The Elmgreen School
phone: 020 87665020
head teacher: Mr Dominic Bergin
1100 pupils capacity: 92% full
610 boys 60%
410 girls 40%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
Secondary — Voluntary Controlled School
- Education phase
- Establishment type
- Voluntary Controlled School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 2007
- Reason open
- New Provision
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 531889, Northing: 172768
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 51.439, Longitude: -0.10385
- Accepting pupils
- 11—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Nov. 13, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- London › Dulwich and West Norwood › Thurlow Park
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Admissions policy
- Main specialism
- Humanities (Operational)
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- Norwood Secondary Centre SE279BZ
- Noah's Ark School SE279BZ
- 0.1 miles Thurlow Park Special School SE279DA
- 0.1 miles Grove House School for the Hearing Impaired SE279BZ
- 0.2 miles Rosemead Preparatory School SE218HZ (367 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Hitherfield Junior School SW162JQ
- 0.5 miles Hitherfield Infant School SW162JQ
- 0.5 miles Fenstanton Junior School SW23PW
- 0.5 miles Fenstanton Primary School SW23PW (631 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Julian's School SE270JF (495 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Streatham Wells Primary School SW23NJ (245 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls SW23UP
- 0.5 miles Oakfield Preparatory School SE218HP (414 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Hitherfield Primary School SW162JQ (594 pupils)
- 0.5 miles City Heights E-ACT Academy SW23PW (103 pupils)
- 0.5 miles St Martin in the Fields High School for Girls SW23UP (858 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Rosendale Junior School SE218LX
- 0.6 miles Rosendale Infant School SE218LX
- 0.6 miles Turney Primary and Secondary Special School SE218LX (121 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Rosendale Primary School SE218LR (689 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Elm Wood School SE279RR (364 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Chartswood Education Centre SE249DE
- 0.7 miles South London College SE270TX
- 0.7 miles Rhoda Reid School SW23BL
The Elmgreen School
Elmcourt Road, London, SE27 9BZ
|Inspection dates||13–14 November 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Outstanding||1|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Teaching is typically good and some is of high |
Achievement in the school is continuing to
The sixth form is good. Effective collaboration
quality. Leaders have taken positive action to
improve the quality of teaching and all staff
are ambitious to make it even better.
rise. Attainment is above average in many
subjects. All groups of students are now
making good progress across a range of
subjects and key stages.
arrangements provide a range of subjects
and courses which meets students’ needs
| The headteacher’s vision and impact are |
Relationships between teachers and students
The school is a highly inclusive community. A
valued by the whole community. Outstanding
leadership inspires staff and students to do
their very best. Governors are robust in
challenging leaders to continually improve the
are respectful. Students are appreciative of the
hard work of their teachers and the ways their
teachers support and help them to achieve
their best. Consequently, behaviour is good.
positive ethos permeates all aspects of the
school’s work. A pupil remarked, ‘Whatever
level you are, everyone is connected.’
| Some teachers do not always plan lessons |
that support students’ individual needs as
effectively as they could in aiming for the
| In some lessons, teachers are not clear |
enough about their expectations of students’
engagement in how they expect students to
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors observed 48 lessons, including 16 joint observations with members of the senior
leadership team. In addition, inspectors made short visits to other lessons and tutor periods,
and looked at samples of students’ work. A shorter visit to lessons was made focusing on the
school’s literacy work.
- Meetings were held with groups of students, the headteacher and other members of the
senior leadership team, heads of subject departments, pastoral leaders, teachers, the Chair
of the Governing Body, and a representative from the local authority.
- Inspectors scrutinised a variety of school documents, including: the school’s self-evaluation,
school-development plans, behaviour records, safeguarding records, governing-body
documents, and documents relating to the management of teachers’ performance.
- Inspectors also considered the views expressed in 47 questionnaires returned by school
staff, together with the 129 responses submitted by parents to the online Parent View
survey. In addition, 37 letters from parents were scrutinised.
|Hugh Betterton, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|David Davies||Additional Inspector|
|Samuel Ofori-Kyereh||Additional Inspector|
|Jo Stuart||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The Elmgreen School is an average-sized community comprehensive school. It opened in 2007
as the first ever parent-promoted school and moved to a new building in September 2009. The
school has specialist status for humanities, including English.
