents, policies, minutes of meetings, the work of the students in exercise books and folders, and assessment data for all the year groups. They considered the responses from 189 parental questionnaires and from staff and student questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the college's work. It looked in detail at the following:
This large college has an above average proportion of students who are entitled to free school meals. Around 10% of the students are from minority ethnic backgrounds. Approximately 20% of the students have special educational needs and/or disabilities. The college moved into new buildings in September 2008. It has specialist status in business and enterprise. The governing body has recently become responsible for two units on the college site, each for 20 students. One unit is for physically impaired or vulnerable students and one for students who have autism. The college has Healthy School status.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Brislington Enterprise College provides a satisfactory education for its students. Students are proud of the college, in which they feel safe and secure. Their behaviour in lessons and around the buildings and site is good. Within the college, students belong to one of five communities based on their age. This enables the college to provide good care, guidance and support within small structures while the flexible and innovative curriculum ensures that students receive the benefits of a good range of choices and experiences across the whole institution. Good partnerships with other providers of education and with business enhance the curriculum well, as does the school's close partnership with parents and carers.
Standards, though improving, remain low. Students make satisfactory progress in their learning overall, but there is some variation between different groups of learners. In particular, boys of middle and low ability do not make the same progress as other groups. This is because the quality of teaching is variable within and across subjects, particularly in the effectiveness with which it meets the needs of different groups of students and in the pace and challenge of learning activities. Students in the main college with special needs and/or disabilities make similar progress to their peers, and the progress of the students in both units is satisfactory. Students make satisfactory progress in the sixth form, but opportunities are not fully developed for them to take a more active and responsible role in the college community and to ensure that they are well prepared for their future life as adults. The college has robust systems for regularly assessing and tracking students' progress. However, the quality of marking and assessment in lessons is inconsistent. Although examples of good practice in sharing information with students about what they had done well and what they should do next to improve their work were observed during the inspection, the lack of consistency hindered progress. Moreover, assessment information is not used sufficiently in lesson planning to provide activities tailored to the particular needs of individuals and groups.
The positive impact of leadership and management is clearly apparent in the way that the inclusive ethos of the college permeates all aspects of strategic planning. The design of the curriculum, the setting up of the five communities, the use of specialist status to improve the skills of the students and the thoroughness of the arrangements for care, guidance and support all demonstrate the commitment, vision and determination of the college's leaders to build and sustain a settled and forward-looking community in which all students can achieve their potential. Recent improvements in standards and in students' progress demonstrate that they have sound capacity to bring about sustained improvement.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Students in all year groups made satisfactory progress in the lessons observed during the inspection. In those in which they were challenged by demanding, briskly-paced and clearly explained tasks, worked independently and reflected on their progress, they made significant strides and their achievement was good. In some lessons, this level of challenge was not so apparent, with activities not being tailored to their individual needs. Consequently, their progress was adequate, but not sufficient to have a marked impact on raising their standards. In particular, the progress of students of middle and lower ability was sometimes hampered by expectations that were too low.
These findings are in keeping with the college's results. Students enter the college with low standards. Standards are also low by the end of Year 11, although test results in the examinations in 2009 improved, particularly the proportion of students who achieved five good GCSEs including English and mathematics. However, some students of middle and lower ability, particularly boys, do not keep pace with their peers.
The behaviour of students and their attitude to learning are good. Occasional lapses in concentration, sometimes accompanied by chatter and silliness, were linked to the degree to which the activities in lessons were interesting and engaging. Students reported that the move to the new buildings had improved behaviour, demonstrating the success of the five communities and the vigilance of the college in ensuring their happiness and security. Around the college, students treated each other and the adults, with whom they have good relationships, with politeness and respect. They said that they are taught about how to live healthy lifestyles, and sensible eating and drinking habits were observed during the inspection. There are a number of ways in which the students contribute to the college and wider community, including charitable activities, acting as peer mentors and contributing to some aspects of the curriculum, such as helping to devise programmes for 'rich task' days. Students' moral and social development is catered for well and the impact is good, reflecting the school's core values. However, there are fewer opportunities for spiritual and cultural development. The college acknowledges that the work of the college council, though up and running, is not yet effective. The college's specialism provides satisfactory opportunities for the students to develop useful skills for later life through timetabled enterprise lessons and special events. However, attendance overall remains low and this hinders the achievement of some students despite the college's effective measures to encourage and ensure attendance. The trends over time in overall attendance and in lowering the proportion of students who are persistently absent are improving.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||3|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||3|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Although there has been some improvement in the quality of teaching since the last inspection, variations in its quality and in the use of assessment are the key hindrances to establishing good achievement in the college. In the best lessons, the work is broken down into shorter activities with plenty of variety and time to reflect before moving on to the next task. Teachers and teaching assistants are good at providing support, but this sometimes leads teachers to dominate the lessons with long explanations, rather than enabling the students to work productively on their own or in groups. Assessment information is used to plan lessons and to predict the outcomes for different groups of learners, but not always to provide activities carefully tailored to their particular strengths and areas for development. Questioning rarely requires students to give more than short answers to straightforward questions, rather than encouraging them to deepen their understanding. The teaching in the units was of a similar quality.
