South Wolds Community School Closed - academy converter May 31, 2012
phone: 0115 *** ***
headteacher: Mr Andrew George
Secondary — Foundation School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Foundation School
- Establishment #
- Close date
- May 31, 2012
- Reason closed
- Academy Converter
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 461693, Northing: 331055
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 52.873, Longitude: -1.0849
- Accepting pupils
- 11—18 years old
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 22, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- East Midlands › Rushcliffe › Keyworth South
- Town and Fringe - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Language (Operational)
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- The South Wolds Academy & Sixth Form NG125FF (947 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Keyworth Primary and Nursery School NG125FB (144 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Willow Brook Primary School NG125BB (154 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Crossdale Drive Primary School NG125HP (187 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Plumtree School NG125ND (86 pupils)
- 2 miles Tollerton Primary School NG124ET (180 pupils)
- 2.2 miles Bunny CofE Primary School NG116QW (82 pupils)
- 2.6 miles Beech Trees School NG125QH
- 3 miles Edwalton Primary School NG124AS (386 pupils)
- 3 miles Ash Lea School NG123PA (81 pupils)
- 3.1 miles Manvers Junior School NG123JG
- 3.1 miles Cotgrave Manvers Infant and Nursery School NG123JG
- 3.1 miles Highfield Primary and Nursery School NG123JG
- 3.1 miles St Peter's CofE Junior School NG116GB (273 pupils)
- 3.2 miles James Peacock Infant and Nursery School NG116DS (337 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Cotgrave CofE Primary School NG123HS (79 pupils)
- 3.2 miles Cotgrave Candleby Lane School NG123JG
- 3.2 miles Cotgrave Candleby Lane School NG123JG (577 pupils)
- 3.3 miles Rushcliffe School NG27BW
- 3.3 miles Rushcliffe School NG27BW (1412 pupils)
- 3.4 miles Kinoulton Primary School NG123EL (130 pupils)
- 3.4 miles Grosvenor School NG124BS (102 pupils)
- 3.6 miles Jesse Gray Primary School NG27DD (484 pupils)
- 3.6 miles Pierrepont Gamston Primary School NG26TH (210 pupils)
|Inspection date(s)||22–23 September 2011|
South Wolds Community School
|Unique Reference Number||122883|
|Inspection dates||22–23 September 2011|
|Report ing inspector||Gwen Coates 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||11-18|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||998|
|Of which, number on roll in the sixth form||162|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of prev ious school inspection||15-16 November 2006|
|School address||Church Drive|
|Telephone number||0115 9373506|
|Fax number||0115 9372905|
This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and four
additional inspectors. Parts of 46 lessons were observed and 46 teachers were seen.
Meetings were held with individual students and groups of students and with
members of the governing body and staff. Inspectors observed the school’s work,
and looked at its self-evaluation, the school improvement plan and minutes of
governing body meetings. Completed questionnaires from 325 parents and carers
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school’s work. It looked in detail
at a number of key areas.
- To what extent are the most-able students sufficiently challenged and
encouraged to reach the highest grades?
- To what extent does teaching in all subjects provide challenging learning
activities and develop independent and active learning skills in order to promote
good progress for all students?
- How well are students at Key Stages 4 and 5 provided with, and guided
towards, the most appropriate courses and pathways, in relation to their
individual needs, interests and abilities?
- How effective are academic and pastoral monitoring, at subject and year level,
in promoting the best outcomes for students at all key stages?
- How effectively does the quality of leadership and management, and of
provision, in the sixth form promote good outcomes for students?
Information about the school
South Wolds Community School is of average size. It attracts students from a wide
catchment area including local villages to the south of Nottingham and from areas of
the city. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well
below the national average. The proportion of students from minority ethnic
backgrounds is below the national average and most students speak English as their
first language. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or
disabilities is below the national average, and the proportion with a statement of
special educational needs is well below the national average.
The school has specialist language college status. It has achieved several awards
including Artsmark, Careers Mark, the International School Award and Healthy
Schools Gold Award. The school is a Foundation School with a Learning Partnership
Trust; its partners being Nottingham University, Skill Force and the British Geological
Society. It is also a member of the South Wolds Family of Schools, which includes
seven primary schools.
The school received an interim assessment in 2010 indicating that its performance
since the previous inspection in 2006 had been sustained.
|Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?||2|
|The school’s capacity for sustained improvement||2|
This is a good school. The headteacher and the senior leadership team ensure that
there is a strong focus on high expectations and on raising achievement. This is
particularly evident at Key Stage 4, where students make good progress in their
learning and attain standards at GCSE that are high in comparison to national
averages. High and steadily increasing attainment at Key Stage 4 has been a feature
of the school for the last three years but leaders are not complacent and recognise
that attainment at the highest grades for the most-able students remains an area for
improvement. In addition, improvements in the sixth form have yet to have a marked
impact on the students’ achievements. Consequently, overall achievement is good
rather than outstanding.
