Aston Academy

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About Aston Academy

Name Aston Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Associate Principal Ms Afshah Saeed
Address Aughton Road, Swallownest, Sheffield, S26 4SF
Phone Number 01142872171
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1590
Local Authority Rotherham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils study a broad range of well-planned subjects. The school has recently introduced new strategies to improve the quality of education.

This is having a positive effect, but pupils learn more effectively in some subjects than in others. This is, in part, due to teaching not being consistently matched to the needs and abilities of pupils. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have their needs identified well.

However, the support pupils with SEND receive to help their learning varies across the school. Some pupils are happy, but others are dissatisfied with their experiences at the school.

Pupils have opportunities to join many d...ifferent clubs, such as football, science, ukulele, creative writing and art.

Sixth-form students take on an active leadership role in the school. They have good relationships with teachers.

Most pupils behave well, but some do not behave well outside their lessons.

Some pupils have not developed positive attitudes to learning or follow the values of the school, the 'Aston Way'. Bullying can sometimes occur. Most pupils attend regularly but some are persistently absent.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe online and about local dangers, such as those found at a nearby reservoir.

Leaders from the multi-academy trust (the trust) have a clear strategy for further improvement. The trust is working to improve relationships with the community.

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

The school has developed an ambitious curriculum. Pupils study a broad range of subjects that helps to prepare them well for future education, training or employment. In most subjects, the curriculum is well designed and develops pupils' knowledge and understanding.

Students in the sixth form can choose from a variety of courses which are well planned and taught.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge. Teachers use 'do now' tasks to revisit prior learning and assess pupils' progress using live marking.

Where these strategies are consistently used well, pupils rapidly acquire knowledge and know how to improve. Students' learning in the sixth form is supported effectively by teachers who demonstrate strong subject knowledge. Teachers regularly assess students and adapt future learning well to meet the needs of each student, including those with SEND.

Pupils make less progress in lessons where teaching does not meet their needs and abilities. As a result, some pupils do not make the progress of which they are capable. In some lessons, pupils are passive and questioning does not check their learning.

This limits how often pupils' developing knowledge is checked and misconceptions identified. Pupils with SEND receive variable support. In some cases, support matches the identified needs of pupils well.

Where this is not the case, the progress that pupils make through the curriculum is reduced.

The school has prioritised reading. For example, the school has recently launched the 'everyone reads in class (ERIC)' strategy.

The school has also introduced regular assessments of pupils' reading age. The weakest readers are identified and receive the support they need. The school is aware that these strategies are new and it is too soon to gauge the effect of this strategy on pupils' fluency and comprehension.

The school has introduced a new behaviour system. Most staff and pupils feel that this has improved behaviour in lessons. Most pupils behave well in lessons and are respectful to teachers and visitors.

A small number of pupils do not stay on task in lessons and this is not always challenged by teachers. Some pupils do not behave well outside lessons. The school recognises this and has taken action to increase the capacity of supervising staff.

Most pupils attend school regularly. However, some pupils do not attend regularly enough. The school has put in place several strategies that have started to improve the attendance of these pupils.

Leaders are aware that there needs to be a sharper focus on data trends to target these strategies effectively.

Pupils receive a well-structured programme of personal development. They are taught about healthy and unhealthy relationships, how to keep themselves safe, fundamental British values and sex education.

The teaching of personal, social and health education is inconsistent. This means that some pupils do not develop a deeper understanding of some topics.

Pupils are provided with opportunities to take on leadership roles at the school.

For example, the school council has recently helped to improve the diversity of food offered in the school canteen and support the addition of new clubs. Sixth-form students take an active role in the school. For example, they lead competitions for younger pupils and act as mental health peer mentors for Year 7 pupils.

Pupils receive comprehensive information and guidance on careers.

Leaders have put in place several strategies to rapidly improve the school. The trust has invested resources and increased capacity and expertise of staff to make necessary changes.

Many changes are having a positive effect. Staff are proud to work at the school. The trust recognises that work is needed to build relationships between the school and the community it serves.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teaching is not consistently adapted to meet the needs and abilities of different pupils. As a result, some pupils do not make the progress of which they are capable.

The school should ensure that teaching is consistently adapted to meet the individual needs and abilities of pupils. ? New processes for supporting pupils with SEND have yet to be fully embedded and implemented. This means that there is inconsistency in the support that some pupils with SEND receive.

The school should ensure that new systems and processes for supporting pupils with SEND are fully embedded and implemented. ? New behavioural systems and expectations are not fully embedded and enacted across the school. Some pupils do not behave well.

The school should ensure that new systems and expectations are consistently applied across the school and that more pupils are supported to manage their behaviour appropriately, both in lessons and during social times. ? Some pupils do not attend school frequently enough. The school should ensure that strategies are precisely targeted to improve the attendance of pupils who are persistently absent.

• Several new processes and systems have been recently implemented, but their impact is not consistently monitored by leaders. This means that, sometimes, leaders are unaware of emerging trends that need action. The school and trust should ensure that monitoring processes are in place and that leaders understand and quickly respond to emerging trends.

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