School etc

The Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre

The Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre
Stourport Road

phone: 01299 403277

head teacher: Mrs Julie Reilly

school holidays: via Worcestershire council

935 pupils aged 11—18y mixed gender
1018 pupils capacity: 92% full

470 boys 50%


465 girls 50%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

Secondary — Foundation School

Education phase
Establishment type
Foundation School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 2007
Reason open
Result of Amalgamation
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 379285, Northing: 274910
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.372, Longitude: -2.3057
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Jan. 25, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Wyre Forest › Wribbenhall
Hamlet and Isolated Dwelling - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Arts (Operational)
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
ContinU Trust
Learning provider ref #

Age group 11–18
Inspection date(s) 25–26 January 2012
Inspection number 381778

The Bewdley School and Sixth Form


Inspection report

Unique reference number 135035
Local authority Worcestershire
Inspection number 381778
Inspection dates 25–26 January 2012
Lead inspector Brian Car twright HMI

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

Type of school Secondary
School category Foundation
Age range of pupils 11–18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth form Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 930
Of which, number on roll in the sixth form 109
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Wilf Talbot
Headteacher Julie Reilly
Date of prev ious school inspection 26 November 2008
School address Stourport Road
DY12 1BL
Telephone number 01299 403277
Fax number 01299 405480
Email address reveal email: off…

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Inspection team

Brian Cartwright Her Majesty’s Inspector
Catherine Robinson-Slater Additional inspector
Victoria Matthews Additional inspector
Peter McKenzie Additional inspector

This inspection was carried out with two days' notice. Inspectors visited 47 lessons
delivered by 46 teachers, met with groups of staff, groups of students from all key
stages, and spoke to representatives of the governing body. Inspectors took account
of the responses to the on-line questionnaire (Parent View) in planning the
inspection. They observed the school’s work, looked at school self-review and
planning documents, minutes of the governing body, school performance data and
the work of students in lessons. They considered the results of 205 parental
questionnaires, 150 student questionnaires and 36 staff questionnaires.

Information about the school

The school is of average size for secondary schools with a small sixth form. A lower
than average proportion of students are known to be eligible for free school meals.
The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities at
school action plus and with statements is higher than the national average. There is
a low proportion of students whose first language is not English, and a low
proportion of students who are not from White British backgrounds. The school
became a specialist Arts College in 2009. The school was formed in 2007, following
the reorganisation of school provision in the Wyre Forest, and occupies the site of a
former 13-18 high school. The school meets the current floor standard.

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness 2
Achievement of pupils 2
Quality of teaching 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils 2
Leadership and management 2

Key findings

  • This is a good school. Good leadership and strong staff commitment to the
    school are bringing about improved achievement for all students. Academic
    standards are above average.
  • Teaching is good, especially in Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form. This is
    ensuring good progress for students overall, with exceptionally good
    achievement in mathematics. The best teaching ensures students experience
    the thrill of learning a subject well. Teachers have good teacher subject
    knowledge that inspires and motivates students, and use data on students’
    prior learning well to make lesson activities interesting and challenging.
  • Where teaching is satisfactory, teachers do not challenge and engage all
    students quickly enough in lessons, do not provide sufficiently demanding
    activities to stretch more-able students, and talk to the whole class for too long.
    Occasionally in these circumstances, a few students can become distracting to
  • Nevertheless, overall student behaviour is good and the school keeps students
  • Marking and feedback to students varies in quality, usually resulting in good
    developmental advice to students, but in other examples giving no clear
    instruction on what was good, and how to improve shortfalls.
  • The sixth form is good. The progress of sixth form students accelerated in 2011
    because of systematic increases to the taught time per subject, and a concerted
    approach to sharpening arrangements for private study.
  • The provision for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is
    good, helped by staff contributing to a substantial and varied range of extra-
    curricular activities.
  • Provision for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is
    effective, allowing them full access to the good curriculum; they achieve well
    and for many, become fully self-sufficient and no longer in need of special
    support as they move through the school.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Further improve the quality of teaching in Key Stage 3 by using the good
    information available on students’ prior learning to plan lesson activities that
    challenge the full range of student ability.
  • Ensure students begin these tasks promptly, and then maintain the pace of
    their learning without stopping the lesson flow for unnecessary whole class
    interventions, to minimise the scope for students to lose attention.
  • Ensure the consistent application of the school marking policy so that all
    students know how well they are progressing, what to do to improve their
    work, and have them time to respond to that advice.

