Arena Academy

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About Arena Academy

Name Arena Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Raj Mann
Address Beeches Road, Great Barr, Birmingham, B42 2PY
Phone Number 01217297310
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1108
Local Authority Birmingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Most pupils at Arena Academy enjoy school and want to do well. Staff have warm relationships with pupils and take time to get to know their likes and interests. The school's core values of collaboration, opportunity, respect and excellence sit at the centre of leaders' work to improve the school.

In lessons and at social times, pupils generally behave appropriately. Many pupils enjoy playing games or sitting together at break and lunchtimes. However, some staff do not apply the school's behaviour policy consistently.

Not all pupils, parents and carers have confidence in some staff to tackle incidents of bullying swiftly.

In recent years, leaders have strength...ened the school curriculum. This has led to greater clarity as to the order in which topics are taught to help pupils make better progress.

However, there remains some variability in how the curriculum is taught and how teachers check pupils' understanding.

Many pupils enjoy and participate in a range of extra-curricular opportunities. This includes digital leadership, music, weight training and Gaelic football.

Several pupils are also part of the school's Combined Cadet Force.

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

The school has undergone a significant period of turbulence since becoming a new academy. Trust leaders have provided stability and halted a decline in standards.

The new headteacher, alongside other school leaders, has worked quickly to improve the curriculum and other key areas of the school's work. However, there is still further work to do for the school to improve.

In many subjects, the curriculum is ambitious, well planned and structured.

Leaders have spent time carefully considering the order in which topics are taught. Subject 'learning journeys' set out how pupils build knowledge and understanding sequentially and make connections in their learning. This is particularly successful in art and design.

Leaders ensure that pupils build the foundational knowledge and skills in Year 7 so that they can access more-complex aspects of art in future topics. As a result, pupils make strong progress in this subject.

Teachers have secure subject knowledge and present ideas in a clear and logical way.

At the beginning of lessons, teachers provide time for pupils to recall prior learning. In some lessons, 'do now tasks' are not always focused on the key knowledge that pupils need to remember. This does not help pupils secure their understanding of key ideas or concepts.

Teachers use questioning reasonably well during lessons to check understanding. However, some other checks on learning do not help to identify errors and misconceptions quickly. Additionally, some pupils struggle to know what they do well and where they need to improve.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are provided with effective support. Leaders have clear systems in place to identify pupils' needs. They ensure that teachers adapt tasks appropriately so pupils can access the full curriculum.

Leaders ensure that learning plans for pupils with SEND are regularly reviewed so that targets are accurate and up to date.

Leaders have looked to strengthen reading across the school. Pupils in key stage 3 have access to an online reading programme that tracks the amount pupils read and their comprehension skills.

Leaders monitor this closely and provide reward points to pupils for the books they read. All pupils are assessed in Year 7 to identify those who may still be struggling to read. While some interventions take place with the weakest readers, leaders recognise this could improve further.

They have plans in place for this to happen.

Leaders have put in place a clear programme for personal, social and health education (PSHE). This is delivered through form time sessions and 'drop down days' throughout the year.

Pupils learn about topics such as consent and different types of relationships. However, not all pupils see the value of PSHE lessons. Furthermore, there is variability in the quality of how these lessons are delivered by teachers.

The school's careers programme is strong. Leaders ensure that pupils have access to external organisations so that they are aware of the various pathways available to them when they leave school. There are clear expectations as to what each year group does in relation to careers education, including work experience for Year 10.

Pupils appreciate the many ways they learn about work and feel well prepared for their next steps in education or training.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have clear systems and processes in place for identifying pupils at risk of harm or abuse.

Staff are clear what they should do if they have a concern about a child and where this needs to be recorded. Leaders ensure that staff receive annual training and regular safeguarding updates. Safeguarding logs are well managed and show that leaders act in a timely way to ensure pupils get the help and support they need.

Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe through the PSHE curriculum on topics such as harmful sexual behaviour and staying safe online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers do not assess pupils' learning consistently well. This means that some teachers do not address errors and misconceptions quickly.

In addition, some pupils are not clear about what they do well and where they need to improve.Leaders should ensure that teachers use assessment effectively to help embed knowledge and that pupils have a secure understanding of their progress. ? Leaders have not yet implemented a rigorous and sequential approach to support those pupils who struggle to read.

This means that some pupils do not get the precise help and support they need to catch up with their peers. Leaders should continue with their current plans to implement an effective system to help support the weakest readers. ? Some pupils do not behave consistently well during unstructured time.

Furthermore, some pupils and parents do not always have confidence in leaders to tackle incidents of bullying. Leaders should take steps to ensure teachers apply the behaviour policy consistently. Leaders should ensure that pupils feel confident to report incidents of bullying and that they will be dealt with effectively.

• Leaders are not fully checking and evaluating some aspects of their work. This means that there remains variability in the quality of some areas, including the delivery of the PSHE curriculum and behaviour. Leaders should ensure that they carefully monitor and evaluate all aspects of their work so that they can help the school to progress and move forward.

Also at this postcode
Inspired Children’s Club - Beeches Infants School Priestley Smith School Beeches Junior School Beeches Infant School

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