Kingswood College of Arts
Headteacher: Mrs Nicole Swallow
see new Kingswood College of Arts
750 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||131918|
|Inspection dates||29–30 April 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Wendy Ripley HMI|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Tony Clark|
|Headteacher||Mrs Nicole Swallow|
|Date of previous school inspection||1 January 2008|
|School address||Wawne Road|
|Telephone number||01482 879967|
|Fax number||01482 878934|
|Inspection dates||29–30 April 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and three additional inspectors. At the time of the last inspection in January 2008, the school was judged to require significant improvement in relation to students’ achievement and standards and attendance.
Kingswood is a slightly larger than average 11 to 16 specialist arts college. Most students who attend the college live in neighbourhoods that experience significant social and economic disadvantage; consequently the number of students entitled to free school meals is well over twice the national average. Most of the students are White British and the proportion for whom English is not their first language is very low. The college has a much higher than average number of students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities although the number of students with a statement of special education need is broadly average. A relatively high number of students are in the care of the local authority. The proportion of students who start and finish their education at the school is lower than average. Specialist status in visual and performing arts was awarded in 2005 and the college has achieved the Artsmark Gold award and the Healthy School standard.
Overall effectiveness of the school
In accordance with section 13 (5) of the Education Act 2005, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector is of the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement.
Kingswood provides its students with a satisfactory and improving education The support and care it provides to students and the links it has established with the community it serves, particularly through the ‘learning centre’ are strengths. Staff and students recognise the extent of improvement since the last inspection and the changes for the better in the college culture. The number of parents questionnaires returned was exceptionally low.
Standards are well below average but beginning to rise. The decline indicated by the exceptionally low standards achieved in national examinations in 2008 has been halted, and the gap between the college’s performance and that of similar schools nationally has narrowed. Most students are now making satisfactory progress taking account of their starting points. Improvement is most marked in Years 7 and 8 and the ‘gold standard’ groups in years 10 and 11. A range of effective strategies have been introduced to tackle underperformance in literacy and numeracy but teaching assistants are not generally being used effectively in the classroom to maximise students’ learning. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are provided with suitable support. They make satisfactory progress in relation to their targets and achieve well compared with their peers within the local authority.
Students’ personal development and well-being and their spiritual, moral social and cultural development are satisfactory. Attendance remains just below the national average, largely as a result of the poor attendance of a small number of students in Years 10 and 11. The attendance of those children in the care of the local authority is excellent. Fixed term exclusions rose sharply following the introduction of the ‘FAIR’ system of rewards and sanctions, largely as a result of initial inconsistencies in its application by some staff, although a small number of students continue to challenge the boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Nevertheless most students are generally well behaved in classes and when moving around the school.
The quality of teaching and learning is satisfactory and improving. An effective programme of training and development activities and individualised targeted support has been put in place for all staff including the many new teachers. The proportion of good or better lessons has increased since the last inspection, exceeding the target set by the local authority in the 2008 partnership plan. There is a sharper focus on academic monitoring and tracking to support students’ learning. The curriculum is good. The flexibility offered by the new national curriculum has been used well to develop a wider range of academic and vocational subjects. Students access a wide range of additional activities at lunch time and after school and the range of trips and visits has increased. All of these improvements are responsible for the better progress students are making.
Leadership and management are satisfactory with some strong features. The headteacher provides a clear and inclusive vision for the future of the college and communicates this well to others. Staffing is now much more stable in most subjects and within the leadership team. There is a sense of renewed purpose and energy amongst staff because they can see that the strategies being put in place are making a positive different to student’s confidence and their progress in lessons.
The specialist college programme is successful in raising standards in the arts and acting as a catalyst for improvement in other aspects of the college’s life and work. The college has benefited from support from various sources including the local authority, external advisers and its partnerships with other local education providers. This has assured a determined and continuous focus on action to drive forward the college’s improvement and provided much needed support for the relatively new leadership team and middle managers.
A small proportion of the schools whose overall effectiveness is judged satisfactory but which have areas of underperformance will receive a monitoring visit by an Ofsted inspector before their next section 5 inspection.
