phone: 01622 743152
headteacher: Mr David Simons
1825 pupils capacity: 83% full
765 boys 51%
740 girls 49%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Secondary — Academy Sponsor Led
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Academy Sponsor Led
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 3, 2007
- Reason open
- New Provision
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 575978, Northing: 150975
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.231, Longitude: 0.51914
- Accepting pupils
- 11—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- June 11, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South East › Maidstone and The Weald › Loose
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- SEN priorities
- VI - Visual Impairment
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- The Cornwallis School ME174HX
- 0.6 miles Boughton Monchelsea Primary School ME174HP (212 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Loose Junior School ME159UW (367 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Loose Infant School ME159UW (270 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Loose Primary School ME159UW
- 1 mile Coxheath Primary School ME174PS (246 pupils)
- 1 mile Coxheath County Junior School ME174PS
- 1 mile Coxheath Infant School ME174PS
- 1.4 mile Oldborough Manor Community School ME159QL
- 1.4 mile Five Acre Wood School ME159QL (218 pupils)
- 1.4 mile New Line Learning Academy ME159QL (587 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Tiger Primary School ME159QL (140 pupils)
- 1.6 mile Oak Trees Community School ME159AX
- 1.6 mile Senacre Technology College ME159DT
- 1.6 mile Oaks Academy ME159AX (153 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Molehill Copse Primary School ME157ND
- 1.7 mile Bell Wood Infant and Nursery School ME159JR
- 1.7 mile Bell Wood Community School ME159EZ
- 1.7 mile Holy Family RC Primary School ME159PS (178 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Bell Wood Community Primary School ME159EZ
- 1.7 mile Tree Tops Academy ME159EZ (234 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Molehill Copse Primary School ME157ND (286 pupils)
- 1.7 mile Holy Family RC Primary School ME159PS
- 1.9 mile East Farleigh Primary School ME150LY (206 pupils)
Hubbards Lane, Linton, Maidstone, ME17 4HX
|Inspection dates||11–12 June 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Students achieve well across a range of |
Disabled students and those who have special
Students develop their learning skills well,
Behaviour is good and pupils say that they
academic and work-related subjects from
below-average starting points in Year 7.
There is a strong trend of improvement in
GCSE mathematics and science.
educational needs make good progress
because they are given effective support and
are helped to develop confidence in their own
using information and communication
technology with interest and independence.
feel safe and enjoy coming to the academy.
| Teaching is good because pupils are helped |
Senior managers have a clear focus on tracking
The monitoring of teaching is accurate, training
The support and challenge offered by the
The sixth form is good. It offers an increasingly
well to understand what is expected of them in
students’ progress, and the importance of this
is understood well by staff. This is helping to
needs are identified clearly and support for
staff is well planned.
governing body and the Academy Trust is
effective and well targeted.
wide choice of subjects to its students, who are
making good progress. Teaching and learning
are good and improving.
| Sometimes, teachers do not give students |
Teachers do not always ask students
time to think about and improve their marked
work so that they can make even better
challenging questions that make them think
harder about their work.
| Some students do not have challenging |
enough targets in mathematics and science,
and the impact of actions to improve their
work is not checked closely enough.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 50 lessons, including joint observations with members of the senior
leadership team. In addition, inspectors made short visits to other lessons, observed school
assemblies and scrutinised students’ work.
- Meetings were held with groups of students, the Principal and other members of the senior
leadership team, heads of subject departments, teachers, members of the governing body, and
a representative of the Academy Trust.
- Inspectors scrutinised a variety of school documents, including the school’s self-evaluation,
school development plans, behaviour records, safeguarding records, governing body documents,
and documents relating to the management of teachers’ performance.
- Inspectors also considered the views expressed in the 42 questionnaires returned by school
staff, together with the 89 responses submitted by parents to the online Parent View survey.
|Roger Waddingham, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Helen Neal||Additional Inspector|
|Joanna Jones||Additional Inspector|
|Keith Brown||Additional Inspector|
|Jackie Jackson-Smith||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school.
- The school moved into new purpose-built accommodation in September 2011.
- It is part of the Future Schools Trust, together with another secondary academy and a primary
- The academy is non selective and students come from a wide geographical area.