Students’ attitudes to learning and their behaviour both in lessons and around the
school are good and this contributes to the good progress they make in their
learning. The school’s outstanding curriculum and systems of care, guidance and
support contribute to the promotion of very positive non-academic as well as
academic outcomes for students. This is particularly evident in the extent to which
students feel safe and adopt healthy lifestyles, both of which are judged outstanding.
The school’s specialist language status enhances the curriculum and ensures a good
focus on internationalism, while outstanding partnership links help to promote good
learning and well-being.
Teaching and assessment are good overall and there are many examples of
outstanding practice in the school. However, leaders recognise that there is still a
minority of lessons where teaching is only satisfactory, where students’ are not
sufficiently challenged, where tasks are not matched closely to individual ability and
where independent learning is not sufficiently promoted.
In the sixth form, non-academic outcomes for students are good but achievement in
too many subjects is only satisfactory. The curriculum in the sixth form is undergoing
change in order to match students’ needs more closely but has not yet had sufficient
impact on achievement.
The headteacher has had a very positive impact on the school’s performance by
introducing a style of leadership that aims to empower leaders at all levels to be
accountable for their specialist areas, and take responsibility for bringing about
improvements in these areas. This has been very successful in English and
mathematics, where subject leaders are having a significant impact on raising
students’ achievement. However, not all subject leadership is as strong. Systems for
tracking and monitoring students’ performance and provision of appropriate and
timely interventions to prevent underachievement are very strong in the main school.
This level of rigour is not yet apparent in the sixth form and, as a result, achievement
in the sixth form is satisfactory.
The school’s self-evaluation is strong. Leaders at all levels in the main school and in
the sixth form have an accurate picture of the school’s strengths and weaknesses
and have identified clear priorities to bring about further improvement. The
improvements to the curriculum and to systems for the care, guidance and support
of students, both of which are now outstanding, illustrate the impact of this and
demonstrate why the school has good capacity for further improvement.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- At Key Stages 3 and 4, accelerate the rate at which students make progress in
their learning in order to ensure all achieve at the highest grades possible by:
sharing the best practice in teaching and learning that exists in the school
so that all lessons are at least good
ensuring that teachers in all lessons provide students with high quality
learning experiences matched to their prior attainment that are sufficiently
stretching and challenging, and which develop their independent learning
embedding high quality assessment to support learning in all lessons
improving the quality of subject leadership overall so that it is as
consistently good as that in English and mathematics.
- Raise achievement in the sixth form by:
sharing and further developing the best practice that is evident in teaching
ensuring the curriculum matches the needs of students more closely
developing more effective quality assurance systems at subject level to
track progress and implement appropriate intervention strategies.
Headline measures of attainment at Key Stage 4 are high in comparison to national
averages. The attainment of individual groups of students including those known to
be eligible for free school meals and those with special educational needs and/or
disabilities is above average. The attainment of boys has been improving year on
year and the gender gap is narrowing. There is some variation in attainment at
subject level, although core subjects are strong. Students join the school in Year 7
with attainment that is above average and complete Year 11 with attainment that is
high, indicating good progress from their starting points. This picture is the same for
all individual groups of students, including the small number of students from
minority ethnic groups, those who speak English as an additional language and those
known to be eligible for free school meals. The exceptional support that students
with special educational needs and/or disabilities receive enables them to make good
progress and achieve well. Lesson observations during the inspection support this.
Students have good attitudes to learning and are keen to do well; this is
demonstrated by their good levels of engagement and enjoyment in lessons.
|Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils||2|
- Students say they feel very safe at school all the time. Groups representing a
wide range of students are entirely confident that issues they raise will be dealt
with promptly and effectively.
- Permanent exclusions are rare and the proportion of fixed term exclusions is
low. The number of recorded incidents of racism, harassment and bullying is
- The uptake of healthy school meals is good and students with particular dietary
requirements are very well catered for. There is extensive participation in
physical exercise as a result of the wide range of extra-curricular activities
offered. Such activities are accessed by all students, including those with
complex special needs.
- Students value their school community and willingly take on responsibilities
beyond the classroom, for example as Young Ambassadors for sport.
- Students are well equipped with the wider skills needed for the world of work
and have a good understanding of the next steps in their education and
careers. All students either continue with their education, go on to further
training or enter employment after the age of 16.