Main report

Achievement of pupils

The attainment of students when they join Year 7 is a little above average, and they
make at least satisfactory and usually good progress through Key Stage 3 before
embarking upon an almost entirely academic programme of GCSE study at Key Stage
4. In 2011, students gained above average results in most subjects at the end of Key
Stage 4, particularly in mathematics. The proportion of students getting at least two

grade C’s in science was high, although the proportion of A/A* science grades was

lower than expected. This was in part thought to be a consequence of the first
cohort studying triple science. This year, no such concerns are evident, with the
current Year 11 securely on target to achieve high standards. Students with special
educational needs and/or disabilities do well. Many become self-sufficient in their
learning as the school works effectively in giving these learners the training and skills
needed for their future. Students known to be eligible for free school meals make the
same or better progress than all pupils nationally in English and mathematics
The vast majority of parents and carers in the survey are correct in believing that
their children are making good progress because teaching is good and they are well
looked after. Written work shows clear improvements over time, for most students.
Students know what grades they are aiming for, where they are on that journey, and
have a reasonable idea, at least in Key Stage 4, of what they need to do to hit those
targets. All subject areas provide frequent additional revision sessions as needed or
requested by students.
In the sixth form, in 2011, students made good progress in AS level examinations,
much better than in previous years and are expected to repeat this at A-level.
Achievement of students in the sixth form has improved and is now good. This is
because of an increased time for teaching per subject, and much more rigorous
monitoring and support for students in their private study time. Students now know
and appreciate that school is a place to work hard and so achieve well.

Quality of teaching

Teaching overall is good with some outstanding practice. In most lessons teachers
ensure students are each fully engaged in learning activities quickly. In these
lessons, teachers challenge and question students well, for example by demanding
full sentences in response either verbally or in writing. All students, including those
with special educational need and/or disabilities, participate fully in the school’s
curriculum. Teaching assistants are usually well deployed in helping to support the
particular specific learning difficulties of individual students. Lessons include
opportunities for students to consider moral and ethical issues. Learning activities
often require group work, giving students the chance to develop social skills and
improve their verbal literacy.

Teachers’ expertise is used to the full, for example in a lovely reading of a poem

tackling racism, or in the skilled teaching and demonstration of high-quality
carpentry. Examples such as this also help expand students’ awareness of other
cultures. Where teaching is good, students have to take some responsibility and thus
develop independence in organising their work, carrying out practical activities, and
researching at home, which they enjoy. Teachers monitor students’ progress
individually, intervening only where learning flags a little, and rarely interrupting the
whole class. The best teaching demands the highest quality of work from students
irrespective of their abilities, and seeks to put the knowledge, skills and
understanding of the subject at the heart of each student’s learning experience. This
expertise is evident in all curriculum areas of the school, and is a strong feature of
sixth form teaching. It ensures that the satisfaction of mastering a difficult concept
or skill is at the heart of students’ enjoyment of learning. Students come to
experience the real thrill of new learning, and the self-recognition of their growing
competence affirmed by teachers they respect. Such experiences build up their self-
esteem and are key to maximising students’ spiritual development. Most students
surveyed, and most parents and carers in their survey say that students are taught
Not all teaching is of this high quality yet. A common feature of satisfactory teaching
occurs when teachers spend too long talking to the whole class, and then assign
tasks that are too easy or too difficult for some students. In these lessons, teachers
are very active, but most learners are at best listening, at worst becoming bored and

tempted to misbehave. Teachers’ questions become too ‘closed’, resulting in single-

word responses (if any) from one or two students.
Day-to-day marking and feedback to students varies from ‘excellent’ to being missing
completely; overall, it is generally good enough to ensure students are rewarded for
success, and have some idea of their progress in addition to regular summary tests.
But even where this feedback is precise, not all students are yet acting upon the
advice; for example, students asked to complete a task do not always do so.

Behaviour and safety of pupils

Students behave well in lessons and around the school, moving about in a calm and
friendly way, and are rarely late to lessons. Lunchtimes and breaks are pleasant
social occasions, with groups of students happy to chat to each other and to
supervising staff. All students arrive in school uniform, and some manage to wear it
smartly throughout the day, although others need reminding. Attendance is high,
with effective action taken by the school to encourage the few students with
persistent absence. About 70% of students in the survey, many from Key Stage 3,
think that behaviour is ‘good in lessons most of the time’. This figure mirrors some
views expressed in the parental survey, even though most parents and carers say
behaviour overall is good. Inspectors probed this issue by talking to several different
groups of students. They say that lesson disruption is rare, almost always dealt with
effectively, and is not stopping them from learning. Inspectors note that off-task
chatter, and occasional reluctance to cooperate initially with teacher instruction,
occurs in some satisfactory lessons, and these lessons are more likely in Key Stage 3.
Serious incidents are very rare; formal records show well below average occurrences
of exclusion.
Students and their parents and carers in surveys overwhelmingly say they that the
school is safe, and indicate that bullying, if it occurs, is dealt with well. Students are
involved in developing anti-bullying policies and receive good advice on how to
manage the range of threats they may encounter, including cyber-bullying.

