Knutsford Academy

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About Knutsford Academy


Name Knutsford Academy
Website http://www.knutsfordacademy.org.uk/
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Address Bexton Road, Knutsford, WA16 0EA
Phone Number 01565633294
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1200 (47.8% boys 52.3% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.4
Academy Sponsor The Learning Alliance
Local Authority Cheshire East
Percentage Free School Meals 11.70%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.5%
Persistent Absence 6.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 6.6%
Highlights from Latest Inspection
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.

Main findings

Most students really like this school. They attend well, enjoy their learning, participate fully in the life of the school and in a wealth of additional activities and say they feel extremely safe.

They also make good progress in their learning. The attainment of students joining the school is very slightly above average. By the time students complete Key Stage 4, many attainment indicators are significantly above average.

The wide range of experiences provided, the positive school ethos and the opportunities that students have to engage with moral and ethical issues ensure that their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. The school's examination results at GCSE ha...ve improved considerably since the school was previously inspected. Most teaching is now at least good.

Teachers set clear learning objectives and frequently provide opportunities for students to assess their own and each other's work. Planning often includes different activities to suit differing abilities, but inspectors agreed with leaders and managers that there is a need to increase the range of strategies that teachers use to provide different routes to success in each lesson. Students are set realistic and aspirational targets.

While most students can describe what they need to do to improve in different subjects, many are not confident about being able to reach their aspirational targets. Termly assessments in most subjects are not frequent enough to enable students and their parents and carers to monitor progress robustly. In contrast, the good assessment practice in English, where nearly all marked work is linked to attainment levels, is very much appreciated by students.

The curriculum provides an excellent range of learning opportunities to suit all needs. There are many innovative elements, such as the integrated, task-based curriculum in Key Stage 3 and the inclusion of extended project work at Key Stage 4. Effective partnerships, developed with several other educational providers, have also facilitated a very flexible provision both at Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form.

This allows students with a wide range of aptitudes and abilities to be successful. The effectiveness of the school's care, guidance and support is exceptional, with ample evidence of persistent and well-coordinated work involving a range of agencies to support students and their families experiencing challenging circumstances. The school's leadership arrangements, thoughtfully developed by the principal, are effective in engaging staff at all levels.

Commitment to improvement is high, opportunities for professional development are used well and staff enjoy working at the school. Partnerships with organisations beyond the school are providing excellent opportunities for the further development of leadership and management. Self-evaluation is detailed and elaborate and the school has a good understanding of strengths and areas for development.

The school's encouragement of innovation at all levels means that there are many initiatives being developed across the school, often arising from evaluation of the work of individual subject areas. The subjects linked to the school's specialism have been particularly influential in developing teaching and learning and generating ideas such as the use of 'green pen' for literacy marking. The impact of innovation and improvement is reduced, however, by the pursuit of too many changes in different subject areas and key stages at the same time.

The good progress made since the previous inspection and the unity of purpose of the extended leadership team, indicate that the capacity for further improvement is good.

Information about the school

Knutsford High School is a larger than average school serving the town of Knutsford and surrounding areas. The school is also popular with parents and carers in a neighbouring local authority who choose Knutsford as the nearest comprehensive school, meaning that a good number of the school's students travel from considerably further afield.

The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is below average, while the proportion of students from minority ethnic groups is average. The proportions of students who speak English as an additional language, and of those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, are both below average. The proportion of students who join the school other than in Year 7 is much higher than average; the school attracts students from other schools, often into Year 9, Year 10 or to join the sixth form.

The school operates on two sites about half a mile apart, with students in Years 7 and 8 being based on the smaller site for almost all of their learning. The school has specialist status as a humanities college with English as the lead subject and history and geography as subsidiary subjects. It has gained the International Schools Award, Artsmark Gold and the Inclusion Quality Mark.

Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms