Monk’s Walk School

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About Monk’s Walk School

Name Monk’s Walk School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Matt Grinyer
Address Knightsfield, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 7NL
Phone Number 01707322846
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1394
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Monk's Walk School continues to be a good school.The headteacher of this school is Matt Grinyer.

This school is the only school in Monk's Walk Academy Trust. The trust is overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Carole Pomfret.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy attending school.

They learn in an environment where positive relationships help everyone flourish. Pupils work hard to achieve the high expectations their teachers have for them. Pupils appreciate that they are supported to do their best and their successes are celebrated.

This ensures that pupils feel safe to challenge themselves and, consequently, achieve well.

There are a w...ide range of opportunities to develop pupils' interests and talents. Pupils value playing in a sports team, representing their house or being part of the orchestra.

They celebrate these with the same enthusiasm as they do their academic achievements.

Pupils are well behaved, polite and respectful. Their pride in their school is evident.

They warmly welcome visitors and show off their and others' successes. Pupils understand and celebrate difference. They know that difference is never a reason to be unkind, which means this kind of behaviour is rarely seen.

Sixth-form students value the expertise of their teachers. Students appreciate how this encourages a deeper understanding of complex concepts. They feel privileged to take on the role of positive role models for other pupils.

They are a visible and respected presence around the school.

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

The school has designed an aspirational curriculum that identifies what pupils should know and be able to do at defined moments in time. Subject specialists have broken this knowledge into small, manageable steps.

Leaders carefully consider the order in which each area of the curriculum is planned and taught. This ensures that teachers know precisely what pupils should know and when. Pupils successfully build on learning they already know and remember.

Training ensures that teachers understand how to deliver the curriculum as planned. In most cases, teachers present information clearly. Modelled examples support pupils to understand how to structure their responses.

Questioning checks pupils' understanding and helps teachers to know if pupils are ready to move on. This means that pupils are able to access learning activities with confidence. These activities help pupils secure knowledge and apply it to different situations.

Teachers expect pupils to be accurate when talking about their learning. In most cases, pupils meet these expectations using correct subject-specific language and conventions to explain what they know and remember. However, these expectations, on occasion, are less consistent for written work.

Pupils are not always expected to use the structures for written responses set out by the teacher that will support pupils to do this well. This means that, sometimes, pupils' written responses are not precise enough to explain the depth of their thinking. Pupils are not always expected to detail how they have reached answers or conclusions.

Consequently, what pupils have learned, or the depth of their understanding is not always clear.

The school has prioritised reading. Pupils are encouraged to read from a wide and increasingly challenging range of texts.

Sixth-form students act as reading ambassadors for Year 7 pupils. For pupils who struggle with their reading, there is a well-planned intervention programme. This support addresses specifically identified barriers to reading.

The targeted nature means that pupils catch up if they struggle with their reading. Pupils become confident and fluent readers.

The school has high ambition for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The student support centre provides vulnerable pupils with a welcoming and nurturing space. The SEND team is highly trained. Staff use this training to identify pupils' individual barriers to learning.

They provide teachers with strategies to support pupils well. Teaching is planned to take account of pupils' needs. Consequently, pupils with SEND access the same curriculum and successfully progress alongside their peers.

Sixth-form students are knowledgeable and articulate. They produce work of extremely high quality. Students understand why it is important to contribute and they actively do.

Younger pupils look up to them as role models. This helps foster the school's academic ambition. The support students provide is valued and appreciated, particularly by the youngest pupils.

The personal, social and health education programme is well planned. It develops pupils' understanding of important issues in an age-appropriate way. Pupils talk positively and knowledgeably about what they have learned about different cultures and faiths.

There is a wide extra-curricular programme. There are extremely high take-up rates, including for pupils with SEND.

Staff are proud to work at the school.

They feel leaders consider their workload. They are supportive of leaders and trustees and feel part of a community where their views are valued and acted on.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• There are inconsistencies in the expectations of how pupils explain what they have learned in their written work. In some subjects, teachers do not always ensure that pupils explain fully how, for example, they have reached their final conclusion using subject-specific knowledge and vocabulary. This means that the written work of some pupils does not demonstrate that pupils are deepening their knowledge and understanding in a curriculum area.

The school should ensure that, in individual subjects, teachers precisely determine the expectations for explaining learning through written communication. This will enable pupils to consistently show the detail and depth of what they know and remember.


When we have judged good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good June 2014.

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