Future Academies Watford

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About Future Academies Watford

Name Future Academies Watford
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Sam Fox
Address Horseshoe Lane, Garston, Watford, WD25 7HW
Phone Number 01923672964
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1123
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Many pupils at Future Academies Watford behave well around school and in lessons.

However, there are a significant minority who do not. This impacts the learning of others.

Most pupils achieve well and enjoy their learning.

Despite this, the individual needs of a significant proportion of pupils, particularly those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are not supported well. This hampers their progress.

While behaviour in many lessons is calm, there is some low-level disruption.

Where this happens, pupils find it difficult to learn. When bullying occurs, staff deal with it quickly. Pupils are generally respectful to eac...h other.

However, some use derogatory language. Leaders address this issue, but it persists within the school community.

Pupils access a wide variety of relevant activities across the arts, sports and music.

Visitors talk to pupils about issues such as racism. Many pupils respond to incentives that are in place, such as badges for accumulating positive points. Pupils wear their badges with pride.

Sixth-form students are well prepared for their next steps through the support provided by staff. Students demonstrate mature approaches to learning and are good role models. For instance, they volunteer to support younger pupils to read.

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

Leaders and the trust provide a clear vision for the school. They have started to make improvements to the curriculum. The positive changes are better established in some subjects than in others.

With trust support, leaders have been able to set out what pupils should learn and when they should learn it. Leaders have introduced a standard format to lessons across all subject areas. This approach, while consistent, does not routinely encourage teaching which supports learning for all pupils' needs.

As the curriculum is new, leaders have not reviewed what works well and what needs to be better.

Leaders have developed the curriculum to improve the provision in modern foreign languages. This is supporting more pupils to study the core subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate (English, mathematics, science, history or geography and a language at GCSE).

Many pupils have gaps in their knowledge and understanding. These pupils are not able to make connections to apply to new learning. While work has been done to identify individual needs more accurately, this is still in the early stages of development.

Too many pupils with SEND do not access a curriculum that meets their needs. They are not making the progress they should.

The sixth form is different.

Leaders have ensured that the curriculum is ambitious. It is adapted to the needs of all students, including those students with SEND. Lessons are well planned.

Teachers revisit prior learning and then build students' knowledge from a secure base. Students have positive attitudes towards their studies and talk positively about how they are supported well by teachers.

Pupils who are struggling to read do not get the right support.

Teachers read to pupils during lessons. However, pupils are not given enough opportunity to read for themselves. For those pupils who struggle to read, books are not well matched to their reading knowledge.

This is impacting on how well pupils access the curriculum.

A significant proportion of pupils' conduct falls below the required standard. Where this happens, pupils' learning is disrupted.

Leaders identify that behaviour requires improvement. They have implemented a range of behaviour systems. While leaders' expectations around behaviour for learning are much higher than they previously were, they are not efficiently using the information that the new systems are providing them with.

This is partly demonstrated by the high number of fixed-term exclusions within the school. Additionally, although leaders have put strategies into place to improve attendance following the pandemic, levels of persistent absence remain high.

Leaders have a well-sequenced and age-appropriate provision which effectively develops pupils' personal development.

Lessons, assemblies and external visitors support pupils to understand the wider world. Pupils learn about different cultures and religions. They learn to respect differences.

Pupils engage well with the wide range of opportunities leaders provide. They take part in trips and visits, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and learn to play musical instruments. The careers education programme provides pupils with effective guidance to support their next steps.

Teachers value the training and opportunities to share practice with each other. They say that leaders are considerate of their workload and well-being.

Governors understand their specific roles and how these fit into the trust's governance structure.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have ensured that all staff have received training and fully understand their responsibilities regarding safeguarding. Staff are confident and clear in reporting safeguarding concerns.

Governors regularly review and evaluate systems in place, which ensures they carry out their statutory duties.

Appropriate checks are carried out on new staff before they work in the school.Leaders' 'respect' initiative provides a channel for pupils to report concerns.

Leaders work with other agencies where needed.

Pupils are aware of how to stay safe through assemblies, lessons and external visitors. They are supported through age-appropriate contexts.

Leaders have responded quickly to support pupils as local needs have arisen.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The needs of pupils with SEND are not currently well met. Leaders must continue to develop the curriculum and provide training to staff to ensure that adaptations can be made to meet the needs of individual pupils.

This will enable pupils with SEND to build their knowledge and skills so they successfully access the curriculum and achieve well. ? Support for those who struggle to read is not effective. Pupils are not given opportunities to improve their reading knowledge.

Pupils struggle to access the rest of the curriculum. Leaders need to develop a systematic phonics-based programme to support pupils with the knowledge that they need to become fluent readers. This in turn will improve pupils' opportunities to learn well in the rest of the curriculum.

• While leaders have recently reviewed their approach to behaviour management, the information they are gathering from the reviewed systems that they have put in place is not improving all behaviours. For example, there is a significant proportion of pupils that exhibit behaviours that are unacceptable. Leaders need to look closely at the information they gather and use this more rigorously to improve behaviours across the school.

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