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Brentside High School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Leaders have high expectations for pupils' happiness and success at school. They want them to achieve well in a broad range of subjects.
Pupils appreciate this and are very loyal to the school. They value the dedication and expertise of their teachers and the extra support they receive with their studies. Pupils told us that staff ensure that they feel safe in school.
They said that there is always an adult they trust that they can talk to about any worries.
Leaders organise many opportunities for pupils to pursue new interests and to take part in a wide range of trips and ...subject clubs. All pupils participate in special events including 'applied learning days', where they enjoy activities such as sessions with visiting theatre groups, enterprise projects, and health and well-being workshops.
Pupils are proud of their successful fundraising for charity.
Pupils are respectful towards each other. Occasionally, pupils become distracted from their work when they find it too difficult.
Teachers ensure that disruptions to lessons are settled quickly. Incidents of bullying do not occur often and are dealt with swiftly. Leaders work considerately with pupils who need help to manage their own behaviour in lessons and around school.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have very clear plans for what pupils will achieve in each subject. Plans are well established and ambitious for all pupils. Teachers and pupils know how lessons link together.
There is a regular routine that enables pupils to review and reinforce what they have learned previously, including from primary school, before moving on to more complex concepts. Teachers' strong and confident subject knowledge captivates and inspires pupils. Students in the sixth form are especially appreciative of their teachers' expertise.
Leaders ensure that teachers develop pupils' literacy and numeracy in subjects beyond English and mathematics. Teachers work closely together to ensure that explanations are consistent. For example, in mathematics and science, teachers explain how to use equations in a similar way.
Teachers use a wide range of well-thought-out resources to help pupils to practise using technical and sophisticated vocabulary.
Leaders regularly review the quality of subject planning. Leaders check that pupils cover the requirements of the national curriculum in each subject studied in Years 7 and 8 before moving onto GCSE studies.
Teachers check pupils' achievement and use the information productively to help with their planning. They identify swiftly when individual pupils need more support. Leaders give careful thought to specific projects and opportunities that benefit individual pupils, leading to improved attendance and behaviour.
Overall, pupils including those who are disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), achieve well in a broad range of subjects.
There is some variation within and between subjects in how well leaders' plans are taught. Leaders' ambition for all pupils means that teachers have high expectations for what pupils should learn in lessons.
However, pupils are sometimes not able to access more complex content because their understanding of underlying themes and terminology is not secure. This leads to pupils becoming distracted from their work. Staff provide the support needed to help them refocus.
There is an extensive range of opportunities for pupils to prepare for the next steps in their education and employment. From Year 7 onwards, pupils are introduced to skills and experiences associated with the world of work. They meet representatives from a variety of professions and take part in mock interviews.
Sixth formers visit organisations associated with their career aspirations and value work experience opportunities. Pupils told us they felt well informed to make decisions about their subject options.
Pupils thrive on taking responsibilities.
Pupils from different year groups get on well and are keen to do good turns for others in the school and the wider community. As members of the student cabinet, pupils make recommendations for improvements to the school. Leaders provided seating benches for pupils to use at breaktimes following feedback received from the student cabinet.
Sixth-form students enjoy supporting younger pupils as mentors and working on joint fundraising projects. Pupils value the after-school intervention groups that help them catch up in different subjects. Some clubs are not open to pupils beyond Year 8 and older pupils told us that they would like some clubs and activities to continue for them into Year 9 and key stage 4.
Leaders including governors have an accurate view of the strengths and priorities for development of the school. They have made changes to some school policies and practice, including assessment and timetabling, to help reduce staff workload.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders ensure that a culture of safeguarding is promoted in the school. Staff receive up-to-date training and know what to do if they have any concerns. Pupils receive regular guidance on how to recognise and deal with risks to their safety.
Leaders ensure that safeguarding records are well-organised and that all the required pre-employment checks are made of staff. Staff work with outside agencies to provide pupils with extra support when needed.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
Leaders' curriculum plans are well sequenced and enable pupils to recall and apply key information from their previous studies, build up new knowledge and prepare for future learning.
The extent to which the plans are fully implemented varies within and between subjects. This means that routines that support learning are well established in some subjects such as art and mathematics, and are in earlier stages in others, including in science, history and English. Leaders should continue to develop teachers' use of subject plans and presentation of subject matter, for example, to ensure that all pupils have a secure knowledge of the key information they need before moving onto more demanding work.
. The wide range of opportunities for pupils to participate in after-school clubs, activities and trips enables them to develop and pursue new interests. Pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 benefit especially.
Beyond Year 8, these opportunities are more limited. Leaders should ensure that older pupils, including the sixth-form students, are able to continue to take part in activities beyond their subject studies.
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 a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged Brentside High School to be good on 15–16 June 2011.
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