- Students show respect for different views and beliefs and have a strong sense
of common values within the school community. They engage enthusiastically in
a range of cultural and musical opportunities that broaden their outlook.
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||1|
|Pupils’ behav iour||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|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||2|
The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average;
and 4 is low
|contribute to their future economic well-being |
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||2|
How effective is the provision?
Teachers demonstrate strong subject expertise. Students are unanimously
supportive of their teachers, and relationships are extremely good in lessons. Where
teaching is good or better, learning is planned and resourced well to match the
needs and abilities of individual students and to enable them to work independently.
The pace is brisk and effective questioning techniques are used to shape, challenge
and stretch students’ thinking. Literacy is well developed in these lessons, with
students fully utilising a range of technical and subject-specific vocabulary to
support the development and presentation of their work. All of these features enable
students to make rapid progress.
Where teaching is less than good, students make slower progress because learning
tasks are either insufficiently challenging or not matched carefully to their individual
needs. In such lessons, teachers often spend too much time talking and fail to
inform or persuade students of the relevance and purpose of learning activities. As a
result, students sometimes lose concentration and occasionally low level disruption
occurs. In weaker lessons, the strategies teachers use to assess students’
knowledge and understanding and to inform them of how well they are doing are
not well-developed or consistently and effectively used. As a result, not all learners
know what they need to do to improve their work in order to reach their target
grades or levels.
The outstanding curriculum enables all students to achieve well and develop wider
personal and social skills. In addition to traditional academic provision, the
curriculum includes vocational courses, off-site provision and alternative pathways.
Excellent links with the local college enable the most ‘at risk’ students to remain in
education and to enjoy learning in an appropriate work-related environment. The
Year 9 curriculum includes innovative provision that enables students to gain early
accreditation for their skills, particularly in relation to information and
communication technology and English. The impact of the language specialism is
apparent in innovations that aim to internationalise the curriculum - for example
‘Fristory’, which involves Year 7 and Year 8 students learning history through the
French language. The school is committed to ensuring that the curriculum remains
current and interesting, and to this end, subject and senior leaders are involved in a
continuous process of updating and adapting it. A very wide range of curriculum
enrichment experiences is provided, for example through ‘super learning’,
enterprise, key skills and language days. This, plus the personal and social
development curriculum and provision for religious education, provides good
opportunities for students to develop wider personal, learning, social and work-
The restructured pastoral system ensures that the school focuses on the
achievement and success of each individual student. The school works very closely
with families and a wide range of agencies to sustain the learning, development and
well-being of students facing challenging circumstances. The work of the school’s
inclusion support unit is outstanding in providing support and care for individual
students. The nurture group ensures students feel very safe and develop
confidence. There are striking examples of students who have been, and are,
exceptionally well-supported through very difficult times in their lives or as a result
of on-going difficulties and/or disabilities. Students are very confident and
complimentary about the school’s ability to care, guide and support them effectively
at each stage of their education - from the outstanding transition arrangements
when they transfer from primary school to the highly effective information, advice
and guidance they receive towards the end of Key Stages 3 and 4.
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 curr iculum meets pupils’ needs, including, where |
relevant, through partnerships
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
How effective are leadership and management?
The headteacher has introduced a culture of high expectations and a focus on
continual and sustainable improvement in all aspects of school life and particularly in
ensuring the very best outcomes for students. His aim is to develop strategic
management skills at all levels of leadership. To this end, he has undertaken
extensive restructuring of management systems – both pastoral and academic – to
ensure leaders at all levels are accountable for performance in their particular area
and are responsible for bringing about improvement in these areas. Leaders are
tackling key areas of weakness systematically and there is evidence that middle
leaders are driving forward innovations in the curriculum. Target setting is realistic
and challenging but the school recognises that it needs to review its processes and to
consider a more individualised approach to setting challenging and aspirational
targets for all learners, particularly in information and communication technology.
A rigorous and robust quality review process is in place for academic subjects and is
being developed for pastoral provision. The system introduced to review the quality
of teaching and learning in subjects is fully embedded, but it is relatively new and
the school recognises that the strengths evident in mathematics and English need to
be shared with all other subject leaders to ensure that quality is as strong in all
subject areas. The school has a range of collaborative processes in place to broaden
and expand opportunities for staff to share good practice and expertise. Innovative
practice enables students to participate in the teaching and learning quality review
The governing body has a very good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses
of the school and has been influential in determining its strategic direction. Its
members discharge their statutory duties, including in relation to safeguarding,
effectively. The school adopts recommended good practice across all areas of its
work in relation to safety and safeguarding and a realistic and proportionate
approach to this area permeates all aspects of school life.
