School etc

Oakfield School Closed - academy converter July 31, 2011

see new Oakfield School

Oakfield School
Oakfield Road

phone: 01373 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Philip Hill Bed Adv Dip Ed


school holidays: via Somerset council

Middle Deemed Secondary — Community School

Education phase
Middle Deemed Secondary
Establishment type
Community School
Establishment #
Close date
July 31, 2011
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 376584, Northing: 147924
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.23, Longitude: -2.3367
Accepting pupils
9—13 years old
Ofsted last inspection
June 22, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › Somerton and Frome › Frome Oakfield
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Main specialism
Arts (Operational)
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Frome

Schools nearby

  1. Oakfield School BA114JF (518 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Trinity Church of England First School BA114LB (293 pupils)
  3. 0.2 miles Critchill School BA114LB (42 pupils)
  4. 0.3 miles Wessex College BA114LA (11 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles Vallis First School BA113DB (254 pupils)
  6. 0.6 miles St Louis Catholic Primary School, Frome BA113AP (210 pupils)
  7. 0.8 miles St John's Church of England Voluntary Aided First School, Frome BA111QG (297 pupils)
  8. 0.9 miles Farleigh Further Education College - Frome BA112AB
  9. 1 mile Christ Church CofE First School BA115AJ (239 pupils)
  10. 1 mile North Hill House BA112HB (48 pupils)
  11. 1.4 mile Frome Community College BA112HQ (1269 pupils)
  12. 1.4 mile Selwood Anglican/Methodist Middle School BA112EF
  13. 1.4 mile Frome College BA112HQ
  14. 1.4 mile Selwood Academy BA112EF (659 pupils)
  15. 1.5 mile Hayesdown First School BA112BN
  16. 1.5 mile Hayesdown First School BA112BN (251 pupils)
  17. 2.5 miles Nunney First School BA114NE (68 pupils)
  18. 2.8 miles Mells Church of England First School BA113QE (93 pupils)
  19. 2.9 miles Berkley Church of England First School BA115JH (97 pupils)
  20. 3.1 miles Springmead Preparatory School BA116TA (125 pupils)
  21. 3.2 miles Beckington Church of England First School BA116TG (78 pupils)
  22. 3.7 miles Chapmanslade Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School BA134AN (110 pupils)
  23. 3.9 miles Corsley Church of England Primary School BA127QF
  24. 3.9 miles Steiner Academy Frome BA127QF (160 pupils)

List of schools in Frome

Oakfield School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 123866
Local Authority Somerset
Inspect ion number 359532
Inspect ion dates 22–23 June 2011
Report ing inspector Jonathan Palk HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Middle deemed secondary
School category Community
Age range of pupils 9–13
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 566
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Tim Cutting
Headteacher Philip Hill
Date of prev ious school inspection 26 June 2008
School address Oakfield Road
Somerset BA11 4JF
Telephone number 01373 462539
Fax number 01373 453370
Email address reveal email: off…
Age group 9–13
Inspect ion dates 22–23 June 2011
Inspect ion number 359532


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's inspectors and three additional
inspectors. The inspectors observed 31 lessons and saw parts of other lessons and
activities involving 34 teachers. Discussions were held with senior and middle leaders,
members of the governing body and representative groups of pupils. The inspectors
looked at the school's self-evaluation and improvement planning documents, external
evaluations of the school's work, policy documents, minutes of the governing body
meetings, the work of pupils in exercise books and assessment data of selected year
groups. They also scrutinised 125 questionnaires sent in by parents and carers, as well as
questionnaires completed by staff and a sample of pupils from each year group.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at a
number of key areas.

  • The quality of teaching to determine whether it was improving the learning for
    lower attaining pupils, particularly boys in their English work.
  • How well teachers use assessment information to match work to pupils' needs.
  • Whether the curriculum provides enough opportunities for pupils to develop their
    reading and writing skills.
  • How well leaders and managers work across the school and with the wider
    partnership to sustain improvements.

