Kelmscott School

Name Kelmscott School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 14 January 2020
Address Markhouse Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 8DN
Phone Number 02085212115
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 838 (62% boys 38% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 13.9
Local Authority Waltham Forest
Percentage Free School Meals 16.8%
Percentage English is Not First Language 47.6%
Persisitent Absence 19%
Pupils with SEN Support 11%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No


Kelmscott School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils and teachers openly welcome visitors into their school. They are proud of what they achieve here. Pupils and teachers are fully committed to the school’s motto of ‘putting learning first’.

The new headteacher and his team have high expectations for all. This is clear from leaders’ two non-negotiable rules. Pupils said that these rules have improved behaviour considerably. In most subjects, pupils focus well and are keen to improve their knowledge. During breaktimes, pupils enjoy socialising with each other. They get along well and behave sensibly.

Pupils learn particularly well in English and modern foreign languages. This is because leaders plan what pupils need to learn carefully. Teachers design lessons which introduce new content in a logical order. They make sure that pupils have the necessary knowledge to understand more complex ideas.

Pupils feel safe. Leaders and staff work hard to minimise any risks to pupils, both in and out of school. Pupils told me that bullying is not a problem. Leaders deal with any incidents swiftly and carefully. Staff are present at the school gates to ensure that the day starts and ends calmly. Pupils know who to talk to if they have any concerns about their safety. They value the support that staff provide.

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

Leaders have a clear and ambitious vision for all pupils. They know their school and pupils well. They have accurately identified the school’s strengths and weaknesses. Leaders and staff work together to remove any barriers to pupils’ learning. They aim to ensure that pupils have every opportunity to fulfil their potential.

In Years 7 to 9, all pupils study national curriculum subjects. Most subjects are planned so that pupils develop a deep understanding of the concepts they learn. This ensures thatpupils are well prepared to begin studying formal qualifications. Pupils choose from a wide range of options in Years 10 and 11. For example, the school offers GCSEs in engineering and Latin. Pupils receive effective guidance on what subjects they should choose. Staff make sure that pupils’ choices reflect their future aspirations. Leaders make sure that the EBacc suite of subjects is an option for all. Year 12 students study a personalised programme including mathematics and English. The courses enable students to move on to further education colleges of their choice.

Subject planning contains clear goals for what pupils should learn. In modern foreign languages, for example, planning sets out exactly how leaders expect pupils to develop their knowledge over time. Pupils confidently explained how teaching builds on what they already know. In English too, teaching is sharply focused on making sure that pupils learn what leaders expect. This ensures that pupils achieve highly.

Leaders are improving how mathematics and science are planned and taught. Although further work is needed, leaders’ actions have strengthened the quality of pupils’ learning in mathematics. Teaching is designed to help pupils build their existing knowledge progressively. This is increasing pupils’ confidence in their mathematical ability. Nevertheless, some teaching overlooks the importance of making sure that pupils grasp new ideas securely. Leaders’ work to strengthen science is not as far forward as in mathematics. Pupils study appropriately ambitious topics. However, some teaching is not focused enough on preparing pupils for their future learning. This holds pupils back from deepening their knowledge as they progress from one year to the next.

In most lessons, pupils behave well. This includes in the sixth form. Pupils know what teachers expect of them. In science, however, pupils’ attitudes to learning are not as positive as they should be. Sometimes, pupils lose interest in tasks and distract others. Adults do not expect pupils to refocus promptly on their work. This also hinders pupils from achieving to the best of their abilities in this subject.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are supported well here. These pupils access the full range of subjects on offer. Extra help is tailored to pupils’ needs and ensures that they understand what they learn. Parents and carers were very positive about the support their children receive.

In all year groups, pupils access a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Examples include musical productions, ‘eco club’, athletics and regular outings. In addition, all pupils take part in a ‘tutor programme’. This includes studying topics on mental health and being a responsible citizen. Leaders are keen to strengthen the quality of this programme further. Pupils’ wider development is a clear priority for the leadership team.

Parents and staff praise the school’s leadership. Teachers appreciate the ethos of support and team spirit. Parents, staff and pupils complimented the school’s warm and inclusive atmosphere.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders work relentlessly to protect pupils, both in and outside of school. The safeguarding team has detailed knowledge of the needs of the pupils they support. Leaders waste no time in following up concerns. They work with a range of external agencies to support pupils and their families effectively.

The programme for pupils’ personal, social, health and economic education reflects pupils’ needs and the potential risks in the wider community. Leaders update the programme regularly in response to any concerns they identify. Staff take a proactive approach to educating pupils about safeguarding issues, including those in the local area.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Pupils achieve well in most subjects. However, they are capable of achieving more in science and mathematics. Teaching is not sharply focused on ensuring that pupils learn and remember what they have been taught, particularly in science. Pupils sometimes struggle to draw on their prior learning when they study new concepts. Leaders should ensure that teaching enables pupils to build and deepen their knowledge step by step. They should develop teachers’ expertise in using and adapting subject planning. . Leaders have high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. Pupils typically try hard to meet these expectations. In science, however, pupils’ attitudes are not as strong as they could be. This gets in the way of them learning well. Leaders and staff should ensure that pupils behave as well in science lessons as they do in other subjects.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good. This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection. Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged Kelmscott School to be good on 24–25 May 2016.