Achievement and standards
Students join the college with below average standards particularly in literacy and numeracy. While there is still much to be done to raise standards further and improve results in national tests, reliable tracking data indicates that at Key Stage 4, students are currently on track to achieve their targets. This predicts satisfactory achievement given the very low attainment and literacy of these students when they entered the school. Results in the colleges’ specialist subjects are higher than in other subjects. Confirmed BTEC results in art and design, music and the performing arts are broadly in line with the national picture.
At Key Stage 3, changes to the curriculum, most notably the introduction of the ‘accelerated curriculum entitlement’ (ACE) to Years 7 and 8, are teaching students independent learning and thinking skills. Students are more actively engaged and interested in their learning, and are making swifter progress in lessons. As a result standards are rising and are higher than in previous years and achievement is satisfactory.
Personal development and well-being
Most students are responding well to the staff’s concerted efforts to boost their self-esteem and aspirations and set higher expectations for their behaviour. Students attribute their more positive attitudes to learning and their improved attendance and behaviour partly to staffing becoming more stable, which enables students and staff to get to know each other better; and to the introduction of the ‘FAIR’ system of rewards and sanctions which means everyone has clearer expectations of each other and what is acceptable behaviour.
Students say that they feel safe and demonstrate a good understanding of safety in classrooms and around the college. While incidents of bullying, and harassment may occur, students believe that once reported they are quickly and effectively dealt with. The college provides ample opportunities and experiences to promote students physical and emotional well-being so that most students understand what is required to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Students are increasingly being provided with opportunities to take responsibility and to express their opinions. For instance, through participation in the school council; helping to draw up the ‘FAIR’ system; taking part in teacher interviews; through art exhibitions and performances for the local community and their involvement with pupils from a local special school. Students are helped to prepare for their future through work experience opportunities supported by local businesses and access to work related and personalised learning programmes at Key Stage 4. Although despite the concerted efforts of the college and outside agencies, too few students progress into further education training or employment.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Inspection evidence confirms the college’s own assessment of teaching and learning. Staff have participated in a good range of developmental activities which have considerably enhanced their practice in the classroom. Assessment techniques including student self and peer assessment, are increasingly being used to good effect. These ensure students are clear about their individual targets, how well they are doing and what they need to do to improve. Information and communication technology (ICT) is used well to inspire and engage students.
In the best lessons the teacher’s enthusiasm and good subject knowledge is having a positive impact on the students’ enjoyment. Teachers plan effectively and use a variety of methods to involve students actively in their own learning through individual and group work. Good relationships and high expectations allow the teacher to drive activities on at a brisk pace that secures good progress by the end of the lesson. In a few less successful lessons, teachers’ planning does not always reflect the range of ability in the class or build sufficiently well on previous activities, therefore work is not pitched at the right level for students, fails to engage them and hampers progress. These lessons also make effective behaviour management more difficult because students are bored or often feel unable to follow what is happening and as a result they resort to low-level disruption and off-task activities instead.
Curriculum and other activities
The college has worked hard and successfully to develop the curriculum so that it better meets the range of students’ needs and interests. The school’s specialist subjects make a significant contribution through the good range of activities and performances they provide which students enjoy tremendously. At Key Stage 3 the introduction of the ACE programme is having a positive impact in Years 7 and 8 because it is helping students become confident independent learners and raising standards and achievement. More able students are provided with opportunities to enter for examinations in dance, English and ICT early, and start these courses in Years 8 and 9.
At Key Stage 4, GCSE subjects are offered alongside a good range of vocational options. Young apprenticeships, certificates of personal education courses (COPE) and a diploma in ICT delivered through a partner school, help to meet the needs of all students. A comprehensive personal, social and health education programme covering citizenship and work related learning, alongside a rich and varied extracurricular offer contributes well to students’ personal development and well-being.
Care, guidance and support
Staff work tirelessly to provide good care and support to all students, especially the significant number with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties and those with autistic spectrum disorders. Support arrangements for those with low literacy and numeracy skills such as guided reading are having a positive impact. Strong multi-agency partnerships and support networks developed with a range of service providers, promote students’ physical and emotional well-being very effectively.