Information about the school

Oakfield School is a larger than average middle school. The proportion of students known
to be eligible for free school meals is above average, having doubled since the last
inspection. The proportion that has special educational needs and/or disabilities is also
above average. A few students have a statement of special educational needs. Most of
these students have moderate learning and/or behavioural and emotional difficulties. Very
nearly all students are of White British backgrounds. Since the last inspection, Oakfield
was accredited with the Healthy Schools award in 2009, the Healthy Schools Plus award in
2011 and the Eco-schools award in 2010 and has gained performing and expressive arts
school status.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

Oakfield School provides a good education for its pupils, which reflects its values of high
aspirations, good levels of commitment to inclusion and success for all. It has made good
progress since its last inspection across all aspects of its performance, through the
concerted action of leaders, managers and governors. The attainment of pupils in Key
Stage 3 is now meeting the expectations for pupils by the end of Year 8, with a majority
reaching higher levels in mathematics and science. From below average starting points,
this represents good achievement for the majority of pupils. The school has good systems
in place for assessing and checking on the progress of less able pupils, as well as those
with special educational needs and/or disabilities and boys who are behind those of a
similar age in their reading and writing. The strategies to help these pupils narrow the
gaps on other learners and achieve well are a core part of the good procedures for
ensuring the care, guidance and safeguarding of all pupils. Staff know the pupils well and
this ensures the pupils are able to access a wide range of opportunities to enhance their
learning and personal development. Their needs are met through carefully targeted
intervention and encouragement to make the most of the good range of enrichment
opportunities the school provides. Consequently, pupils' outcomes in terms of their
achievement and the wider aspects of their personal development are good. The capacity
for further improvement is good given the ambitious leadership of the headteacher
combined with the strategic thinking of senior leaders and key members of the governing
body. The wider community, including the local school partnership, shares this sense of
purpose, and works well together to enrich the school's curriculum and promote the
welfare of the pupils.
Teaching and learning are typically good and a few lessons are outstanding. The most
skilful teachers inspire and challenge the class and use incisive questioning that drives the
learning forwards of individuals and groups of pupils. The pace of lessons is seamless and
participation in the lesson rapidly affects everybody. In these lessons, teachers use their
knowledge of pupils' academic needs skilfully to tailor learning so that it fully meets the
needs of all, ensuring that their progress is good or better. Such good features of practice
are not yet embedded consistently across the school, and there are lessons where there is
insufficient focus through questioning and marking of work on the needs of different
groups. Behaviour in lessons and around the school is managed well and there is no
disruption to other pupils' learning. There is a very small minority of pupils who misbehave
at other times, which is a concern to pupils, parents and carers. Strategies are in place for
managing the behaviour of these pupils but their effectiveness has not been reviewed for
some time and they are not always effective.
Self-evaluation is accurate. Comprehensive systems are in place to improve teaching
further across the school through regular monitoring and focused professional
development. The staff report that they are supported well by senior leaders in their work,

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

which contributes to securing high levels of staff stability and the excellent commitment
within the school to develop middle leadership further.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the quality of teaching and assessment so that all learning is at least good
    and all pupils are challenged effectively by:
    ensuring the questioning and other forms of checking by teachers challenge
    pupils' thinking and engage them all in learning at their level
    ensuring that questions asked of pupils encourage them to think more deeply
    about their targets and provide them with good feedback on how well they are
    ensuring that the marking of pupils' English work in Key Stage 3 provides clear
    advice on how their writing could be improved and helps pupils better understand
    how they can achieve their targets.
  • Review the school's behaviour policy and arrangements for supervision of pupils'
    behaviour at lunchtimes and clarify parents' and carers' understanding of how
    behaviour is managed.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

The large majority of pupils make good progress from their below average starting points
in Year 5 to attain expected standards at the end of Year 8. Pupils' attainment at the
higher levels in mathematics and science are a particular strength and has improved since
the last inspection. A much higher proportion of pupils reach these levels than would be
expected from their starting points as more-able pupils are being challenged better in their
learning. This is increasingly the case in writing, through providing greater opportunity to
write for a range of purposes across the subjects and using challenging texts to motivate
them. Identifying differing ability groups facilitates provision both for more-able pupils and
those who find learning more difficult or who start further behind their peers. Subject
leaders, in conjunction with the heads of Years 5 and 6, ensure that support in lessons or
teaching time for small groups are carefully tailored to blend both the academic needs and
social needs of these pupils. As a consequence, patterns of achievement across th e groups
of pupils are very consistent. This was certainly the case in a Year 5 mathematics lesson,
where the skilful use of everyday items was used to draw out the practical applications of
money. The opportunities for group work and to learn from each other were skilfully
woven into this fast-paced lesson that extended pupils' recognition of coins and their
reading skills but also extended their spoken language. Equally impressive is the good
level of take-up for outdoor education and extra-curricular activity amongst those with
special educational needs and/or disabilities. The personal confidence and aspirations
amongst these pupils is noticeable, as is their commitment to learning that is equally as
strong as other pupils, and as a result, they also make good progress.
Pupils are positive about school and learning, and their responses to the inspection
questionnaire were largely positive. A minority lack confidence in their basic skills when
they start school but the support they receive in lessons enables them to gain new subject
knowledge and understanding well. Pupils make good gains in developing speaking and
listening skills through their commitments to the expressive arts programme and their

