Westfield Sports College
Headteacher: Mr Andrew Ireland
1417 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||107135|
|Inspection dates||9–10 November 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Brian Dower|
|Type of school||Secondary|
|Age range of pupils||11–16|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||1376|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr Ian Saunders|
|Headteacher||Mrs Susan Simmons|
|Date of previous school inspection||14 March 2007|
|School address||Eckington Road|
|South Yorkshire S20 1HQ|
|Telephone number||0114 2485221|
|Fax number||0114 240779|
|Inspection dates||9–10 November 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by five additional inspectors. The inspectors visited 44 lessons and held meetings with governors, staff and groups of students. They observed the school's work and looked at the 434 questionnaires returned by parents and carers, together with the 147 completed by students and the 56 completed by staff. Inspectors also reviewed a range of documents including the school's analysis of students' academic progress and attainment, safeguarding information, improvement plans, records of classroom observations and the school's self-evaluation document.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Westfield Sports College is much larger than the average secondary school. Students are predominantly from White British backgrounds: very few students originate from outside the United Kingdom. The proportion of students with special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above the national average and that of students who are entitled to free school meals is average. Mobility levels are low.
In addition to the college's sports status, it has business and enterprise accreditation. It holds the Investors in People and the Healthy Schools awards.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This is a satisfactory and improving school with many good features. The low standards and the underachievement of the past have been reversed and attainment is now average. The progress students make and their levels of achievement are satisfactory.
The quality of teaching is satisfactory overall. It is improving rapidly because of good leadership and management. There are strengths in the use of assessments to plan appropriately challenging learning activities and in the feedback students receive on how to improve their work. Teaching styles do not always engage students' interests fully. In a small minority of lessons there is inattention and on very few occasions, poor behaviour. The school is working effectively to deal with this and students say that behaviour has improved and is improving. Behaviour overall is satisfactory. Teachers question well, to test understanding and recall, but seldom make use of open-ended questioning to get students thinking for themselves. The curriculum is good and it meets the needs of all groups. This is seen, for example, in the provision made for vulnerable students who make good and in some cases outstanding progress. The care and support students receive are good. They say that staff are approachable and concerned for their welfare and give generously of their time to help them. Appropriate and timely guidance prepares students well for future decision making.
Students expressed concern about the use of time in the vertical tutor periods and inspection evidence found a mixed picture of good and inadequate practice. These tutor periods add up to a significant amount of time in the week and are not always being well used to further students' academic and personal development.
Students say they feel safe in this school. They know what contributes to mental and physical health and in the main adopt a healthy lifestyle. The school's concern is that, despite its best efforts, a few students do not always translate what they know into practice. Students' contribution to their own and the wider community is good and they are prepared well for the next stage in their education and for their future economic well-being. This is because they have good personal qualities and their attendance rates are above average. They have satisfactory basic skills but these are improving in line with the rise in standards in English, mathematics, science and information and communication technology. Students' social, moral and spiritual development is satisfactory and their cultural development is good.
Leadership and management are good. The drive for improvement and the systems underpinning that ambition have resulted in a very significant rise in standards this year and that rate of improvement is being maintained. The school's capacity for further improvement is good. Leaders and managers have an accurate understanding of the school's strengths and what needs to be done to move it forward. The specialist status is making a good contribution to students' personal development. Specialist targets have not been met but subject results have improved significantly in the past year and school data shows that they are rising further. Governance is satisfactory. Child protection procedures and systems for ensuring the safety of all who work in the school meet requirements. This is an inclusive school and it makes a good contribution to community cohesion. It gives satisfactory value for money.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
In the lessons observed by inspectors, students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those with high prior attainment, made satisfactory progress and enjoyed their learning. Vulnerable students made good and at times outstanding progress because of the effective support and care they received and the tailoring of the curriculum to meet their specific needs. Results in the 2009 GCSE examinations were average and the school's targets were exceeded. This represents a significant improvement on past performance. The quality of work seen in lessons and students' books, together with the school's own assessment data, show that these standards are being maintained and are improving further.
Students' personal development is good. This is because most work well together and many shoulder responsibility in a mature way, for example, as sports' leaders in school and in the local primaries. The school's specialist status as a sports' college contributes significantly to engendering such self-reliance. Students have a good understanding of the opportunities that await them and nearly all students proceed to further education and training or employment, a significant improvement on previous rates. This is because their aspirations are higher and they have greater confidence in their own abilities. Their understanding of the world of work is good for their age because of the learning opportunities provided by the school's business and enterprise specialism. Basic skills are satisfactory and improving.
