Chiltern Academy

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About Chiltern Academy

Name Chiltern Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Ian Douglas
Address Gipsy Lane, Luton, LU1 3GF
Phone Number 01582310644
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1165
Local Authority Luton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Chiltern Academy is an inclusive and respectful place in which to learn. Pupils are proud to be part of the school. Pupils are safe.

Bullying is not tolerated. When bullying does happen, staff deal with it quickly. Pupils focus on their learning.

Lessons are typically settled and purposeful.

Pupils respond to leaders' high aspirations for what they can achieve. Pupils understand the school's vision of 'Inspiring Minds, Building Futures'.

Pupils learn about topics that link to cultures within the school community. For example, the history curriculum teaches pupils about the end of the British Empire in the subcontinent. This helps them to make importa...nt links and to understand and deepen their learning.

Pupils benefit from the wide variety of extra-curricular activities that take place before school, at lunchtimes and after school. Opportunities range from sport to music, chess, gardening, digital arts and astronomy. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) have access to this broad offer, alongside specific activities to develop their engagement and confidence.

This includes the table cricket club. A large number of pupils take part in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. There is something on offer for everyone.

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

Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with SEND. In key stage 4, pupils have a wide choice of subjects to choose from, such as engineering, psychology and creative iMedia. Leaders are proud of their specialism in engineering and of the high take-up, particularly by girls, to study this.

Subject leaders have set out clearly the important knowledge that pupils need to understand and when they should learn it. Teachers have a good knowledge of the subjects that they teach. This includes the high number of early career teachers employed in the school.

Most teachers routinely check that all pupils understand and remember important knowledge. However, this is not consistent across the school. As a result, gaps in pupils' knowledge, and their misconceptions, are not routinely addressed.

Therefore, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

Reading is prioritised. Pupils engage in reading activities across the curriculum and in form times.

Pupils largely enjoy, and develop a love of, reading. Leaders quickly identify pupils who struggle to learn to read. If pupils fall behind, they are given the right support to ensure they catch up with their peers.

Leaders and staff accurately identify the needs of pupils with SEND. Pupils' additional needs are supported through individual learning plans, which detail the support pupils require to help them access the same curriculum as their peers.Teachers use these plans effectively to adapt their teaching so that pupils with SEND make sufficient progress.

Leaders set high expectations for behaviour across the school. Learning in classrooms is rarely disrupted. Pupils demonstrate a maturity in their attitude towards their learning, and participate in lessons well.

Pupils benefit from a programme of highly effective personal development. As a result, pupils become confident, resilient individuals. They develop high aspirations for themselves.

Pupils' awareness of tolerance, respect and diversity is developed very well through the well-planned and sequenced personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum, as well as topics covered in assemblies and form time. Form groups plan and deliver assemblies to promote aspects linked to wider development, for example sexuality and religion. Pupils from this multicultural community celebrate their differences during cultural days, where they attend school in clothing that represents what is important to them and their culture.

On cultural days, pupil leaders help to develop the canteen menu to make sure that it includes and celebrates foods from the school's diverse community.

Pupils embrace the opportunities provided to take on leadership responsibilities. They develop an understanding of democracy through the elections for leadership roles in the school.

Pupils experience high-quality careers information. This means they are well prepared to make choices about their next steps.

Staff enjoy working at the school.

They are positive about the efforts made by leaders to manage their workload and well-being. There is a strong focus on professional development. Staff value the Wednesday morning subject-specific training and 'Feedback Fridays' sessions, when they share and improve their practice.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff receive regular safeguarding training. They are aware of the potential risks that pupils may face.

Leaders have robust systems to report safeguarding concerns. Staff use these systems well and report issues systematically. Leaders monitor and respond to concerns quickly.

Where appropriate, leaders work with external agencies to support pupils who need additional help.

Pupils develop a secure understanding of risks that young people may face within their locality and nationally. They learn about these risks through the curriculum, in assemblies, in form times and through visitors to school.

Pupils demonstrate a strong awareness of harmful sexual behaviours in the school. Pupils know how to stay safe when they are online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some teachers do not routinely check how well pupils have remembered and understood what they need to know.

This means that pupils' gaps and misconceptions are not routinely identified. Some pupils do not have the firm foundations on which to build their knowledge. Leaders must ensure that there is a consistent approach to check and quickly identify and address the gaps in pupils' learning.

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