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

involvement with members of the local community in projects. They collaborate well
together in pairs and groups in lessons and considerable numbers get involved in
organising fundraising, as school ambassadors, council members or as eco-champions who
secured the school's eco status. Through their work with these groups, pupils demonstrate
a clear understanding about issues facing them and their community.
Good behaviour is clearly evident in lessons and as pupils move around the school,
interact with their friends at lunchtime and playtimes, and with members of staff and
visitors. Rewards and sanctions are clearly understood. However, pupils comment that a
few pupils misbehave at playtimes or when unsupervised and this carries over when going
home after school.
Pupils enjoy coming to school. Attendance levels are above average and the rates of
persistent absence and exclusion have fallen steadily. In part, this is because there are so
many exciting activities for pupils to participate in but also because they know they will
get the support they require. Pupils clearly feel safe and pupils report that the very few
incidents of misbehaviour or bullying are dealt with promptly. The vast majority of pupils
are confident that incidents are dealt with sensitively and promptly, through mechanisms
such as restorative justice. Pupils' attitudes towards leading healthy lifestyles are very
positive, justifying the school's Healthy School plus status. The take-up for the school
dinners is good and the large majority join in after-school activities.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
Pupils' behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spir itual, moral, social and cultural development 2


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

How effective is the provision?

Teaching has improved since the last inspection and is good overall. The features of the
best lessons included a precise match of activity to ability without diminishing the
challenge. There were plenty of opportunities for pupils to share their understanding with
each other, while lively inputs from the teacher helped capture pupils' imaginations. This
was very evident in a Year 8 religious education lesson when groups of pupils fielded
probing questions on the beliefs and traditions of different faiths. The skilful emphasis on
evidence to support views helped the teacher push along the learning and evaluate each
pupil's progress. Classroom routines are well established across the school and learning is
often supported by informative classroom displays and frequent reference to lesson
targets to check pupils' progress. Teachers plan lessons which include a good mix of
practical and written activities and they use praise and encouragement effectively to
encourage pupils to try their best. Those with specific needs receive some very well
targeted intervention. Teaching assistants provide the required support in lessons for
those pupils who have short attention spans, are easily distracted or require regular
assistance with instructions. Despite good awareness of relevant pupil-specific targets, in a
small minority of lessons in both key stages, work is not always well matched to the
particular strengths and areas for development of different ability groups. Questioning in
these particular lessons is uninspiring and does not do enough to extend and tailor the
discussions to suit pupils with different levels of ability, neither is it always sharp enough
to deepen pupils' understanding. There are good examples of instructive marking in
English books in Key Stage 2. In Key Stage 3, despite the use of marking ladders and
other devices in writing activities to strengthen pupils' awareness of their learning, there is
too much inconsistency in the quality of the marking over the year and between the
classes to guide further improvement.
There are a good range of curriculum enrichment activities that the majority of pupils
enjoy. The curriculum has been strengthened to provide both more interest to aid boys'
learning and more opportunity to develop appreciation of the environment and local
culture. Links between the topics and the class literacy planning have improved,
particularly for those who find learning hard when it is compartmentalised into subjects.
This is having a positive impact on pupils' achievements in writing and reading. There are
several innovative curriculum initiatives, including a weekly whole-school problem-solving
challenge that encourages pupils to utilise their skills and knowledge from across the full
range of subjects. The arts specialism draws expertise from across the schools and
community arts partnership. The recent three-dimensional work has been of great value to
the self-esteem of a small group of boys who have enjoyed this work.
Care, guidance and support are contributing well to an improving picture of attainment
and attendance across the school. There are good levels of care and support for those
with special educational needs and/or disabilities from multi-agency working and a
knowledgeable school team. Support staff are particularly effective in helping pupils who
experience emotional or behavioural difficulties to succeed and to improve their self-
esteem. Good links with the first schools allow for a smooth transfer for Year 5 pupils.
Good procedures ensure that most pupils feel safe, although the systems to manage
behaviour when supervision is reduced are not always effective.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 2

