|Name||Lantern of Knowledge Secondary School|
|Address||30-36 Lindley Road, Leyton, London, E10 6QT|
|Number of Pupils||94 (100% boys)|
|Local Authority||Waltham Forest|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||1.1%|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils feel safe and are happy as members of their small school community. They are kept safe through leaders’ effective safeguarding routines. Typically, pupils behave well, showing respect to each other and to adults. When misdemeanours and disagreements occur, including rare instances of bullying, these are sorted out swiftly. Pupils show a clear social and moral purpose, raising funds for those less fortunate than themselves. They show regard for people with different characteristics and who live different lifestyles. They understand the legal rights that these people enjoy and understand where this is different to their own faith beliefs.
Leaders are ambitious for the number of good GCSE grades that pupils gain. However, some of the study programmes followed by pupils in key stages 3 and 4 are not organised well enough. The few pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are not identified accurately. The headteacher has made a positive start in improving some aspects of school life, but he and governors have more to do to improve the quality of the curriculum provided for pupils.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
All seven areas of learning required by the independent school standards are covered in key stage 3. All pupils follow the same GCSE courses.
The quality of the curriculum in subjects is variable. The strengths in English, science and geography are not reflected in some of the other areas. Schemes of work in some subjects are detailed and bespoke to the school, but in some subjects they are not fit for purpose. In art, the same work is given to pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. Similarly, in physical education (PE), the same planning is used for Years 10 and 11, as it is for Years 7, 8 and 9. The computing curriculum plan consists solely of downloaded overviews from the internet.
Teachers are suitably qualified and have sound subject knowledge. Working relationships in the classroom are positive. Pupils display good attitudes to learning and are eager to ask as well as answer questions. The headteacher has introduced a new assessment framework, based on ‘assessment objectives’ for every lesson. However, in some subjects these are based on the activities that pupils are expected to complete, rather than the knowledge they are expected to learn.
Each day starts with hifz (the memorisation of the Koran). ‘Islamic Studies’ has been replaced with learning of ‘Islamic Rituals’. However, pupils have limited knowledge of broader events in World and British history to aid their understanding of, for example, the literature that they study in English lessons. School leaders intend to introduce history as a curriculum subject.
Leaders decided to close the school library in September 2020 because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. For similar reasons, the school’s ‘reading for pleasure’ strategy has yet to get off the ground. Nevertheless, pupils are given lists of suggested and appropriate books to take out of the public library.
Leaders do not do enough to identify, provide for and monitor the small number of pupils with SEND. Schemes of work and classroom teaching do not pay sufficient heed to these pupils. Although the school now has a generic SEND policy, it is not tailored to the school or applied in practice. Other policies do not give enough consideration to the needs of pupils with SEND.
Some aspects of provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education are well developed. Links are made with other faith groups. Charity work is strong, and pupils have mature consideration for those in greater need than themselves. Opportunities are provided, for example, for pupils to sing nasheeds (Islamic songs) in assemblies, and take part in events such as the Shakespeare Festival at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Suitable careers advice is provided for pupils. The school has started to develop its policy for relationships and sex education, piloting commercially produced resources that approach this subject from a faith perspective. Pupils have well-informed understanding of key topics such as consent, peer-on-peer pressure and online behaviour. The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
The school building, while cramped, is well maintained and clean. It meets all premises standards. The school makes use of a local park for physical activities at breaktime. These are well supervised, including appropriate arrangements for first aid. A local sports centre is used for PE lessons. The centre provides suitable changing and showering facilities. Pupils walk to these venues. They are well behaved as they travel, and suitable risk assessments are in place.
The headteacher joined the school, having successfully led another independent school as proprietor and headteacher. Since his appointment, with the support of the deputy headteacher, he has updated a number of key policies and practices. Some policies are very new and have minimal adaptation from their models. As such, most meet the relevant standards but would benefit from tailoring more closely to the school’s individual circumstances. During this inspection, further updates were made to policies and to the school website, to ensure that information was readily available to parents and carers, as required. However, because of weaknesses with the school’s curriculum, leaders and governors have not ensured that the independent school standards have been met in full. However, school leaders have the capacity and capability to correct any regulatory failings that have been found.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Appropriate checks are made on all staff and trustees. These are logged accurately in the single central record. Safer recruitment practices have been strengthened to include an additional community reference for every new member of staff. Leaders place particular emphasis on ensuring that staff understand their responsibilities in respect of preventing potential radicalisation and extremism.
Staff receive regular training and reminders about their safeguarding duties. Staff and pupils know who to turn to if they have a concern and know how to keep themselves safe. Individual case files are kept efficiently. The headteacher and the designated safeguarding lead engage positively with the local authority, including with the designated officer for safeguarding and the ‘Prevent’ duty.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? Some subject schemes of work, including in PE, art and computing, do not show sufficient detail about what pupils are expected to learn during each year at the school. This means that pupils do not learn important knowledge and skills in an incrementally sequenced manner. Consequently, their acquisition of knowledge is not as strong as it should be in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that detailed, well-planned schemes of work are in place for every subject, showing exactly what knowledge pupils are expected to learn, term by term and year by year. ? Pupils’ SEND are not identified effectively, nor are these needs supported well enough. Leaders and teachers need to ensure that any SEND – regardless of the level of that need – are assessed thoroughly and accurately. They should also ensure that suitable support is given to ensure that these pupils are able to access the curriculum and make as much progress as their peers.