- Applications to Year 7 are much greater than the school’s capacity and the sixth form is also very
- Most students are of White British heritage, with a small proportion from a range of minority
- The proportion of students known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium is below
average. This additional funding is allocated by the government for students looked after by the
local authority, those known to be eligible for free school meals and children of service
- The proportion of students receiving extra support through school action is above average. The
proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is
well above average.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for the attainment and progress of students by the end of Year 11.
- A very small number of students receive behaviour support at Cedars Pupil Referral Unit, or
work-related training at Kingsreach Skills Centre; very few are off-site the whole time.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Promote consistently outstanding progress in all lessons is by making sure that teachers
use questions that challenge students to explain their ideas
require students to think about and respond to the improvement points made when their
written work is marked.
- Further raise standards in mathematics and science by:
setting appropriately challenging targets for all students
checking carefully the impact of actions to improve students’ progress.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- The proportion of students achieving five good passes at GCSE has been average over the past
three years. This represents good achievement because students have lower than average
starting points on entry to the academy. The academy has well-founded evidence that this year’s
GCSE results will be above the national average.
- The proportion of students making good progress in English is consistently high. Progress in
mathematics and science was below average last year. Actions to improve management and
teaching in these subjects have resulted in current students’ progress improving rapidly in both
Years 10 and 11.
- In previous years, students have been entered early for GCSE examinations in mathematics and
science, with lower than expected results, particularly for more-able students. The entry policy
has now been altered and only a few carefully selected students are entered early. The progress
of these students is good.
- Disabled students and those who have special educational needs make good progress overall
and some make outstanding progress. Staff monitor their progress well and match tasks well to
their needs in lessons. They receive well-targeted support when they join the academy,
developing their confidence in writing very well because of the ready access they have to
information and communication technology resources.
- Students supported by the pupil premium make good progress because the academy employs a
very good range of specialist staff to monitor and support these students individually. Also,
access to clubs and school trips develops their confidence well. At GCSE, the gap in performance
for these students and their classmates is narrowing rapidly, and current school tracking shows
they are likely to be no more than two terms behind their peers in 2013.
- Students develop their learning skills well, speaking with confidence and explaining their ideas
carefully. Pupils with below-average starting points in literacy who are eligible for the Year 7
catch-up premium are monitored closely and helped to make rapid progress in Years 7 and 8,
working in smaller classes with staff who know their needs very well.
- Weaker readers are helped to make good progress through the effective teaching of phonics
(the sounds that letters and words make). The development of numeracy skills throughout the
curriculum is sometimes limited by staff missing opportunities to challenge pupils to apply what
they have learnt.
- The achievement of students educated off-site for part of the week is monitored carefully by the
academy. Most of these students attend in line with the overall school figures and make at least
nationally expected progress.
- Achievement in the sixth form is good. Pass rates are average, which represents good progress
from, in many cases, below-average starting points. Students make good progress in a variety of
A-level and AS-level subjects and progress in a number of work-related courses is outstanding.
Results in a few AS subjects have been below average in the past because students completed
courses in Year 11 rather than Year 12. This early-entry policy has now been changed and
school monitoring shows current students are on track to achieve well.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is consistently good in all subjects and outstanding in an increasing number of lessons.
Staff use their strong subject knowledge well to plan appropriately challenging lessons. They
make sure that students understand what is expected of them before they start to work
independently, encouraging them to review their progress as lessons proceed. Staff have high
expectations for behaviour.
- In the best lessons seen, students made rapid progress because their teachers showed them
carefully what they needed to do, gave them time to consider what help they needed and
provided support appropriately. Many teachers used their good knowledge of students’ individual
strengths and weaknesses to direct this support in a timely way to those needing it.
- Teaching in the sixth form leads to good progress overall and is strengthened by the
independent learning skills that students have developed earlier in their time at the academy.
- The school’s project-based approach to learning is effective in helping students make progress,
because they show a good degree of self-reliance. This is particularly true in the case of disabled
students and those who have special educational needs, who benefit socially as well as
academically from receiving support as part of a larger class with several staff. The Plaza
environments are used well as large, flexible teaching spaces.
- Where progress in a few mathematics and science lessons is weaker, this is often linked to
teachers setting targets that are not challenging enough or not following up the interventions to
improve students’ progress.