The five communities are designed so that the two in Years 7 and 8 link well to the two in Years 9 to 11 and so into the sixth form community. This has enabled GCSE courses to start for individuals in Year 9 when appropriate. It makes the most of the opportunities provided by the new building. A wide range of academic and vocational pathways provides flexible routes which cater well for individual needs and aspirations. An increasing number of courses starting in Year 10 extend into the sixth form, providing continuity and progression. Specialist status in business and enterprise has been fully exploited to provide courses at all levels. There is a good variety of extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities to which the students respond positively. Intervention strategies are in place to address the needs of the lower ability students. Cross-curricular programmes are developing and make a good contribution to developing wider skills such as collaborative working, and a satisfactory contribution to developing basic skills in literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology. In the units, the curriculum is satisfactory but constrained by limited opportunities for students to benefit from the curriculum in the main college, either by students attending there or by having the input of specialist teachers and students coming into the units.
The human scale of the five communities and the inclusive ethos shared by the whole staff ensure that the students are well cared for in their personal development and receive good guidance in making choices for their future. The college is a welcoming environment of which the students speak with pride.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The good leadership of the principal, ably assisted by an effective senior team, has navigated the college through a period of transition since the last inspection. The move into new buildings has been well managed, resulting in a good curriculum and a sense of belonging to a community with clear values. This has involved creating new management structures across the college and within the five communities. The leadership team has been soundly supported and appropriately challenged by a governing body which is in the process of updating its procedures more accurately to reflect the changes in the college's leadership structures. Thorough knowledge of the area which it serves, coupled with careful strategic planning to achieve challenging, clear and shared goals, has resulted in an institution in which achievement is beginning to rise. The ambition and values of the senior team are shared by staff. The systems for monitoring and evaluating the work of the college are rigorous, robust and are leading to improvements, but those for monitoring the quality of teaching are not yet sharp enough to ensure good progress and to enable the college to be more accurate in its evaluations in this area. Governors and college leaders acknowledge that ensuring that the two new units are fully integrated into the life of the whole college would benefit all students.
There are good arrangements for seeking the views of parents and carers. Regular and informative reports about progress, coupled with opportunities to discuss this with learning guides and subject teachers, enable parents and carers to support their children's learning well. Safeguarding regulations and duties are met. The college has conducted a thorough analysis of how well it promotes community cohesion and inspectors agreed with its conclusion that this is satisfactory. It is already good within the college and local community, and well-conceived plans are in place for extending current provision to the wider community and further afield.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||2|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||3|
There have been significant changes to the sixth form provision in the college's locality since the last inspection. The college is now focusing principally on Level 1 and 2 courses, with many students now pursuing Level 3 courses elsewhere. Students make satisfactory progress, particularly on the level 1 and 2 courses. Retention and attendance rates are satisfactory. Although the personal development of sixth form students is satisfactory, the opportunities for enriching their experience, enabling them to participate in the life of the college and preparing them for their personal and working life in the future, are not fully developed. Satisfactory leadership and management have focused appropriately on recruitment, retention and the quality of teaching, which is satisfactory.
These are the grades for the sixth form
|Overall effectiveness of the sixth form|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for students in the sixth form
The quality of provision in the sixth form
Leadership and management of the sixth form
A number of parents and carers of Year 7 students were not able to answer all the questions because their children have only recently started in the college. Some respondents expressed concern about behaviour, but inspectors found that this was good in lessons and around the school. Some thought that they were not kept well informed about their children's progress, but inspectors found that the college informed them of this regularly and gave them opportunities to discuss progress with learning guides and subject teachers.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Brislington Enterprise College to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 189 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 1137 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||59||31||120||63||8||4||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||61||32||118||62||3||2||2||1|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||51||27||89||47||27||14||4||2|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||47||25||109||58||10||5||6||3|
|The teaching is good at this school||38||20||127||67||8||4||2||1|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||41||22||101||53||21||11||3||2|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||37||20||120||63||17||9||2||1|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||39||21||105||56||12||6||3||2|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||46||24||107||57||15||8||5||3|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||44||23||95||50||24||13||10||5|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||39||20||110||58||12||6||6||3|
|The school is led and managed effectively||61||32||101||53||7||4||5||3|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||62||33||107||57||9||5||6||3|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
15 October 2009
Inspection of Brislington Enterprise College, Bristol BS4 5EY
Thank you for the welcome that you gave us when we inspected your college recently. These are the main findings of the inspection.
The college provides you with an acceptable standard of education in terms of the progress that you make in your learning. Many aspects of the college are good. You told us how much you value the good relationships that you have with the adults in the college and the way in which they care for your personal well-being.
Teachers get a lot of information about your work through regular assessments. We want them to find ways of marking your books to show you exactly what you have done well and what you need to do to improve your work. We want them to tailor their lesson plans to suit your particular needs. We also want more lessons to be as interesting as possible and to involve you in your learning as much as the best in the college. We also want the sixth form to be more involved in the life of the college and a programme devised to prepare sixth form students for their future.
There are aspects of the college of which you are rightly proud. The new building has great facilities and the communities within the college look after you well. The college also has a good curriculum. We were very impressed by the commitment of the adults in the college to your welfare. You behave well in lessons and around the college site.
Brislington is a really interesting and different sort of college. You can work with the adults to help them to make it into the really excellent place that they are striving to provide for you. For some of you, that means being there on a regular basis. You don't all attend as regularly as you should and that stops you from learning skills and getting qualifications that will make all the difference in the future.
Her Majesty's Inspector
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|