How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher and his senior staff provide determined and effective leadership.
Governors provide valuable challenge and support through a 'hands on' approach to
checking on the school's performance. The governing body has a well developed and
thorough understanding of the school's strengths and weaknesses. Their involvement
through the task group ensures they are at the centre of school strategic development.
Members of the governing body ensure there is a regular programme of focused visits to
lessons that include routine meetings with middle leaders. This contributes well to the
development of the middle leaders' role in school self- evaluation and their contribution to
the school's development since the last inspection.
Tolerance and respect are promoted extremely well, through restorative justice, praise
and an achievements assembly. Antisocial incidents are rare. Improvements to the
school's systems for target-setting and achievement tracking are helping senior leaders to
analyse and evaluate the performance of different groups more closely. This is used to set
challenging targets that ensure the gaps in attainment are closed and the vast majority of
pupils achieve at least age-related expectations. The data systems are linked well to the
work of the special educational needs team, allowing them to quickly evaluate the impact
of intervention programmes.
The school safeguards its students well, meeting all the current statutory requirements
and providing good quality assurance systems and risk assessment checks. The strong
commitment to working in partnership with others is evident, not only through the
promotion of the improved transition arrangements with nearby first schools, but in the
extended links with the local college to share resources and provide for the gifted and
talented pupils. The school recognises more could be done to spread the expertise of high
quality practitioners within the learning community to support the drive to improve
learning. The school's involvement with local businesses and environmental groups has
brought in many exciting and sustainable projects with which pupils engage fully. By
helping improve the lives of children in their linked township in Ghana, and by their links
with a school in France, the pupils gain valuable experience of different customs.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing 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
discr imination
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Views of parents and carers

There was a higher than average response from parents and carers to the Ofsted
questionnaire. Parents and carers were generally positive, although not overwhelmingly
so. Some positive endorsement by way of additional comments was received and the
comment 'All the staff are always happy to help and you don't feel like you are wasting
their time' was typical of the sentiments expressed. A number of parents and carers wrote
to the inspectors to explain their concerns about pupils' behaviour at lunchtimes and after
school. These concerns and the school's behaviour policy and management strategies
were investigated. There are very few incidents of persistent disruptive behaviour. The
inspectors came to the view that the policy is not formally reviewed with sufficient
regularity and its impact evaluated. Parents and carers are informed of the policy and
procedures through the prospectus and in anti-bullying leaflets, but the inspectors did not
consider the format to be particularly helpful. The school is aware of incidents brought to
their attention by parents and carers. Parents and carers say they would like more
information about how behaviour is managed on these occasions.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Oakfield School 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 125 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total,
there are 588 pupils registered at the school.
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%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 33 26 79 63 7 6 5 4
The school keeps my child
37 30 79 63 4 3 3 2
My school informs me about
my child's progress
34 27 81 65 6 5 3 2
My child is making enough
progress at this school
30 24 81 65 13 10 0 0
The teaching is good at this
30 24 83 66 4 3 2 2
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
22 18 80 64 18 14 1 1
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
26 21 83 66 14 11 2 2
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
30 24 75 60 7 6 2 2
The school meets my child's
particular needs
26 21 86 69 8 6 2 2
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
16 13 76 61 22 18 7 6
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
24 19 80 64 13 10 3 2
The school is led and
managed effectively
25 20 73 58 12 10 6 5
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
40 32 71 57 6 7 5 4


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding 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 of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 48 6 0
Primary schools 6 47 40 7
Secondary schools 12 39 38 11
Sixth forms 13 42 41 3
Special schools 28 49 19 4
Pupil referral units 14 45 31 10
All schools 10 46 37 7

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now
make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2010 and are consistent
with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding sch ools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: 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.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: 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 school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: 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.

24 June 2011
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Oakfield School, Frome BA11 4JF

On behalf of the inspection team, I am writing to tell you about our findings during the
inspection. Thank you for talking to us and being so helpful and courteous during our visit.
We were very impressed by your positive attitudes and the extent to which you take part
in all the school has to offer. Yours is a good school and here are the main findings of our
Good teaching has raised the standard of education and it is getting better. Your
attendance is good and you enjoy coming to school because of the interesting lessons and
projects the school involves you in. It is good to see that you are involved with local
events, particularly art, drama and environmental projects. This certainly helps build your
confidence. You are good at taking on responsibilities and I could see that this really helps
you all get on so well together. You receive a good level of care and those of you who
struggle with your work receive extra help to improve.
The adults who run the school have good ideas about what to do to make it better. They
have done a good job so far and I have asked them to do a few things to make it better.
Firstly, to make sure that all teachers match the questions they ask in lessons closely to
your level of ability so that you can make faster progress. Secondly, to ensure that the
discussions in lessons help you focus on your targets. Thirdly, to make sure that when
they mark your work, teachers provide you with instructions on how to make it better.
We saw only good behaviour during our visit but not everybody, including your parents
and carers, think this is always the case. Lastly, we want you to help your school review
how it manages behaviour and look at ways it can improve people's perceptions of this.
We know you can play your part by behaving as well out of school as you do in school.
Yours sincerely

Jonathan Palk
Her Majesty's Inspector


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