Nova Hreod Closed - academy converter Dec. 31, 2013
phone: 01793 *** ***
headteacher: Mrs Julie Tridgell
Secondary — Community School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Community School
- Establishment #
- Close date
- Dec. 31, 2013
- Reason closed
- Academy Converter
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 413422, Northing: 186735
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.579, Longitude: -1.8077
- Accepting pupils
- 11—16 years old
- Ofsted last inspection
- Jan. 29, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- South West › North Swindon › Rodbourne Cheney
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Science (Operational)
- and Maths and Computing (Operational)
- Private Finance Initiative
- Part of PFI
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Learning provider ref #
- Nova Hreod Academy SN22NQ (960 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Moredon Junior School SN22NQ
- 0.2 miles Moredon Infants' School SN22NQ
- 0.2 miles Moredon Primary School SN22JG
- 0.2 miles Moredon Primary School SN22JG (447 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Rodbourne Cheney Primary School SN253BN
- 0.5 miles Whitecroft Education Trust SN22NP
- 0.5 miles Rodbourne Cheney Primary School SN253BN (256 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Haydon Wick Primary School SN251HT (270 pupils)
- 0.7 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School SN21PE
- 0.7 miles St Mary's Catholic Primary School SN21PE (309 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Haydon Wick Primary School SN251HT
- 0.8 miles Greenmeadow Primary School SN253LW (262 pupils)
- 0.8 miles Oakley Court School SN251PT
- 0.8 miles Ferndale Primary School SN21NX (396 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Even Swindon Primary School SN22UJ (514 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Even Swindon Infant School SN22ER
- 0.9 miles Ferndale Junior School SN21NX
- 0.9 miles Ferndale Infant School SN21HL
- 0.9 miles Pinehurst Junior School SN21JR
- 0.9 miles Pinehurst Infants' School SN21JR
- 0.9 miles Haydonleigh Primary School SN251JP (446 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Swindon Academy SN21JR (1776 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Swindon College SN21DY
Akers Way, Moredon, Swindon, SN2 2NQ
|Inspection dates||29–30 January 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Requires improvement||3|
|Achievement of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
|Quality of teaching||Requires improvement||3|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Requires improvement||3|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a school that requires improvement. It is not good because
The school has the following strengths
| Too few students who completed examination |
Although the quality of teaching has
Improvements in teaching have not had
courses in Year 11 did not make consistently
good progress across a range of subjects.
improved, a small number of teachers do not
deliver lessons where students are sufficiently
challenged to make progress.
sufficient time to ensure all students are
making consistently good progress.
| A very small minority of students do not fully |
The attendance of some groups of students,
engage in their lessons and behave in a way
that does not meet the high expectations of
the school. This is not always picked up quickly
including disabled, and those with special
educational needs and those supported by
pupil premium, is below that of their peers.
| All leaders, including governors, clearly |
Current achievement in lessons is mainly
Teaching is good or better in many lessons
understand that there remains work to be
done, to ensure current improvements are
maintained and built on. The Principal has a
clear strategic vision that is driven with
passion and determination.
good. Students are on track to make much
better progress in external examination
results than in previous years.
and is ensuring students make rapid
| The majority of students behave well. They |
The school proactively promotes student
are polite and respectful of themselves, each
other, staff and visitors.
safety, through robust safeguarding systems
and anti bullying work.
Information about this inspection
- The inspection team observed parts of 41 lessons, 15 of which were joint observations with
members of the senior leadership team.
- Inspectors observed other aspects of the school day including an assembly, tutor time, students’
behaviour at break and lunchtime, and their arrival to school.
- Meetings were held with groups of students, members of the governing body, a representative
of the local authority and school staff, including middle and senior leaders.
- Inspectors took account of the 33 responses to the online parent questionnaire (Parent View).
They also considered the views of 60 staff who completed the Ofsted questionnaire.
- They observed the work of the school, looking at a wide range of documentation, including
minutes, performance management, self-evaluation, records of the monitoring of student
learning, attendance and behaviour, and the quality of teaching. The school development plan
and safeguarding documents were studied.
|Kevin Harrison, Lead inspector||Additional inspector|
|Justine Hocking||Additional inspector|
|Svetlana Bajic-Raymond||Additional inspector|
|Glenn Mayoh||Additional inspector|
Information about this school
- Nova Hreod is a larger-than-average-sized secondary school.
- Two new Vice-Principals joined the school in January 2013.
- Most students are from White British heritage, with a small number of students from other
minority ethnic groups. Almost all speak English as their first language.
- The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for
children in the care of the local authority, students known to be eligible for free school meals
and students from service families, is above the national average.