- A sixth form opened in September 2012 and is part of a collaboration with four other schools
in the local area.
- Of the numbers on roll, nearly two thirds are boys.
The proportion of students known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is additional
funding for those students who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from
service families and those children who are looked after by the local authority, is twice the
- Students come from a wide range of socio-economic, ethnic, religious and cultural
backgrounds, and the percentage of students who speak English as an additional language
and who are from minority ethnic backgrounds is well above that found nationally.
- The percentage of disabled students and those with special educational needs, supported at
school action, school action plus or with a statement of educational needs, is above national
- The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum
expectations for students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics.
- A small number of students in Year 10 and Year 11 attend a range of off-site provision to
support their learning for some of the week.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure that all students are supported in making the best possible progress by improving
the quality of teaching from good to outstanding through ensuring that:
- all teachers plan work that is exactly matched to the differing needs of groups and
- all teachers rigorously check students’ understanding of what they have learnt
- high expectations of students’ attitudes to learning are always made clear.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- Achievement is good. Students are making the progress they should, and improved teaching is
making sure that standards are rising. In 2012, the school’s first year of results were in line with
national averages. GCSE results in 2013 were higher than those seen nationally.
- From starting points that are in line with national averages students, including those who attend
off-site provision, make good progress, across a wide range of subjects and qualifications. The
school has particular strengths in English, art, history and French. Performance in mathematics
and science subjects improved markedly in 2013 from 2012. However, not enough of the most
able make progress expected of them.
- The school’s detailed analysis of the current Year 11 students’ performance provides convincing
evidence that their progress promises further improvement in overall GCSE results.
- In 2013, students known to be eligible for the pupil premium achieved well compared to similar
students nationally, gaining half a grade higher, as a result of small-group sessions, in-class
support and revision classes. Recent data shows that the gap between their performance and
that of others across the school is now closing.
- The achievement of disabled students, those who have special educational needs and those
learning English as an additional language is in line with that of other students in the school,
usually enhanced by good support from knowledgeable teaching assistants. Students who
attend off-site provision achieve well because of the specialist support they receive.
- Those in Year 7 eligible for the catch-up premium receive targeted literacy support from
mentors and tutors which enables them to keep up with their peers. Literacy is promoted well,
through opportunities for extended writing in different subjects. Students’ literacy skills are
improving well, as is seen in the quality of their writing, speaking and reading.
- The school makes good use of early entry in mathematics to support students’ confidence. As a
result, in 2013 students achieved better results than they might otherwise have achieved.
- Students in the recently opened sixth form started courses in the lower sixth with below-
average attainment in 2012. They make good progress to achieve standards that are in line
with national averages. Progress observed during the inspection on courses in the upper sixth is
also good overall, particularly in English, where a growing number make rapid progress.
- Inspection evidence confirms the views expressed in the online parent questionnaire in which at
least nine out of ten parents agreed that their child makes good progress at this school.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Teaching is good and improving in most subjects, including English and mathematics, as it is for
those receiving additional support. An increasing proportion is outstanding because of the
school’s focus on learning and progress as well as a programme of monitoring and support,
using formal observations and learning walks.
- Teachers generally have high expectations, supported by their good subject knowledge,
allowing them to identify the best resources and address any misunderstandings. On a few
occasions, teachers do not make their expectations of students’ performance clear enough.
- Questioning is used skilfully to deepen students’ understanding and knowledge, as illustrated by
classroom discussions. Students are confident in holding a dialogue with their teachers. The
effect is that in the majority of lessons observed, including English, mathematics, history and
biology, discussions enabled students to learn independently. Positive relationships with the
students are very evident.
- Lessons are well planned with consistent ‘Do Now’ starter activities which consolidate previous
learning in many cases. On a very few occasions, students are not clear about what they are
expected to learn and lose attention. Very occasionally teaching is not well planned because not
all students’ learning needs are accounted for.
- Most marking is exemplary. It is regular and focused and consistently identifies strengths and
areas for development, which supports pupils in making good progress.
- Outstanding teaching is characterised by a rapid pace in learning, a pronounced emphasis on
students taking responsibility for their learning and teachers checking and re-directing learning
as necessary. In a highly successful Year 10 English lesson, students showed deep
understanding of how some characters in
An Inspector Calls
placed money above people in
relationships, linking their ideas closely to the play, no matter what their prior ability.