Leadership and management

The school’s formation in 2007 provided both opportunities, and challenge, that have
required continued attention by senior leaders and the governing body. Staff turn-
over has been high, with some long-term illness requiring the deployment of supply
staff and a high teaching load for senior leaders. Professional development for staff
includes effective pairings between middle managers, who share practice that leads
to mutually beneficial improvements in teaching. Over time, and with the continuing
dedication and commitment of staff, attainment has steadily improved in line with
better teaching. Almost all the staff surveyed were positive about every aspect of the
The school has stayed true to its curriculum that emphasises traditional GCSE
subjects, and is now seeing the impact of that in the good progress made by
students from all backgrounds and groups. There is no discrimination between
different groups, so for example students known to be eligible for free school meals
are following the same curriculum as everyone else and achieving equally well. For a
few students, vocational pathways are available that also involve a consortium of
other local providers, and this helps in maintaining attendance for students whose
circumstances otherwise make them vulnerable or at risk of disaffection. As well as
systematic opportunities across all curriculum areas for spiritual, moral, social and
cultural development, there are regular ‘deep learning days’ that students enjoy, for
example through artistic-based activities. A rich range of clubs, sports activities,
music and drams clubds and productions, school trips, visits and visitors contributes
well to students’ understanding of their local and regional culture.
A recent Ofsted subject inspection found that the overall effectiveness of personal,
social and health education is good. The school maintains its good capacity for
further improvement, and is effective at tackling discrimination. Equality of
opportunity is promoted well through the curriculum, and one key result is that no
Year 11 student has failed to find a place in education, employment or training in


Recent revisions to the structure of the governing body have improved its members’
understanding of school performance data. A programme of ‘governor days’ in school
systematically gives them training, and access to classrooms during the day, and
gives them first-hand knowledge of the working ethos in school. The governing body
keeps site safety under review, mindful of the proximity of the River Severn.
Students receive periodic instructions on how to deal with an emergency. The school
is fastidious in meeting statutory requirements for safeguarding and child protection,
including up-to-date training of staff and the governing body.


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

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 46 8 0
Primary schools 8 47 40 5
14 38 40 8
Special schools 28 48 20 4
Pupil referral
15 50 29 5
All schools 11 46 38 6

New school inspection arrangements have been introduced from 1 January 2012. This means that
inspectors make judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2011 and repres ent
judgements that were made under the school inspection arrangements that were introduced on 1
September 2009. These data 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.
Primary schools include primary academy converters. Secondary schools include secondary academy
converters, sponsor-led academies and city technology colleges. Special schools include special
academy converters and non-maintained special schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their

learning and development taking account of their

Attainment: the standard of the pupils’ work shown by test and

examination results and in lessons.

Attendance the regular attendance of pupils at school and in

lessons, taking into account the school’s efforts to

encourage good attendance.

Behaviour how well pupils behave in lessons, with emphasis

on their attitude to learning. Pupils’ punctuality to
lessons and their conduct around the school.

Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue

improving based on its self-evaluation and 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 governors and 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.

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.

Safety how safe pupils are in school, including in lessons;

and their understanding of risks. Pupils’ freedom

from bullying and harassment. How well the school
promotes safety, for example e-learning.

27 January 2012
Dear Students

Inspection of The Bewdley School and Sixth Form Centre, Bewdley, DY12

Thank you for your polite welcome and positive conversations with my inspectors
and myself during our recent visit to your school. Our judgement is that Bewdley
School is continuing to improve, is now good, and set fair to get even better.
Students are achieving well and leaving with above average qualifications. Your
teachers and support staff work hard to help you learn, most of the time delivering
good or even better lessons that help you to enjoy learning and ensure you make
good progress. The range of subjects you study is wide, giving all of you a broad

curriculum that will support your future learning and employment.

You behave well, particularly around and about the school premises, and in most
lessons, so we were puzzled by the results of our survey of 150 students that
suggested students ‘behave well in lessons’ for 70% of the time, not all the time.
When we spoke to many of you, however, we found that you think almost all of you
behave well all of the time. The survey picked up that unfortunately one or two of
your fellow students do sometimes cause a momentary delay in your learning as

teachers apply the school’s behaviour management system, but this is rare. It would

help teachers to focus even more on your learning if they did not need to keep
reminding some of you about wearing your uniform as smartly as you can.
To improve still further, we have asked teachers to:

  • make sure lessons get you quickly engaged on activities you each find
    interesting and challenging
  • consistently mark your work with comments that acknowledge what is good,
    advise you of how to improve it, and then give some lesson time over to you to
    make those improvements.

Yours sincerely
Brian Cartwright
Her Majesty's Inspector


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