Clyst Vale Community College

Name Clyst Vale Community College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 01 October 2019
Address Station Road, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3AJ
Phone Number 01392461407
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 868 (52% boys 48% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.9
Academy Sponsor Clyst Vale Academy Trust
Local Authority Devon
Percentage Free School Meals 10.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.8%
Persisitent Absence 13%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Clyst Vale Community College proudly calls itself a ‘Rights Respecting School’. Staff listen to pupils and consider their views. The college offers pupils a wide range of subjects to choose from in Year 11 and the sixth form. However, some pupils underestimate how much they can achieve. Leaders do not boost pupils’ confidence and challenge them appropriately when this happens.

Leaders expect pupils to leave the school as well-rounded young adults. There are plenty of extra-curricular clubs, trips and challenges for pupils, from Amnesty International to an expedition to Costa Rica. Pupils are well informed about what is going on in the world. The college is good at encouraging pupils to respect people from different walks of life.

Relationships between staff and pupils are strong. Behaviour is good most of the time because leaders do not tolerate disruption to learning. Pupils enjoy their lessons and appreciate the variety and interest that teachers provide. They feel safe and happy at the college. Staff sort out any bullying straight away.

Pupils look after each other. Some of the youngest pupils told us that the older ones are caring and responsible. Pupils will help each other if there is a problem, including with their schoolwork.

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

The college has designed a curriculum that aims to develop the whole person. The trustees cherish the school and want to improve the quality of education. They have recently strengthened the senior leadership team.

Leaders have provided good training for teachers. This has helped pupils remember more of what they have learned. Leaders have high expectations for behaviour. They ask pupils to ‘respect, participate, learn’. Together, these developments are promoting positive attitudes to learning. Pupils told us that the college is a good place to be. Most pupils attend well. However, there are some groups of pupils who still miss school too often, for example disadvantaged pupils and pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Leaders are reviewing the curriculum plans for each subject. There are strong plans in place for mathematics and science. In other subjects, leaders have not given enough thought to the order in which pupils learn. In English, Year 7 pupils who need to catch up do not revisit basic grammar points. This is because appropriate plans are not in place from which teachers can work. Another example is in physical education (PE). Here, incomplete plans lead to gaps in pupils’ knowledge. For example, Year 9 pupils cannot name the muscle groups. As a result, they are not prepared well for their GCSE studies.

Most pupils in Years 10 and 11 do not study a foreign language. This is becauseleaders have considered this to be too hard. Pupils are not supported successfully in their language learning because curriculum plans are weak. Pupils with lower prior attainment do not make good progress. Too few gain a qualification in a language.

The needs of pupils with SEND are not met well. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) provides useful information to teachers. However, leaders do not check that teachers are making sure that pupils with SEND gain the right knowledge. The college has a centre for pupils with sensory impairments. These pupils are well supported and successful in lessons.

Through ‘Course 42’, the college prepares pupils well for life beyond school. In assemblies and morning registration, teachers encourage pupils to develop their views. Pupils have opportunities to go on residential trips in the United Kingdom and abroad. During the inspection, Year 12 students were in Bude, engaged in outdoor pursuits. Pupils benefit from the college’s link with Exeter Medical School. The college provides many extra-curricular opportunities for pupils. Leaders are not sure how well different groups of pupils, such as disadvantaged pupils, take advantage of these.

Students in the sixth form achieve well in most subjects. Many have ambitious career plans. Where they do not, teachers and leaders try to raise their aspirations. Sixth-form students play an active role in college life. They mentor younger pupils. Students form committees to consider matters such as the college’s environmental and sustainability goals. Most students undertake a work experience placement in Year 12. The college is rightly beginning preparations for work experience earlier this year so every student can have this useful experience.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff take their responsibilities for keeping pupils safe very seriously. They are quick to report their concerns. They follow up referrals until they know that pupils are safe from harm. Leaders make sure that staff have up-to-date training, and many staff choose to undertake further training.

Leaders are mindful of the local risks that pupils face. For example, they have ensured that staff understand the risks associated with child criminal exploitation (so-called ‘county lines’).

Leaders have created a well-established culture of safeguarding in the college. However, leaders do not check effectively how safe pupils are in alternative provision.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Despite leaders’ stated ambition to follow the national curriculum in key stage 3, the plans in English, modern foreign languages and PE do not match its breadth and ambition. Appropriate curriculum plans are not in place in English, languages and PE. There is some effective teaching in these subjects, but it cannot compensate for the absence of a carefully sequenced curriculum which ensures that pupils acquire the knowledge they need. Leaders should ensure that a suitably organised curriculum is offered to pupils in every subject. . Teachers focus too much, too early, on assessing pupils’ work against what is expected of them at the end of their GCSE programmes of study. This causes teachers to neglect the detail of what pupils need to learn along the way. Leaders should identify the component knowledge they want pupils to acquire over the course of key stage 3 and use assessment to check that pupils are understanding and remembering this. . The curriculum is not successfully adapted for pupils with SEND. Leaders should ensure that teachers are given the appropriate guidance on how to meet the needs of every pupil they teach. The SENCo should have time and opportunity to advise teachers. This is a pivotal role for the college and, as such, this leader should be able to contribute to strategic discussions. . Too few pupils obtain qualifications in modern foreign languages because of the prevailing attitude among leaders and teachers that language learning is too hard, or not relevant. Leaders should ensure that pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND, receive effective teaching in languages, and are encouraged to persist with their language learning. . Leaders have reduced absence and persistent absence so that rates are close to the national average. They need to increase the focus on the attendance of disadvantaged pupils and pupils with education, health and care plans (EHCPs), when their attendance is below average. In addition, leaders should assure themselves that these pupils participate in the extra-curricular opportunities that the college provides. . Leaders and trustees have not fully understood their responsibility to ensure that pupils who attend alterative provision access a safe and suitable placement. Leaders have not made initial safeguarding checks, nor checked that pupils are safe and that they are receiving an appropriate education. This extends to the monitoring of pupils’ attendance and ensuring that pupils benefit from a broad and balanced, well-planned curriculum which gives due regard for their personal development. Leaders must ensure that this is done as an immediate priority.