Altwood Church of England School

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About Altwood Church of England School

Name Altwood Church of England School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Neil Dimbleby
Address Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PU
Phone Number 01628622236
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 654
Local Authority Windsor and Maidenhead
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Altwood C of E Secondary School continues to be a good school.

The headteacher of this school is Neil Dimbleby.

This school is part of The Altwood Church of England Trust. The school is overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Jan McLucas.

What is it like to attend this school?

The school takes pride in quickly identifying what all pupils need to succeed.

The systems in place ensure pupils feel welcomed and supported. This has been particularly important as the number of pupils on roll has continued to increase.

The school has high expectations of all pupils.

In response, pupils are considerate, polite and courteous. In class, and around the s...chool, pupils work diligently and behave well. They know that teachers want the very best for them.

This helps pupils to achieve well, including pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Students in the sixth form feel particularly well supported. They willingly share their ambitious future plans.

Students value the dedication of their teachers, including the tailored teaching provided. Sixth-form students are very proud of their position of responsibility in the school and the impact they have. They remember how they felt as new pupils and want to carry on this tradition of support.

Pupils value having friends across the school community and in different year groups. Younger pupils appreciate the mentoring guidance provided as well as the time they spend with sixth-formers, who run some of the school's varied extra-curricular activities.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school is determined to provide an education that helps pupils to be confident, engaged and happy learners.

Focusing on these areas has led to a distinct culture throughout the school. Pupils' excellent behaviour in lessons enables teachers to provide specific support when needed. Around the school, pupils are calm.

They enjoy socialising in 'The Hub' canteen area where year groups mix at breaktime and lunchtime. Pupils recognise and value the supportive relationships that exist throughout the school community. This is further supported by valuable teaching about the importance of respect and healthy relationships.

Pastoral support is provided daily by knowledgeable and experienced staff. Pupils have confidence that they will receive any help they need if they have any concerns. Staff expertly use carefully considered strategies to support pupils who need more help to manage their behaviour.

These help to ensure these pupils can continue to learn effectively along with their peers.

During lessons, questioning and discussions are frequent. Pupils listen politely and enjoy debating topics, even when they disagree with their classmates.

Teachers' deep subject knowledge has supported the development of the schools' thought-provoking curriculums. Pupils build their knowledge and understanding through well-ordered topics. Teachers use their professional development time to share their ideas about the important themes they teach.

However, in some subjects, the precise identification of the knowledge pupils need within topics is less clear. This makes it harder for teachers to identify any specific gaps pupils may have and where specific opportunities are needed to revisit previous learning.

Pupils study a broad range of subjects in all key stages, including the sixth form.

While the school is ambitious for pupils to achieve highly, the number of pupils choosing to study modern foreign languages at GCSE is much lower than other subjects. The school understands the urgency in addressing this so that more pupils study the full set of English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects. Recently, the school has also adapted the sixth-form subject offer.

New A-level and vocational qualifications reflect the different interests and needs of the growing number of students who attend.

The school has a busy enrichment programme, which develops pupils' cultural capital. A wide range of clubs are run by staff and sixth-form students.

These include the popular 'Uno Club' and the unique 'Cheese Club'. The community atmosphere across the school is strengthened through Friday's house competitions, such as the light-hearted whole-school quiz. The annual careers day encourages all pupils to explore a wide range of employment sectors.

Targeted careers activities and additional guidance help pupils to be ambitious for their futures. One sixth-form student described the school's career education as 'enlightening'. While many pupils benefit from the extra-curricular offer, leaders want to do even more to ensure the most disadvantaged pupils get the most out of these valuable opportunities.

Staff are proud to work at the school and are supportive of each other. They are committed to the school's vision in helping all pupils to succeed. New staff and early career teachers are quickly inducted to ensure they are able to contribute straight away.

Governors also provide appropriate challenge and support to help the school continue to grow and improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some of the precise knowledge is not yet as carefully sequenced in some subjects as it is in others.

This means that teachers do not always quickly identify and fill any gaps pupils have in their knowledge and understanding. Leaders should ensure that all subject curriculums identify the knowledge that pupils need at each stage and that teachers carefully check what pupils know and remember. ? The proportion of key stage 4 pupils who are entered for EBacc subjects has been lower than the national average over time.

Too few pupils study a modern foreign language at GCSE. Leaders need to increase the number of pupils who study a modern foreign language at GCSE to make sure the EBacc is at the heart of the curriculum.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in October 2017.

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