Barking Abbey School, A Specialist Sports and Humanities College

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About Barking Abbey School, A Specialist Sports and Humanities College

Name Barking Abbey School, A Specialist Sports and Humanities College
Ofsted Inspections
Acting Headteacher Mr Tony Roe
Address Sandringham Road, Barking, IG11 9AG
Phone Number 02039677030
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 2325
Local Authority Barking and Dagenham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a large and diverse school where difference is valued. Pupils demonstrate a very positive attitude to their education.

This is because leaders have set high expectations, which reflect the school motto 'give and expect the best'.

Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are exceptionally well supported. Staff know pupils well and ensure they all have access to the same opportunities.

As a result, pupils achieve well and are fully prepared for the next stage of their education, employment or training.

Teachers encourage pupils, and students in the sixth form, to engage in debate and discussion. Pupils ...are respectful and listen to opposing viewpoints.

Sixth-form students benefit from the wide range of A-level and vocational courses on offer. They are encouraged to take on leadership responsibility and to act as role models.

Pupils' conduct is exemplary, both inside lessons and around the school.

Leaders have established simple and clear rules that everyone understands. As a result, learning is rarely disrupted due to poor behaviour. Teachers build strong relationships with pupils, which allows them to thrive and enjoy their lessons.

Pupils report no concerns about bullying and know that any issues will be dealt with swiftly by staff. This helps to ensure that pupils feel safe and are kept safe at school.

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

Leaders have designed a highly ambitious curriculum for all pupils.

Subject leaders have thought carefully about the curriculum content they want pupils to know and remember and the order in which it is taught. This helps teachers to routinely draw on pupils' previous learning when tackling new ideas. For example, in English, pupils in Year 8 explore the concept of the tragic hero and then apply this knowledge to their study of Macbeth at the start of Year 10.

In mathematics, learning builds and progresses from previous topics. For example, pupils can attempt quadratic inequalities in key stage 4 because they have previously studied how to solve quadratic equations graphically and algebraically in key stage 3.

Leaders have considered the local context and pupils' starting points when designing the curriculum.

In religious education, for example, pupils look at the commonalities between religions with a focus on developing tolerance and understanding. This gives pupils, and students in the sixth form, confidence in debating ethical issues in relation to their understanding of faith.

Teachers have excellent knowledge of the subjects that they deliver.

They use a range of effective strategies to check pupils' learning and identify any gaps in their knowledge. They are swift to address any misconceptions in pupils' understanding so that pupils are ready to move on in their learning. Pupils' work is consistently of high quality.

Leaders ensure that pupils with SEND, including those who attend the specially resourced provisions, receive the support they need. This starts with accurate and swift identification of pupils' needs and starting points. Staff are well trained and supported to ensure pupils with SEND access the same ambitious curriculum as their peers wherever possible.

Staff identify at an early stage any pupils that struggle with reading. These pupils are supported to catch up quickly, including those who need help with phonics.

Pupils, and students in the sixth form, are supportive and respectful of each other.

Routines and expectations are in place which lead to a calm and purposeful learning environment. Pupils are focused, engaged and participate well in lessons. Attendance is high and systems for improving this further are well-established.

There is a strong emphasis on the development of positive character habits and pupils are rewarded when they demonstrate these. For example, anti-bullying ambassadors in each year group help to ensure the school is an environment in which pupils feel safe.

Leaders promote pupils' wider development through a rich set of experiences.

This includes opportunities for involvement in the school production, chess, poetry, school newspaper, robotics and debating clubs. The school runs four sports academies, which provides for students with talent in one of basketball, dance, football or netball. This includes expert coaching, personalised training and high-quality competition alongside a programme of academic study.

Leaders have developed a very strong personalised careers programme that includes meaningful work experience. Pupils, and students in the sixth form, are encouraged to develop as responsible, active citizens. For example, by joining the junior leadership team, pupils can take part in charity fundraising, volunteering in the school food bank and recycling and tree-planting projects.

Leaders, including those responsible for governance, have high ambition for their pupils and want the best for them. Staff, pupils and parents share this ambition. Staff feel that their workload and well-being has been carefully considered by leaders.

They appreciate their open-door policy. Knowledgeable governors provide highly effective challenge and support to school leaders through regular monitoring visits.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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