Meopham School

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About Meopham School

Name Meopham School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Glenn Prebble
Address Wrotham Road, Meopham, Gravesend, DA13 0AH
Phone Number 01474814646
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 989
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend this inclusive and positive school. They value the supportive and nurturing relationships they have with staff.

Leaders have high aspirations for pupils and make sure that all experience effective teaching overall.

The new headteacher and his leadership team have acted promptly to address the small minority of subjects that had lower results than most in the 2022 GCSE examinations. Current pupils in most subjects are now making effective progress through the planned curriculum.

Leaders identify well the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

These pupils are supported well through the ada...ptations that teachers make for them in lessons. In 'The Windmill' provision, pupils benefit from additional support. All pupils thrive due to the warm and supportive relationships with staff.

Leaders' high expectations of pupils' conduct ensures that behaviour is mostly calm and settled. Occasionally, a few pupils do not consistently meet these expectations.

Pupils enjoy the enrichment programme, which includes a range of clubs and the school magazine, 'The Meopham Monthly'.

They are proud to take on some of the leadership opportunities, such as sitting on the school council and, for sixth-form students, the chance to be 'reading leaders' and 'sports leaders'.

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

The new leadership team has put in place a range of effective steps which are having a positive impact on curriculum and behaviour. Leaders have re-established clear behaviour systems to ensure that pupils behave well.

This has had a demonstrably positive effect on behaviour in the school, and leaders continue to embed this practice to ensure that behaviour is of a consistently high standard across the school.

In most subjects, leaders have carefully constructed a curriculum that sequences the knowledge and skills that all pupils need to know, including for pupils with SEND. However, while leaders have begun to strengthen this in other areas, it is not yet fully embedded in all subjects.

In the vast majority of lessons, pupils are focused and engaged with their learning, although there are some where behaviour is less focused, such as where there are temporary staff. Generally, pupils ask and answer questions thoughtfully and grapple with increasingly complex ideas. Across subjects, staff have strong subject knowledge and give clear explanations of lesson content.

This was especially evident in teaching in the sixth form.

Overall, teachers check pupils' knowledge carefully, identifying misconceptions and ensuring that they adapt their explanations in order that pupils fully understand what they are being taught. However, on occasion, teachers do not take the opportunities to precisely check pupils' understanding before moving on to the next topic.

As a result, some pupils do not make effective progress through the planned curriculum in those subjects. In most subjects, pupils demonstrate a secure understanding of the knowledge and skills they are being taught at the time of learning. However, systems to ensure that pupils retain their learning in the long term are not yet fully in place.

Leaders have prioritised reading and provide specific support to pupils who struggle to read with fluency. Trained sixth-form students act as 'reading leaders' to support younger pupils in the school to develop their reading. Leaders are increasingly developing initiatives around reading for pleasure, which are beginning to have a positive impact on pupils' confidence and enjoyment of reading.

This continues to develop as the programme becomes more embedded.

Currently, some pupils' attendance is not high enough across the school, especially in the sixth form. Leaders have put in place increasingly rigorous systems to identify the barriers for pupils attending well.

Their work to address this is beginning to have a positive impact. However, this is still in its early stages.

Pupils benefit from an effective programme of study, which develops their personal, social, health and economic education.

This includes what the school calls the 'Meopham EBacc' (English Baccalaureate) in the sixth form. In the sixth form, leaders have recently developed more opportunities for students to become active citizens and engage with the local community, but the impact of these new initiatives is not yet evident. There is a well-considered careers programme in place, which helps all pupils to plan for their futures and understand their next steps.

Pupils value the career day fairs, as well as opportunities to talk to careers advisors to support them in making effective choices about their futures.

Senior and trust leaders have worked closely together to identify the areas for improvement and put in place appropriate actions. Trust leaders support and challenge leaders well.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is an embedded culture of safeguarding in the school. Staff receive training so that they know how to identify and refer pupils who might be at risk.

Leaders make timely referrals to seek support from appropriate agencies. They know their pupils well and keep detailed records of any concerns.

Leaders complete appropriate checks to ensure that adults who work in the school are safe to work with children.

Governors know their safeguarding responsibilities and hold leaders to account effectively. Leaders use the curriculum to teach pupils about keeping themselves safe, including an understanding of online risks.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Rates of absence, particularly of persistent absence, are too high.

As a result, not enough pupils attend well enough or benefit from the education the school provides. Leaders have identified the barriers to pupils attending well and actions to address these are starting to have a positive impact. Leaders need to continue to embed the systems and processes now in place and ensure that they are applied consistently so that more pupils attend well.

• A small minority of pupils still do not consistently meet the high standards that leaders have for behaviour. Leaders need to continue to embed their renewed behaviour policy. They must ensure that all staff understand and follow the expectations systematically and insist on the same high standards of behaviour throughout the school.

• Currently, some staff do not always know what knowledge pupils have remembered over time. This reduces the effectiveness of their planned learning activities. Leaders need to ensure that all staff have the knowledge to develop effective methods to ensure that all pupils, including those with SEND and those who are disadvantaged, can recall their knowledge in the long term and, in turn, secure the best possible outcomes.

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