John Willmott School

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About John Willmott School

Name John Willmott School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Nicola Gould
Address Reddicap Heath Road, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7DY
Phone Number 01213781946
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 924
Local Authority Birmingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum with personal development running through its heart. 'Turning potential into reality' is the motto that staff live by.

The school has a set of well-established routines, including a strong focus on making pupils feel welcome when they arrive.

Lessons are purposeful and clearly structured. Pupils know what to expect and generally behave well.

They show positive attitudes to their learning. Pupils are respectful and courteous in discussion. There is a sense of pride among pupils.

They can see that the school has improved rapidly in recent years.

Pupils enjoy a wide range of opportunities for ...personal development. Character lessons, assemblies and form times are designed to help them understand the school's 'moral virtues'.

Pupils talk positively about these and how they are praised. There are numerous clubs for pupils to be involved in, for example chess and drama, and a range of sports take place throughout the school day.

Staff know the pupils well.

The school has put systems in place to capture pupils' views and concerns. Pupils feel supported and safe. Pupils say that staff take issues seriously and deal with problems that arise.

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

Leaders at all levels ensure that curriculum planning is ambitious for all pupils. The school benefits from the work of the trust. Pupils' learning is carefully sequenced.

Teachers have a strong understanding of their subject and the important knowledge that they want pupils to learn.

Pupils experience an effectively delivered curriculum that helps them to know and remember more. While published outcomes are low, the impact of the curriculum seen by inspectors on the progress that pupils are making shows a different picture.

Pupils can make clear links to prior knowledge across a range of subjects. Their work shows that they use prior learning to do more difficult things. However, on some occasions, teachers move pupils on to new learning before their knowledge has been checked.

This leads to gaps in pupils' understanding and, at times, misconceptions developing.

Those pupils at an early stage of reading get the support they need. Carefully considered assessment is used to decide on the right interventions.

This support helps them access all subjects in the curriculum. As a result, these pupils catch up with their peers. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are taught the same ambitious curriculum as their peers.

However, there is variability in how well teachers adapt the curriculum for these pupils. Leaders are aware of this and are receiving support from the trust to improve the provision for pupils with SEND.

The school has raised expectations of behaviour.

Pupils talk about these changes very positively and how these have improved their experience of school. Most pupils behave well. The school is working with pupils who fail to meet expectations.

The pastoral team helps pupils to understand the reasons why they find self-regulation hard. This support is continually developing. Trained staff support pupils with specific needs.

This involves helping them to transition back into class after time out. However, some staff do not consistently follow the behaviour management expectations. As a result, some pupils do not understand how to respond to what is expected of them.

Reducing absence has been a focus for leaders. They have put a lot of effort into raising the attendance of those pupils who are absent frequently. As a result, pupils' attendance has improved.

Attendance is still lower than national, but the school is doing all it can.

Pupils are specifically taught the eight 'moral virtues'. These are included in the work of the school.

The personal development curriculum is responsive to the need of the pupils. It takes account of the issues they may face in their day-to-day lives. Pupils learn about topics in an age-appropriate way in their weekly lessons and during form time.

For example, they discuss consent, fundamental British values and mental health in ways which help them beyond school.

Careers education is well planned and sequenced carefully for pupils. The school understands their needs and when they will need support to make informed decisions.

Leaders have a strong understanding of destinations data and make use of this. As a result, pupils get appropriate information about the range of options they have when they finish Year 11. Pupils are prepared well for their next steps.

Trustees and advocates understand how the school needs to improve. They receive clear information about leaders' actions. They focus particularly on work to support pupils with SEND, pupils who speak English as an additional language and disadvantaged pupils.

Leaders at all levels know that the current entry level for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is low. The school has changed the options process in Year 9 to increase entries.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The adaptations for some pupils with SEND are not based well enough on their needs in lessons. Consequently, they do not always get the help they need to access the ambitious curriculum on offer. The school needs to ensure that all teachers carefully adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of pupils with SEND, and put these in place in each lesson in order to help pupils with SEND to access the full curriculum well.

• Pupils' understanding is not always checked well enough before moving on to the next part of the curriculum. As a result, pupils have gaps in their knowledge or misconceptions. Leaders at all levels should ensure that teachers check pupils' understanding consistently well in order to enable pupils to build knowledge more effectively over time.

• The high expectations set for pupils' behaviour are not implemented consistently across the school. Some pupils do not cooperate with the routines in place well enough and therefore struggle to engage with their learning. The school needs to ensure that routines are well understood by staff and pupils.

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