Crown Hills Community College

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About Crown Hills Community College

Name Crown Hills Community College
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr F Adam
Address Gwendolen Road, Leicester, LE5 5FT
Phone Number 01162736893
Phase Secondary
Type Community school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1491
Local Authority Leicester
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Short inspection of Crown Hills Community College

Following my visit to the school on 1 May 2019 with Ofsted Inspectors Karen Hayes and Stephen Long, I write on behalf of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the second short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be good in May 2012. This school continues to be good.

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. The culture of the school is very positive, open and welcoming. The values which underpin all aspects of the school's provision – aspiration, commitment and success – have been instrumental in sust...aining the success of the school.

They are also exhibited in the positive morale of staff and the excellent conduct of pupils in lessons and around the school site. Pupils are happy and proud to be part of the school's harmonious community and report that they feel well looked after. The school environment is stimulating and well maintained.

Your determined leadership of the school is respected and valued by staff and parents alike. Together with the commitment of the leadership team and governors, you are highly aspirational for the school and ambitious in enabling pupils to reach high standards. You are also mindful of the well-being of staff.

Your evaluation of the school is accurate and your plans to address the areas that need further improvement are well prioritised. Governors share your determination to ensure that the school's provision fully meets pupils' learning and welfare needs. They say that they have been 'reinvigorated' by the school's current leadership.

Governors are well informed, proactive and use their skills to challenge senior leaders and hold them to account. The previous inspection challenged leaders to increase the proportion of pupils securing higher grades at GCSE. Leaders and staff have risen to this challenge and expectations of conduct and learning are high across the school.

Specific attention has been focused on the effective planning and delivery of the curriculum in enabling pupils to make consistently good progress. Opportunities for the professional development of staff have been well received. Staff say that they are appreciative of the opportunities to plan and share effective practice within a climate of trust and support.

As a consequence of leaders' work to improve the quality of teaching and learning, pupils' overall progress by the end of key stage 4 has improved and, in 2018, was above average. The progress made by girls and by low and middle ability pupils was strong in most subjects. In 2018, disadvantaged pupils also made good progress across most areas of the curriculum, particularly in option subjects.

These high standards have been maintained and inspectors' observations of learning and scrutiny of pupils' work supports leaders' analysis of the performance of current pupils in key stage 4. The progress made by boys and the most able pupils, however, is not as strong. While this is improving for current pupils, you recognise that there is more to be done to ensure that these pupils achieve at the higher levels of which they are capable.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are making better progress compared to previous years. You have also reviewed the school's curriculum and have taken decisive action to ensure the breadth of pupils' learning experiences by returning to a three-year key stage 3 programme. You have maintained the school's commitment to sport and physical activity in support of promoting pupils' healthy lifestyles.

Along with governors, you have also recognised that the proportion of pupils entered for the suite of subjects that comprise the English Baccalaureate are low. You have acted to address this, particularly in encouraging a higher uptake of languages than has been the case in previous years. It is too soon to see the impact of these emerging actions on pupils' outcomes at the end of key stage 4.

Pupils have plentiful opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities. They say that they appreciate these opportunities, which add to the distinctiveness of the school's culture. Examples include a wide variety of musical groups, including choir and jazz band, and sports such as basketball, tennis and badminton.

Pupils report that cricket is especially popular. Some pupils reported to inspectors that they only participate in these activities because they are offered in school. Pupils, particularly those with SEND, enjoy success in taking part in Boccia competitions.

The school's regular 'success' newsletter demonstrates the enjoyment pupils have in learning from these opportunities for wider engagement and enrichment. Safeguarding is effective. The leadership of safeguarding is effective, and you have ensured that the policies and procedures for keeping pupils safe contain the latest government guidance.

Leaders with responsibility for safeguarding pupils ensure that their record-keeping is diligent and detailed. Effective processes are in place to follow up issues as they arise in a timely and appropriate way. School leaders work well with a range of external agencies, including healthcare services and local police liaison officers, to make sure that pupils at risk of harm are kept safe.

Pupils told inspectors that they feel safe and well cared for in school. They know who they can talk to if they have any worries or concerns and this information is also displayed prominently in school. You have invested in counselling services to ensure that pupils receive the specific care and support they need.