Robust actions to improve behaviour and attendance are being supported effectively by external consultants who regularly monitor the college’s progress towards challenging targets. While attendance has improved particularly in Key Stage 3, it remains just below the national average. Nevertheless, good progress has been made in assuring attendance is similar to that of schools in like circumstances and improving the attendance of students with a history of persistent absence. The college has maintained a firm focus on improving behaviour through a combination of staff training and support, robust supervision of the college at breaks and lunchtimes and the introduction of the FAIR system.
Arrangements for the welcoming of Year 7 students are comprehensive. The college provides a safe and secure environment and all safeguarding procedures are in place and meet statutory requirements.
Leadership and management
The headteacher provides strong leadership and has steered the college through a period of turmoil, showing great courage and determination in making some very difficult decisions. She has taken the decisive action necessary to move the college forward, most notably, in the re-shaping of the staffing structure to better meet the needs of the learners. She is well supported by the recently reformed senior leadership team and by energetic, committed and vibrant middle leaders.
A range of good partnerships has been developed which the college has used well to improve its provision. For example, support from one local partner college, has increased students’ progress in mathematics others benefit from peer mentoring provided by another. The college works hard to ensure that the needs of all students are met and has appropriate systems in place to try to ensure that discrimination is eliminated. It reaches out to the local area and makes a big difference to the lives of many students, their families and others members of the community. Some practice is outstanding. For example, community use of the exhibition space, dance lessons for local children, the crèche and adult learning facilities provided on site through the ‘learning centre’ and the wide range of trips and visits such as ‘Brid for a quid’ which huge numbers participate in.
Data from assessment is now being used effectively to track students’ academic progress, determine which students need extra support and to set targets for improvements. Self-evaluation is satisfactory. Leaders know the strengths of the college and what needs to be done to improve. Plans are appropriate and focus on raising standards and accelerating progress. Specialist arts college status has played a significant part in the college’s improvement journey through leading initiatives that are improving teaching and learning, impacting positively on students’ enjoyment, achievement and self-confidence and engaging the local community and other schools.
Governance is satisfactory. The governors take their responsibilities seriously and share the leadership team’s passion for moving the college forward. They are taking an increasingly active part in the running of the college and in holding it to account. Through all of the actions taken so far the college has demonstrated that it has a sufficient capacity to make further improvements. The college has sound financial planning and the education it provides represents satisfactory value for money.
|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.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?||3|
|Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||2|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||3|
|How well do learners achieve?||3|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||4|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||3|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||3|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||3|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||3|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||2|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||3|
|The attendance of learners||3|
|The behaviour of learners||3|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||2|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||3|
|How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?||3|
|How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?||2|
|How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?||3|
|How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?||3|
|How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education||2|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||3|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||3|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||3|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||2|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||3|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||3|
|Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?||Yes|
|Does this school require special measures?||No|
|Does this school require a notice to improve?||No|
1 May 2009
Inspection of Kingswood College of Arts, Kingston-upon-Hull, HU7 4WR
Thank you for making the team welcome when we visited your college. A special thanks to those of you who spoke to us at lunchtime. You conducted yourselves very well and were good ambassadors for your college. We believe Kingswood now provides you with a satisfactory and improving quality of education and we have removed the Notice to Improve. The headteacher and staff are working very hard to improve your college and they take good care of you. Everyone we spoke to during our two days in college was very positive about the improvements made since your last inspection. We received very few completed questionnaires from your parents so it is difficult to judge what most of them think but we did note that several said that behaviour in school is not good. Despite observing a few instances of low-level disruption in lessons and silly behaviour around the school, we found that most of you are well behaved. Most of you have noticed behaviour has improved particularly as you put it, in ‘the calmer corridors’ and you feel safer as a result. You think the ‘FAIR’ system works well even though to start with it wasn’t used consistently throughout the college and this resulted in too many of you being excluded from college for short periods of time. Because of the changes for the better, many of you said you feel more confident, are developing better relationships with the staff, enjoying your learning more and make better progress. We agree, and found that your are achieving more and attendance is improving; although the poor attendance of a small number of students particularly in Years 10 and 11 means they are not doing as well as they should. Despite all of these positive improvements your results are, overall, lower than the national average at both key stages. These are the things we have asked the headteacher and the whole college to do to raise standards further.
You have a central part to play in continuing the college’s journey of improvement and increasing your life-chances. We wish you every success for your remaining time in school and for the future.
Wendy Ripley HMI