Clayton Hall Academy

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About Clayton Hall Academy

Name Clayton Hall Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Catherine Reid
Address Clayton Lane, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 3DN
Phone Number 01782367650
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 832
Local Authority Staffordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Thanks to improvements made at Clayton Hall, pupils benefit from a curriculum that is more consistent in its ambition and delivery. This means pupils generally learn well and, as a result, their outcomes have improved overall.

Pupils, especially younger pupils, benefit from the wider opportunities that the school offers.

The sports clubs are especially appreciated, as are the variety of trips, which include a visit to London and a food technology trip.

Pupils enjoy the effective personal development offer that enables them to discuss matters of importance to them in a mature way. Pupils are also well informed about future destinations and employment opportuni...ties by well-timed and broad careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG).

Pupils speak highly of the work they undertake on different cultures and religions, which prepares them well for life in modern Britain.

Behaviour is generally calm and well ordered, as the school has worked to ensure expectations are met. Pupils report that they are happy and feel safe at the school.

In general, they know that if they have concerns, they can report them to leaders and they will be acted on.

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

The school has an ambitious curriculum, with the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at its heart. The number of pupils studying a qualification in languages has increased, and therefore more pupils have access to the EBacc.

In most subjects, the curriculum identifies the key knowledge that pupils need to learn and the order in which this needs to be taught. However, in modern foreign languages (MFL), there is less clarity about the important knowledge that pupils need to learn and when. Pupils learn the curriculum well when teachers select appropriate learning activities and check pupils' understanding effectively.

For example, in science, pupils used key knowledge to embark on a 'silent solo' task relating to evolution, which helped deepen their understanding. Pupils' learning is less secure when learning activities do not build as effectively on previous learning, or if teachers do not check pupils' understand precisely. On these occasions, gaps in pupils' knowledge remain, or pupils are not moved on to new learning in a timely way.

The school has a programme to support weaker readers and to embed a culture of reading. This has shown some impact, with some older pupils being trained to support the reading of younger peers, for example. The school has yet to launch a phonics programme to further their support for their weakest readers.

The school has managed changes in the leadership for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) well. These pupils have their needs accurately identified, and teachers are provided with useful information to adapt their learning activities, which is well used to adapt the learning. This means that pupils with SEND achieve well.

The school has achieved a consistent approach to behaviour management. Pupils to make increasingly positive choices about their behaviour. At social times, the atmosphere is typically calm and orderly.

This has had a positive impact on reducing the number of suspensions. Younger pupils are particularly positive about their experiences and the opportunities at the school, although some older pupils have not yet fully adjusted to expectations outside of lessons. Attendance is improving thanks to the school's considered approach.

The personal development curriculum is well designed and sequenced, and it ensures that pupils have the time to discuss important topics, including mental health, protected characteristics and healthy relationships. There is a range of extra-curricular opportunities, and the school is working to maximise attendance at these, particularly for disadvantaged pupils. The CEIAG that pupils receive is timely and enables them to make truly informed decisions about future destinations.

The school is considerate of workload and staff well-being. Professional development opportunities are appreciated, especially those provided by the trust. Trust leaders are clear in their ambition for the school.

Those responsible for governance discharge their responsibilities appropriately and have an appropriate evaluation of the school. The school is working to continue to engage the parent body to ensure that parents are informed about developments and improvements in the school's provision.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has not ensured that all teachers consistently check pupils know what they need to before moving on to new learning. This makes it harder for pupils to build on their learning successfully. The school should ensure teachers check effectively what pupils know and remember to identify any gaps in knowledge and skills that need to be remedied.

• The school has not yet precisely set out or embedded the detail and sequence of knowledge that pupils need to learn in the MFL curriculum. This means that teachers are sometimes not clear on the key knowledge that pupils need to learn and remember and when it is taught. The school should ensure that the curriculum for MFL precisely sets out the knowledge that pupils need to learn, and when they need to learn it.

• Occasionally, inappropriate behaviour goes unchallenged at social times. As a result, some older pupils do not meet the school's high expectations of behaviour. The school should ensure that all staff are clear about their role in securing good behaviour from pupils at unstructured times.

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