Pupils also report that bullying is rare and that they are confident any occurrence would be swiftly dealt with. The curriculum provides many opportunities for pupils to learn how to keep healthy and stay safe. These include visits from external speakers on issues such as substance abuse, online safety, gang culture and knife crime.

During the inspection, for example, pupils listened intently during an assembly provided by the local police liaison officer about the impact of knife crime on the local community. Appropriate checks are made on all staff and volunteers to ensure that they are suitably vetted to work with young people. You have ensured that regular training is provided to keep staff updated on procedures and potential safeguarding risks.

Consequently, all staff understand what to do if they have a concern about a pupil's well-being. Inspection findings ? Leaders have implemented a well-considered and effective programme for careers education in support of pupils' personal development. Pupils have access to specialist and impartial careers advice, particularly those pupils who are vulnerable or are attending off-site education provision.

All pupils participate in work experience during Year 10. As a result, a high proportion of pupils secure places in further education or training by the end of key stage 4. Leaders continue to work on strengthening engagement with local education providers and employers so that pupils are well informed about the options open to them throughout their time at school.

• Teaching is well planned and teachers have good subject knowledge. They use this to question pupils and probe their understanding effectively. This was observed in a mathematics lesson about simplification, for example.

Pupils' attitudes to learning are positive and they enjoy good relationships with staff. Older pupils told one inspector that they believe that their teachers care about how well they do and provide additional help when required. Pupils are engaged and motivated.

They follow instructions from their teachers promptly. The implementation of the school's 'bright sparks' initiative is increasingly helping pupils to think more deeply and independently about their learning. For example, in one art lesson, pupils were thoughtfully engaged in their evaluation of the geometric styles presented by two established painters.

Their careful thinking enabled them to complete a piece of extended writing on this topic. On occasion, however, the progress made by some pupils is slowed because they lack confidence in their understanding and application of subject-specific vocabulary in their written work and during discussions, particularly at key stage 3. ? Leaders have taken decisive action to improve levels of attendance and are ambitious to improve this further.

They have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that pupils attend well. The overall proportion of pupils absent from school has reduced and is now below that seen nationally. Levels of attendance have particularly improved for disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND.

The proportion of pupils regularly absent from school has also begun to reduce. Leaders recognise and continue to work on improving attendance of a small proportion of pupils whose attendance remains stubbornly low. ? The leadership of the provision for pupils with SEND is strong and effective.

As a result of closer support for pupils and a curriculum which is better tailored to their needs, these pupils are now making stronger progress than has been the case in previous years. Engagement with parents and external agencies is firmly established. Arrangements for transition into Year 7 and pupil placements beyond key stage 4 are particularly effective.

The additional funding for disadvantaged pupils is appropriately allocated. Leaders recognise that their strategy for the use of this funding is at an early stage of implementation and it is too early to fully evaluate its impact on pupils' outcomes. Despite this, disadvantaged pupils are attending and achieving well overall.

Next steps for the school Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that: ? boys and the most able pupils are consistently challenged to make the stronger progress of which they are capable by the end of key stage 4 ? pupils' confidence and competence in their use of subject-specific vocabulary is further developed in written tasks and discussion activities, particularly at key stage 3. I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children's services for Leicester. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.

Yours sincerely Chris Stevens Her Majesty's Inspector Information about the inspection During the inspection, inspectors spoke with you and other senior school leaders and governors. Discussions were held with leaders responsible for the curriculum and the quality of teaching and learning. Meetings were also held with the school's coordinators for pupils with SEND and for careers education.

Inspectors also met with a small group of representative staff. A discussion also took place with the school's designated safeguarding lead. The school's arrangements for safeguarding were scrutinised, including record-keeping, staff training, and the checks made on the recruitment of staff.

Inspectors also looked at records of behaviour and attendance and reviewed a range of documentary evidence. These included the school's self-evaluation, improvement planning, school policies and information about pupils' current attainment and progress. Inspectors visited 15 parts of lessons across a range of subjects at key stages 3 and 4, tutor time and an assembly.

A sample of pupils' work was also examined across a range of subjects in Years 8 and 10. Discussions were held with three groups of pupils. Inspectors also observed pupils and staff following school procedures during an unexpected fire evacuation.

The lead inspector considered the views of 10 parents through their responses to Parent View, Ofsted's online survey. He also considered the 26 parent survey responses collected by school leaders. There were no responses to Ofsted's pupil or staff surveys.

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