Castle Newnham School

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About Castle Newnham School

Name Castle Newnham School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Ruth Wilkes
Address Polhill Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9DT
Phone Number 01234303403
Phase Secondary
Type Foundation school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 711
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The federation principal, supported by senior leaders and governors, has successfully steered the school through a period of substantial change and growth. Staff, parents and pupils have confidence in the leadership of the school and feel valued and listened to. Leaders have created high expectations regarding behaviour.

Pupils' behaviour and conduct in lessons and around the school are good. Pupils feel safe and well cared for when they are in school. Parents share the view that the school is an environment in which their children can thrive.

Leaders have carefully designed a curriculum that supports pupils' academic development well, an...d offers pupils access to a broad range of extra-curricular experiences. Pupils show tolerance and respect for each other's varying backgrounds and cultures. Pupils who arrive with little spoken English develop their language skills quickly because of effective support.

Pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities receive support well-tailored to meet their needs, and make good progress from their varied starting points. Typically, teaching helps pupils to make good progress from their individual starting points across a range of subjects. However, some teachers do not always use assessments of pupils' progress to adapt tasks so that the needs of different groups of pupils are met consistently.

Governors provide an appropriate balance of support and challenge to ensure that school leaders provide a good standard of education for pupils. They have correctly identified their priorities for future development. Subject leaders fully support the vision and values of leaders and governors.

Some are still developing the skills to ensure that their actions contribute effectively to achieving whole-school priorities. Past strategies to support disadvantaged pupils have not been evaluated effectively, and have not succeeded in boosting the progress of disadvantaged boys. Pupils, and their parents, are not always clear on how well they are achieving because the school is still developing a coherent assessment and reporting system for GCSE.

Older pupils do not have enough opportunities to explore issues such as radicalisation, develop their awareness of these wider risks and so build resilience to them.

Information about this school

Castle Newnham School was formed in January 2016, when Castle Lower School and Newnham Middle School federated to offer an all-through education to pupils from age four to 16 across two sites. Although the two schools still retain separate identities with the Department for Education, they share one governing body and one federation principal.

The secondary school currently has pupils from Year 7 through to Year 10. The school has no published outcomes. It is smaller than the average-sized secondary school.

The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is just above the national average. Just over half of pupils come from White British backgrounds. The proportion of pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities is above average, as is the proportion of pupils who have an education, health and care plan.

The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is in line with other schools nationally. The school does not have any pupils who attend alternative provision. The school runs a breakfast club.

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