- The quality of marking of students’ work is consistently good, with students being given helpful
advice about how to make better progress in their studies. In a few lessons, students are not
given the opportunity to reflect upon the advice provided in marked work and make corrections.
- Occasionally, teachers miss opportunities to involve students more actively in questioning, to
help them reflect on their work, or to ask questions challenging them to explain their answers.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Behaviour is good throughout the school. Students have positive attitudes towards their learning
and show a high degree of responsibility in moving throughout the building in a calm and orderly
manner. They treat the new facilities with a good degree of care and say that they are proud of
their new school.
- In most lessons, behaviour is good. It is sometimes outstanding when students show high levels
of concentration and interest in their independent tasks over sustained periods of time.
- Students arrive to lessons promptly and settle to their work, with little time wasted.
- Sixth-form students receive good information, advice and guidance. They contribute actively to
the life of the academy, for example as mentors to younger students and through membership
of the ‘Student Commission’ (school council).
- Very positive responses were received from students, staff and parents alike about how well
students enjoy being at the academy and the robust approach to bullying and to e-safety.
Students felt that incidents were rare and dealt with swiftly.
- Attendance is improving due to well-targeted actions by the school. Figures for the current year
show attendance to be average. Similarly, the school has worked successfully to reduce the
levels of persistent absence.
- The effectiveness of the pastoral team in promoting positive attitudes to school is well
demonstrated by the fact that fixed-term exclusions have reduced significantly over the past
year and remain well below average. There have been no permanent exclusions in the past year.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The Principal, other senior leaders and the governors have a clear vision for the promotion of
high aspirations for students of all abilities and backgrounds. The quality of the support for
student welfare and personal development is a strength of the academy.
- Self-evaluation is well established, and the academy summary of findings from internal
monitoring is accurate and comprehensive. Leaders at all levels have a clear understanding of
the academy development priorities.
- The academy has effective arrangements for monitoring and developing teaching, and staff
appreciate the opportunities they are given to improve their skills as teachers and leaders. For
example, a detailed training programme on the effective use of the learning resources and
spaces in the new building is now helping to improve overall teaching quality.
- The academy is increasingly making student-tracking data available to subject leaders and to
class teachers. There is a well-structured system of meetings to hold staff to account for student
progress every six weeks.
- The subjects offered have been developed well over the past year in response to some previous
weaknesses related to early examination entry, promoting equality of opportunity well. Now all
students can study English and mathematics GCSE till the end of Year 11. The three different
sixth form options offer a very good range of work-related, AS and A-level subjects for students
of all aptitudes.
- There are very good opportunities for students to develop their spiritual and cultural awareness
in a wide range of school visits to places of worship and through contacts with students in a
number of other countries. Literacy skills are promoted well through good-quality teaching in
English and additional small-group support for those who need it.
- The academy has offered good opportunities for parents to visit and view the teaching
arrangements in the new building. There is a clear vision to develop further the use of web-
based communication with parents and pupils. The academy works closely with other academies
and higher education institutions to train new teaching staff and offer further professional
development opportunities to all staff.
- The governors and academy managers are very well supported in their work by specialist staff
employed by the Trust, particularly in the areas of budget management and leadership
- Safeguarding procedures meet statutory requirements and the academy has effective
procedures to tackle discrimination.
- The governance of the school:
– Governors are skilled and experienced, offering good support and challenge to the academy
leadership team. Regular committee meetings and visits to the academy hold staff to
account well over student progress and teaching standards. Governors know what the
academy is doing to reward good teaching and to tackle any underperformance. They are
well informed about the targets that are set for teachers to manage their performance, the
arrangements for teaching-staff pay progression and the expenditure of the pupil premium.
They make sure that the academy meets its statutory responsibilities, and have an
exemplary commitment to safeguarding and child protection.
What inspection judgements mean
|Grade 1||Outstanding||An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes |
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
|Grade 2||Good||A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well |
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
|Grade 3||Requires |
|A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it |
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school that requires special measures is one where the school is |
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.
|Unique reference number||135371|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Academy sponsor-led|
|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||1584|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||323|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||3 March 2010|
|Telephone number||01622 743152|
|Fax number||01622 741866|