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Pupils at Ark John Keats Academy are polite and friendly. This is an inclusive school where pupils treat each other with respect and kindness. Pupils are safe here.
Staff encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own actions. Pupils mix happily with each other at breaktimes and lunchtimes.
Leaders have high expectations of every pupil.
They want all pupils to achieve well at school and to go on to lead successful lives and careers. Leaders ensure that staff meet pupils' individual needs. Pupils respond well to leaders' expectations.
They develop a growing confidence in their own abilities.Pupils behave well. Leaders have established a clear s...et of routines.
This has helped to create a calm and orderly environment. In lessons, pupils focus on their work and listen to their teachers. If their focus wanes, teachers are quick to address it.
Bullying is quite rare. When it does happen, leaders deal with it effectively.
Leaders prioritise pupils' personal and social development.
They provide pupils with a wide range of experiences. Pupils can join clubs, including chess and debating, and take part in music and sporting activities. There are visits to places of cultural interest, including museums, galleries and places of worship.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed an ambitious and well-sequenced curriculum. They have identified a broad and deep body of knowledge for pupils to learn. Pupils revisit what they have learned before and build on that learning.
They develop their knowledge and understanding in increasing depth and complexity over time. Leaders have high aspirations for all pupils. This includes for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Leaders identify the needs of pupils with SEND well. They provide staff with training to meet those needs. All pupils access the same academic curriculum and achieve well.
In the early years, leaders have created a rich and stimulating environment. This helps children's physical and social development. Teachers also prioritise the development of children's language and communication.
Children in Nursery show high levels of independence and manage their emotions well. As pupils move through the school, they learn to work and think like subject specialists, such as mathematicians, geographers and linguists. In Years 10 and 11, a very high proportion of pupils study the full range of English Baccalaureate subjects.
In the sixth form, students can choose from either an A-level or a professional programme of study. Leaders are developing a sixth-form curriculum which meets the needs and interests of students. Students are successful in gaining places at university and on apprenticeships.
Leaders know how important reading is to pupils' educational success. They have ensured that teachers integrate reading into pupils' day-to-day learning. From the start of Reception, pupils learn to read using phonics.
They quickly learn to read with fluency. Leaders assess pupils' reading regularly. Pupils who need it get extra help.
This helps them to catch up with their peers. A high proportion of pupils meet age-related expectations in reading by the end of Year 1. Leaders also promote a love for reading.
They encourage pupils to read for pleasure. From Reception, pupils take books home for parents and carers to read with them. Time is set aside each week in all phases of the school for pupils to read.
Teachers have good subject knowledge. They use this well to present new information to pupils. Pupils complete starter activities to help them recall prior knowledge.
Teachers give feedback to pupils on how to improve their work. In the sixth form, students have regular reviews with teachers about their progress. This helps them identify and address any gaps in their knowledge and understanding.
However, in key stages 2 and 3 in particular, some teachers teach new content too quickly. They do not give pupils enough time or opportunity to consolidate their learning.Pupils' attitudes to their learning are good, particularly in the primary phase and in the sixth form.
There is occasional low-level disruption in the secondary phase, in particular in Years 7 to 9. Leaders do not tolerate this. Teachers use the school's behaviour policy with consistency to address such disruption when it does occur.
This minimises the impact on pupils' learning.
Leaders have developed an extensive personal development programme. They enhance the programme through assemblies and via guest speakers.
Pupils learn about relationships in an age-appropriate way. They also learn about equality and diversity, and celebrate events such as Human Rights Day and International Women's Day. In the secondary phase, pupils receive appropriate careers education and guidance.
This helps pupils make informed decisions about their next steps in education, training and employment.
Leaders and governors share a commitment to providing a high-quality academic education for all pupils. They want to give pupils the opportunity to study in higher education and to secure professional careers.
Trust leaders provide additional leadership capacity and professional development for staff. This supports school leaders in providing a high-quality education. Leaders are mindful of staff's workload and well-being.
Changes to school assessment policies have reduced teachers' workload. Staff feel valued and enjoy working here.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have established a culture of safeguarding across the school. They have increased the capacity of the school's safeguarding team. This helps to ensure that leaders meet pupils' and families' needs well.
Staff receive regular training. They are alert to the signs of potential risk to pupils. They report any concerns about pupils appropriately.
Leaders have developed in-school mental health provision. They have also established effective relationships with external agencies. This ensures that pupils get the help they need.
Leaders work with parents to raise their awareness of the risks to their children. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Some teachers teach new content too quickly.
They do not check, systematically, that pupils have secured an understanding of that content. This results in some pupils not fully understanding the new content taught and being unable to complete related work successfully. Leaders should ensure that teachers adapt their teaching to enable pupils to secure new knowledge before moving on to the next stage in pupils' learning.
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