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Pupils thrive at Alexandra Park School. They are very proud to attend the school.
They support the well-being of others and say that everyone is welcome here. Pupils have no concerns about bullying and are kept safe. They know that teachers respond swiftly and effectively to any concerns.
Pupils hold many leadership positions throughout the school, including as literacy mentors and buddies. Older pupils act as ambassadors in local primary schools, and sixth-form students are excellent role models for their younger peers.
Pupils enjoy working through the ambitious work planned for them.
They behave exceptionally well. Staff have very high expectations... of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff know their pupils well and provide immense levels of extra support.
As a result, pupils achieve well and are fully prepared for their next steps.
The school's values are embedded throughout the school and underpin a range of opportunities for pupils to support their community. For example, pupils raise money for local charities.
The environment committee works with local groups to improve sustainability. Pupils benefit from a rich range of activities and visits, including those led by sixth-form students. All pupils take part in an annual enrichment day.
Staff encourage pupils to take part in an international trip.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The curriculum for all pupils, including those with SEND, is broad and highly ambitious. In particular, sixth-form students are able to choose from a wide range of academic and vocational courses.
Leaders think carefully about the important knowledge that pupils need to know and remember throughout their time at the school. They ensure that curricular thinking across subjects matches, and in many cases exceeds, the national curriculum.
Leaders prioritise effective sequencing in all subjects to ensure that pupils revisit and build on their prior learning regularly.
For example, in mathematics, teachers break algebra down into small steps, such as solving equations and factorising. Over time, pupils revisit key knowledge and feel confident in tackling more complex ideas, such as the quadratic nth term. Similarly, in modern foreign languages, Year 7 pupils developed their confidence when describing themselves.
Pupils are steadily introduced to a range of different vocabulary and tenses. Over time, pupils express themselves fluently using a variety of vocabulary, complex sentence structures and idiomatic expressions.
Teachers are experts in their subjects.
They meet with other subject specialists regularly to discuss how to make learning manageable for pupils. As a result, teachers present information clearly and check pupils' understanding consistently. Teachers are swift to address any misconceptions in pupils' understanding.
The quality of pupils' work is high.Leaders ensure that pupils with SEND have their needs identified accurately and closely met. A culture of high expectations from well-trained staff gives these pupils personalised support.
This helps pupils with SEND to access the same broad and ambitious curriculum as their peers and to achieve well.
Leaders focus sharply on supporting all pupils to read widely and often. Pupils have regular opportunities to read high-quality books in English lessons and tutor time.
Staff use the school library to support pupils to develop a love of reading, for example through competitions, book clubs and talks from visiting authors and poets. Pupils needing additional help with their reading benefit from extra support, including for phonics. Well-trained staff check pupils' understanding regularly as they read.
As a result, these pupils read with increasing accuracy and fluency.
Staff have very high expectations of pupils' behaviour. Clear systems are in place to enable pupils to meet these.
Pupils are calm and orderly in classrooms and when moving around the school site. Lessons continue without disruption. Leaders use a range of personalised support for those pupils who need extra support, including for behaviour and to improve attendance.
Leaders have planned and sequenced the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum carefully. Teachers support pupils to learn about key topics, such as rights, responsibilities, drugs and road safety. A number of external speakers and assemblies add to these key messages.
This helps pupils to have a deep understanding about the importance of being physically and mentally healthy.
Pupils are well prepared for their next stage of education, employment or training. A comprehensive programme ensures that pupils have multiple opportunities to engage with employers.
Teachers highlight career pathways linked to their subjects, which enhances pupils' future aspirations.
Staff enjoy working at this school. They feel that their workload and well-being are well supported.
Staff at all levels appreciated leaders' open-door policy. They benefit from many opportunities for professional development. Knowledgeable governors and trustees provide highly effective challenge and support to school leaders.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a strong culture of safeguarding. Staff are well trained and know how to identify and report any safeguarding concerns they may have.
Leaders deal swiftly with any concerns. Staff are alert to their pupils' needs and think seriously about what support they might need. As a result, leaders work with a number of specialists, both inside and out of school.
Leaders also support parents and carers, for example by running mental health workshops.
Pupils are given regular messages about how to stay safe. They are helped to understand topics such as consent and online safety.
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