- The proportion of students with special educational needs supported at school action is above
the national average. The proportion of students at school action plus and with a statement of
special educational needs is also above the national average.
- Some students attend courses off-site at Swindon College and the Oakfield project.
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations
for students’ attainment and progress.
- The school is currently planning to convert to an academy.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Raise achievement by making sure that all teaching is at least good by: ensuring all teachers
plan and deliver lessons that take into account what all groups of students can do and how they
best learn, to ensure they make progress.
- Improve teaching further by ensuring all teaching is at least good by:
eliminating any inadequate teaching
ensuring that lessons are thoroughly planned, enabling all groups of learners to make good
progress from their starting point
exploiting opportunities to develop students’ communication and numeracy skills across the
providing clear, regular feedback to students on their progress, with precise guidance on how
to further improve
addressing any poor behaviour in lessons quickly and not allowing it to disrupt the learning of
- Improve attendance further by working with families whose children are not attending school as
well as they should be, particularly those who have a special educational need and those in
receipt of pupil premium funding.
|The achievement of pupils||requires improvement|
- Achievement requires improvement because examination results have not been sufficiently high
enough across a range of subjects, including English and mathematics.
- Students join the school with average standards. The number of students gaining five or more
GCSE higher grades continues to rise, but is below the national average.
- The 2012 results show an improvement from 2011, but rates of progress for too many students
are not good enough.
- However, this is the fifth year of a rising trend of results.
- There has been a strong improvement in the number of students achieving the highest possible
grades, but this still remains below the national average.
- The school’s detailed monitoring clearly shows that current Year 11 students are making good
progress and are on target to build on the improved results seen in 2012. Further improvements
in student achievement can be seen throughout the entire school.
- Student achievement is accelerating as the quality of teaching improves. There are examples of
this across the entire curriculum, but it is not yet sufficiently embedded to reverse the period of
weaker teaching in the past.
- A few students are educated off-site. They achieve as well as other students, doing particularly
well in their specialist subjects.
- The progress of students with special educational needs has been uneven. In 2012, students
with a statement of special educational needs made better overall progress than those students
supported through school action and school action plus.
- The average point scores achieved by students who receive the pupil premium are improving
and the gap in their achievement is closing from that of other students. Between 2011 and
2012, the gap reduced overall, including in English, and more so in mathematics.
|The quality of teaching||requires improvement|
- Teaching over a sustained period of time has not led to good achievement. It is however,
improving with a growing proportion of lessons that are good or better where students make
- Despite much improvement in teaching, there remains some inconsistency between lessons.
- There remains teaching that requires improvement or which in a minority of lessons is
sometimes inadequate. In these weaker lessons, the needs of individual students are not
planned for appropriately. Not enough account of is taken of what they already know and
understand, so progress is too slow.
- Nearly all teachers clearly explain what they expect the students to learn, checking
understanding and the progress throughout the lesson.
- Many lessons are well planned and taught where the teacher uses their strong subject
knowledge to enthuse the students about their learning, setting the work at just the right level
for them to make good progress. However, sometimes work is set which is too easy or too
hard, so progress is too slow.
- In the best lessons, teachers skilfully question students, probing and challenging to extend their
understanding. This is not consistent practice; in the weaker lessons, questioning is too general
and only involves a few students.
- The pace of learning is too slow in some lessons, particularly when students spend a long time
just listening to teachers without any checking of understanding or becoming actively involved in
- In the best lessons opportunities to develop students’ numeracy and communication skills are
exploited, but too often missed in the lessons that require improvement.
- Ongoing verbal feedback is a strength of many lessons, ensuring students know how well they
are doing. While there are some examples of excellent marking with clear advice on how to
improve, it is not consistently so, with variance both within and across subject areas.
- Students know their levels and target grades but are too frequently unsure of exactly what they
need to do to improve their work. This is further exaggerated when books have not been
marked thoroughly or frequently enough.
- Teaching assistants are appropriately used and provide effective support to students with special
educational needs so they can effectively learn alongside their peers.
- Learning mentors funded through the pupil premium grant work with targeted students to assist
them to raise their educational achievement. Current tracking shows that these students are
now making better progress, in line with their peers, including in mathematics and English.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||require improvement|
- Most students behave well, making Nova a welcoming, friendly place. A very small number of
students behave inappropriately.
- Students told inspectors that, while behaviour has improved overall, in lessons, behaviour largely
depends on the teacher and the quality of teaching, and inspection findings support these views.
In some weaker lessons, students’ poor behaviour is not picked up quickly enough.