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||2|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||3|
|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:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
Teachers have good subject knowledge and plan well to meet students' learning needs. Assessment to support learning is good and, therefore, students are clear about the level at which they are working, the targets they can aspire to and how to achieve them. Marking is good and teachers monitor learning closely and provide effective support when difficulties are encountered. In the main, working relationships are good but more needs to be done to motivate the small number of students who are easily distracted and inattentive. Teachers are not asking the 'how' and 'why' questions to get students to justify their thinking and talk at length about their work. The curriculum, including the personal, social, health and citizenship programme, is imaginatively structured to meet the broad range of learning needs. The school provides personalised learning programmes for individual students who are vulnerable in any way. There is extensive provision for learning and personal development outside of lessons; these opportunities are taken up by a large number of students. Such provision embraces cultural and recreational activities and residential trips, as well as sport. One of the driving factors behind the recent improvements is the good care and support students receive. This means that any obstacles to learning are spotted quickly and students are given the help they need to overcome them. Activities which pose any risk are assessed appropriately and there are regular health and safety audits to ensure safe working.
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 curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||2|
The significant rise in standards has been driven by the ambition of the headteacher who has raised expectations. Her leadership is good and she is supported well by able and committed senior teachers and hard working staff. The underachievement of the past has been tackled rigorously and there is now a sense of common purpose and a desire to move the school from satisfactory to good. As a result the outcomes for students are good in terms of their personal development and improving strongly academically. The monitoring and evaluation of provision and its impact has improved significantly over the last 18 months and this has led to good forward planning which is addressing the key areas for further development. The leadership and management of teaching and learning are good, resulting in the above strengths in provision. Parents and students say that the school is now a more harmonious and cohesive working community and that there is an equal chance for every boy and girl. This is evident in the improved standards for all groups of students. The school also makes a good contribution to cohesion in the local community through sport, business and enterprise activities. Diversity is respected and valued. Good use is made of challenging, realistic targets to take the school forward. Governors are supportive and committed and are closely involved in the life of the school. They give generously of their time to meetings and to attending a range of events. They are now developing a more analytical and challenging approach to evaluating the school's performance. Links with partner institutions such as colleges and work placement providers are used well to extend opportunities and raise students' attainment. Appropriate safeguarding procedures are in place and there are rigorous systems to ensure that students feel secure and their well-being promoted.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||3|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|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||3|
Analysis of the questionnaire returns indicates that most parents are happy with their children's progress. Some concerns were raised in the returns about students' behaviour. Inspectors are satisfied that there is no serious disruption to learning caused by poor behaviour and that the school is a calm and purposeful place to work in. They did find on a small number of occasions inattention and low level disruption. The school is not complacent about the problem and is being pro-active in helping such students to conform, work with others and learn.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Westfield Sports College 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 434 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 1,376 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||1||7||7||47||5||33||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||3||20||6||40||3||20||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||1||7||5||33||6||40||1||7|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||1||7||3||20||8||53||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||1||7||5||33||6||40||1||7|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||0||0||3||20||7||47||1||7|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||1||7||3||20||7||47||0||0|
|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 employment)||0||0||5||33||5||33||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||0||0||3||20||6||40||1||7|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||1||7||4||27||5||33||2||13|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||1||7||1||7||4||27||6||40|
|The school is led and managed effectively||1||7||5||33||2||13||3||20|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||1||7||5||33||4||27||3||20|
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%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding 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 judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
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.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
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 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.
11 November 2009
Inspection of Westfield Sports College, Sheffield S20 1HQ
Thank you for the welcome we received during our recent visit to your school. We appreciated the time many of you gave to speak to us about your experiences. As well as looking at your work, we also read the questionnaires that you completed and those from your parents and carers and the staff. These proved very helpful.
Your school provides you with a satisfactory education. There has been a significant improvement in examination results over the last year, rising to the standards normally expected for Year 11 students. These standards are being maintained in the work being done now. This means that, given your starting points on entry to Year 7, learning and progress and the levels at which you achieve are satisfactory.
There are many good features to the education you receive. The curriculum caters well for all your needs and the early examination entry arrangements motivate you to raise your expectations of what you can achieve. The many extra-curricular activities are well attended and do much for your personal development. You receive good care and support and you told us that the staff are approachable and give generously of their time to help you.
Some of you raised concerns about behaviour. We agree that there are a few students who are inattentive and cause low level disruption in some lessons. We have asked that more is done to make them conform and become interested in their work. You did tell us that behaviour has improved a lot recently and our view is that behaviour is satisfactory overall and not a major problem in the school. We have asked that teachers' questioning becomes more rigorous to make you think through problems for yourselves. You also spoke about the use of time in your morning tutorials. We have requested that a review is undertaken to ensure that the time is spent on improving your academic and personal development, including your communication and social skills.
Thank you again for your help during the inspection.
Mr Brian Dower
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|