Partnerships with a wide range of organisations contribute significantly to the rich
and diverse curriculum experiences and opportunities provided for students. Multi-
agency partnerships are extremely strong and have a very positive impact on
ensuring every student is fully supported and cared for. There has been concerted
action to promote equal opportunities for all students. The school makes a strong
contribution to its local community via its extended school network and via a range
of other community-based projects. The strong international dimension of its
curriculum and partnership links resulting from its language specialism, enhance this.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and |
driv ing improvement
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 a nd statutory responsibilities
|The effectiveness of the school’s engageme nt with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and |
|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 |
Academic achievement is satisfactory because most students make the progress
expected of them given their starting points. The small number of students who take
applied courses make good or better progress from their starting points. Improved
attainment in 2011 compared to that in 2010 is evidence of the impact of strategies
to raise achievement. However, as yet there is insufficient evidence that this will be
sustained. Non-academic outcomes for students are good. Their attendance is above
average. The number of students continuing from Year 12 to 13 is high. All students
progress to either higher or further education, training or employment. They make a
good contribution to the life of the school and the community. Students demonstrate
mature attitudes to learning, relate well to each other and to their tutors and have
Lessons observed in the sixth form indicate that teaching and learning are good but
this has yet to have a significant impact on students’ achievement. The sixth form
curriculum comprises predominantly traditional GCE AS and A level courses in a
range of subjects. In order to match the individual learning needs of students more
effectively, a small number of applied and vocational courses are offered and this
provision is growing. A variety of enrichment and extra-curricular activities are
provided. As a result of recent changes to pastoral systems and improved academic
monitoring, support and guidance for students is improving. However, these systems
are not as robust as in the main school and are not yet having a sufficient impact on
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
Views of parents and carers
Responses to the parental questionnaire indicate that parents and carers are very
positive about the extent to which the school keeps their children safe and that their
children enjoy school. These views were echoed by students themselves and reflect
inspectors’ judgements. Despite this, the response to other questions suggests that
parental perceptions of the school are less good than might be expected. The school
is aware of this and has introduced a number of initiatives including a governor/
parent forum to enable parents and carers to raise concerns and for the school to
take action. Unfortunately, despite a large number of invitations issued to parents
and carers, the response rate and the number actually attending the forum meetings
have been very small.
Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted’s questionnaire
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at South Wolds Community
School to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agree d with 13
statements about the school.
The inspection team received 325 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In
total, there are 998 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. W here one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular
question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|My child enjoys school||111||34||196||60||15||5||1||0|
|The school keeps my child |
|The school informs me about |
my child’s progress
|My child is making enough |
progress at this school
|The teaching is good at this |
|The school helps me to |
support my child’s learning
|The school helps my child to |
have a healthy lifestyle
|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
|The school meets my child’s |
|The school deals effectively |
with unacceptable behaviour
|The school takes account of |
my suggestions and
|The school is led and |
|Overall, I am happy with my |
child’s experience at this
What inspection judgements mean
|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
Overall effectiveness of schools
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
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 08 April 2011 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 schools.
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
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
- The quality of teaching.
- The extent to which the curriculum meets
pupils’ needs, including, where relevant,
- The effectiveness of care, guidance and
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.
26 September 2011
Inspection of South Wolds Community School, Keyworth, NG12 5FF
Many thanks to those of you who gave up your breaks and lunchtimes to speak to
Inspectors judged South Wolds to be a good school. Attainment at the end of Key
Stage 4 is high compared to the national average. You make good progress in your
learning because you behave well in lessons and have good attitudes to learning.
Good quality teaching and an outstanding curriculum contribute significantly to this.
You receive outstanding care, guidance and support. You told us that you feel very
safe and are encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle as a result of the focus on
physical activity, the healthy food provided in the canteen and the good education
about healthy lifestyles that you receive.
Despite high attainment and some outstanding aspects, we still judged that the
school could improve further. We have asked the headteacher and his leadership
team to improve the rate at which students in Key Stages 3 and 4 make progress so
that you can all achieve the highest grades you are capable of. We have asked him
to do this by ensuring that in all subjects, teaching is at least good and that you are
all challenged to do your best and to understand how to improve your own work. We
have also asked him to raise achievement in the sixth form by ensuring that in all
subjects teaching is at least good, that the curriculum matches the needs of students
more closely and that systems to track progress and provide support are as good as
in the main school.
You can help your school to improve further by attending regularly, by really taking
an interest in, and getting involved with, the learning activities your teachers set you
and by working as hard as you can.
Her Majesty's Inspector