- A new behaviour system was introduced in September. This encourages students to be ‘green
learners’, which means they are actively involved in their learning. Those students who are not,
receive an ‘amber’ warning. This gives students the opportunity to address their actions, and to
become fully involved in their learning again, and so return to being a ‘green learner’. This has
had a positive impact, and is being applied with more consistency. Students clearly understand
the process and most actively adopt the appropriate behaviour.
- There has been a reduction in the number of incidents which result in students ‘turning red’ and
being removed from lessons.
- This has also seen the already low fixed-term exclusions reduce even further.
- The school closely monitors attendance, which is improving overall and is in line with the
national average. Some groups, including disabled students and those with special educational
needs, and some pupil premium students, are not attending as well as they should be with the
result that they are not achieving to their full potential.
- Students state that bullying is rare. When it does occur, it is swiftly dealt with by the school.
They have a clear understanding of different types of bullying, particularly cyber-bullying.
- The attendance and behaviour of students who are taught off-site is carefully monitored, so
enabling these students to make progress in their social development and learning.
- Students feel safe and well supported in school and feel well prepared to ensure they can keep
themselves safe beyond school.
- Many students show high moral and social concerns and actively raise funds for national and
local charities, including collecting food for the Swindon food bank.
- Students are respectful of themselves, friends, staff and visitors regardless of their background.
The school has links with schools in France, Spain, Germany and South Africa.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- All key leaders consistently communicate high expectations and ambition. Teaching is improving
and this is having an impact on student achievement in lessons.
- The Principal demonstrates an energetic, determined and relentless approach to raise standards.
She is well supported by other senior and middle leaders.
- There is a shared determination and excellent capacity to continue to make further
- All leaders clearly understand how to further support and hold staff to account to ensure all
students make good progress.
- The school has a thorough approach to self-evaluation, which has enabled detailed and effective
planning to improve teaching, and this is having an impact on raising student achievement.
Improvement areas are accurately identified and underpin actions which are embraced by all
senior and middle leaders and shared by other staff.
- Teaching is monitored with precision and focuses on the impact it is having on student
achievement. Performance management is used effectively to both support and challenge all
staff. There is a rigorous approach to addressing staff who are not meeting the required
standards in the classroom. As a result, the quality of teaching is improving.
- The monitoring of students’ progress is robust. This ensures that any barriers to learning faced
by any group of students can be removed, so they do not face discrimination and make
- Pupil premium funding is carefully targeted. Examples include providing students in Key Stage 4
with revision material in each of their examination subjects, and all pupil premium students in
Years 8 and 9 have an intensive careers interview to raise aspirations.
- Staff, particularly teachers, are continually developed through a wide range of training and
support both within and beyond the school. Teachers work well together, coaching each other
to develop and refine best practice so that it can be shared across the whole school. As a result,
teaching is improving.
- Teachers feel supported by the leaders of the school to make further improvements to their
teaching; this is highly valued.
- The curriculum is well planned. All Year 10 now study the English Baccalaureate subjects,
including a modern foreign language. While this has slightly limited student choice, it provides a
firm foundation for future study and employment. There remains strong links with Swindon
College and the Oakfield project where some students can access vocational courses, which
maintains their interest in education and provides clear opportunities for future employment.
- Students are welcoming and open to the views of others, regardless of their background or
culture, and whether they are students, staff or visitors. This is effectively supported through
the well-organised tutor time, and visits with good opportunities for personal reflection.
- The house system encourages students to be fully involved in a wide range of activities,
including fundraising for local and national charities, so preparing students to be responsible
citizens. There are a wide range of opportunities for students to develop their artistic and
cultural development through visits and events such as ‘Nova’s Got Talent’ and the inter-house
- The local authority provides effective support across a range of priorities which has contributed
to the improvements in teaching. The Principal works with other local authority heads sharing
best practice and is currently vice-chair of Swindon Association of Secondary Headteachers.
- The school’s arrangements for safeguarding students are strong and fully meet all statutory
- The governance of the school:
The governing body has a clear vision of where the school needs to be. It is accurately
informed and knows the school’s strengths and key areas for development well. Governors
effectively use their wide range of expertise to challenge the Principal on all aspects of
leadership and management to ensure the improvements to teaching and student
achievement are maintained and further built on.
The governing body skilfully manages the school’s finances and has a clear understanding of
how the allocation of pupil premium funding is spent, ensuring it is appropriately targeted and
its impact evaluated. Through the training they have received, governors clearly understand
information provided on student outcomes, and the results of performance management.
Governors are aware of the progression in salaries following performance management and
how weaker teaching is being addressed and improved.
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||126465|
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 of pupils on the school roll||1,053|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||14–15 October 2009|
|Telephone number||01793 528800|
|Fax number||01793 430394|