- The quality of teaching observed in the sixth form was good during the inspection, with good
identification of and support for any sixth form students who are underachieving.
- Parents are highly supportive of the school and correctly believe that students are well taught.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Students say they feel safe in school and display a very good understanding of how to
keep themselves and others safe. This is demonstrated by their good standards of
behaviour around the site and in lessons. When teaching is not planned in sufficient
detail to meet all students’ needs fully, they can become distracted from their learning.
- Students throughout the whole school are very positive about their school and are appreciative
of the hard work and support of their teachers in helping them learn. They recognise that their
behaviour is good, with respectful relationships evident between all in an atmosphere of trust.
- The number of permanent and fixed-term exclusions has rapidly decreased in the last year
because of the school’s effective behaviour-management policies. Attendance has also improved
markedly in the last year. While most students arrive on time to lessons, a few sixth form
students are too casual about their punctuality.
Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is strong. They have positive
relationships with each other and adults and value the vertical tutoring system. They describe
this as a contributory factor to defining the school as a cohesive and inclusive learning
community. Students enjoy leading charity work such as fundraising.
Students have a good understanding of bullying, including cyber-bullying. They say that any
bullying or harassment is dealt with discreetly and effectively.
|The leadership and management||are outstanding|
- The leadership team, dynamically led by the headteacher, is driving the ambitious vision in all
aspects of the Elmgreen Way, ‘committed to the highest standards in everything’ it does. This
vision is robustly shared by leaders at all levels, the governors and the wider community, all of
whom believe the school will achieve excellence. This ambition has been recognised in the
marked improvement in GCSE results in 2013 and the continuing improvements evident across
- The school evaluates its work very accurately. Subject leaders are held to account and
recognise their responsibilities for continual improvement. The headteacher has not hesitated to
take action where staff performance and standards of teaching have not improved rapidly
enough. A clear performance-management system is in place, closely aligned to salary and
progression. A very effective training programme for staff is linked to whole-school and
individual developments. Teachers are set challenging targets which they say they are fully
supported to achieve.
- The curriculum has been carefully developed and is continually reviewed to prepare students
well for progression to higher or further education, training or employment. It successfully
balances academic and vocational options to meet all needs and aspirations, including through
an effective partnership with a local college. The extended curriculum provides a wide range of
sports and performance opportunities, as well as additional classes and revision sessions for
students needing extra support.
- Parents spoken to during the inspection who helped set up the school judge that it has
exceeded their expectations. Additionally, from parental letters and Parent View, all responses
expressed complete satisfaction with the work of the school. Equally, replies to the staff
questionnaires were overwhelmingly positive about the school and leadership. One comment
reflects many others: ‘This is great school to work at. I believe in the school as it matches my
own ethos for life. We are valued and appreciated completely.’
- The school’s highly effective prioritising of equality of opportunity is seen in the increasing
progress made by all groups of students and the narrowing of the attainment gap between
those eligible for pupil premium funding, across the school.
- The local authority correctly judges that the school is well able to drive its own improvement
and provides good, but light-touch, support.
- Safeguarding meets all statutory requirements. Staff training and rigorous follow-up of absence
are of high quality.
- The governance of the school:
- Governors make a strategic impact on school improvement. Effective use of progress data
allows thorough checks on the impact of teaching on students’ progress. The headteacher and
senior leaders are diligently held to account. Governors have challenged underperformance
where it has occurred, for example, in the progress of boys in 2012 at GCSE. They use their
knowledge about the quality of teaching to ensure that its quality relates directly to pay
increases and progression through performance-management procedures. Members of the
governing body have received the relevant training, enabling them to fulfil their statutory duties
effectively, including those relating to safeguarding.
- Governors are knowledgeable and informed. They review their own effectiveness and training,
ensuring that they keep up to date with national developments and initiatives. They have the
expertise required to oversee the school’s finances and ensure that financial and other
resources are managed properly, especially in the use of pupil premium funding.
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||129649|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
|Type of school||Secondary|
|School category||Voluntary aided community|
|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||1,050|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||190|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||29 February–1 March 2012|
|Telephone number||020 8766 5020|
|Fax number||020 8761 2312|