Fir Vale School

Name Fir Vale School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 06 March 2019
Address Owler Lane, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S4 8GB
Phone Number 01142439391
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1024 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.3
Academy Sponsor Fir Vale School Academy Trust
Local Authority Sheffield
Percentage Free School Meals 49.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 75%
Persisitent Absence 34.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 24.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school is larger than the average-sized secondary school. The proportion of pupils supported by the pupil premium is high. Almost all pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is high. The proportion of pupils with SEND is above average. Half the pupils are of Pakistani heritage. The proportion of pupils of Slovakian Roma heritage has increased to one third. A high proportion of pupils arrive or leave the school at other than the normal times. The previous headteacher started in September 2017 and resigned at the end of September 2018. A new headteacher took up post in November 2018. The school uses six alternative providers: Endeavour, Hadfield, Sheffield College, Yassy, GTA, Becton and Pathways.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement The school is recovering well from the shock of a critical incident. The new headteacher and staff have worked effectively to establish a calm and orderly environment. This has been achieved through necessarily high levels of supervision and exclusion. Leaders are raising standards of behaviour and tightening school procedures. However, the school has not yet established good behaviour. More needs to be done to promote the school’s values and expectations to raise pupils’ aspirations. Attendance is low and too many pupils are persistently absent. The curriculum does not make effective enough provision for low-attaining pupils and those with weak basic skills in English language and literacy. Leaders have plans to improve this. The quality of teaching is inconsistent. A few teachers do not manage behaviour in classrooms effectively enough. Some lessons do not meet the needs of the most able and least able. The quality of teachers’ feedback varies so some pupils do not know how to improve. Standards of presentation in pupils’ work are not consistently good. Subject leaders are not equally effective in ensuring good teaching and learning and good progress by pupils. In 2018, the GCSE outcomes were below average because the most and least able did not make enough progress. The governing body and school leaders have not engaged successfully enough with parents to support the education of Slovakian Roma pupils. The school has the following strengths The new headteacher has brought about rapid improvement in the standards of behaviour. She leads by example and has won the confidence of pupils, staff and governors. Leaders know what to do to improve teaching and the curriculum and are acting quickly to bring this about.