Netherwood Academy

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About Netherwood Academy

Name Netherwood Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Jonny Mitchell
Address Dove Valley Way, Wombwell, Barnsley, S73 8FE
Phone Number 01226272000
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1204
Local Authority Barnsley
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This school is determined to improve the life chances of its pupils. Pupils feel safe at this school. They have good relationships with teachers and trust adults.

They learn to respect differences through the 'it stops now' campaign and have tolerant attitudes toward others. Pupils feel that bullying gets dealt with effectively when it occurs. Pupils and staff think that recent changes to behavioural policies and teaching have made a significant and positive difference.

The vast majority of pupils behave sensibly in lessons and around the school. They understand routines and expectations such as moving with 'pace and purpose' from one lesson to the next. Pupils that a...ttend school regularly make good progress through the curriculum.

They benefit from well-planned lessons and well-trained staff.

Some pupils do not attend regularly. Some pupils get suspended frequently.

These pupils do not make as much progress as they could.

Pupils have opportunities to become leaders and influence the school. For example, the school council has been instrumental in introducing a one-way system to improve lesson transition.

Prefects act as role models and support events such as coffee mornings for local residents. Pupils widen their cultural experiences through a range of trips and visits. For example, pupils have opportunities to attend bushcraft camps and trips to Spain and New York.

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

The school has developed a research-informed curriculum which is ambitious for all pupils. Pupils are taught how topics are relevant to the local area and wider world. They understand the importance of what they are studying.

Pupils can choose from a broad range of subjects at key stage 4 that suit their interests and ambitions.

The school now has a consistent approach to teaching and learning. Teachers use this approach to plan well-structured lessons.

Teachers assess pupils' understanding regularly in lessons and correct misconceptions. Although teaching is consistent, in a minority of lessons, it is not adapted sufficiently well to meet the needs of all pupils. For example, in some lessons, the most able pupils are not encouraged to discuss or think about topics in depth.

In a small number of cases, teaching is not precisely adapted to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The school's focus on teaching and learning has had significant impact. Pupils' outcomes at key stage 4 have improved considerably.

Most pupils make good progress through the curriculum. The school recognises that some pupils, such as those who are disadvantaged and those with SEND, need to make more progress.Leaders have clear plans and strategies that are improving the progress these pupils make.

Pupils are encouraged to develop a love of reading. Pupils read in their form time as part of the 'Astrea Reads' programme. A local author visits the school every week to read with pupils.

The school has invested in new library facilities and online homework platforms to support reading. The weakest readers are identified through routine testing and supported through appropriate interventions.

The school has introduced a new behavioural policy which teachers apply consistently.

As a result, pupils behave well in lessons and around the school following 'core routines'. Some pupils have not fully adapted to new behavioural expectations. This has resulted in high numbers of suspensions.

Pupil suspensions are reducing but are still high, particularly for vulnerable pupils. Leaders recognise this and are adapting policies to reduce suspensions further.

Some pupils do not attend school regularly.

This limits the progress they make. The school has prioritised improving attendance. Strategies to improve attendance are having an impact.

The school recognises that attendance needs to improve further for all groups of pupils.

The school has increased the time allocated for teaching personal, social and health education. Pupils learn about various topics, including healthy relationships, sex education and fundamental British values.

They are presented with dilemmas that encourage debate and critical thinking. The school has made several improvements to the careers information and guidance that pupils receive. Pupils are well prepared for further opportunities in education, employment or training.

Leaders at all levels have made significant changes to improve the school. They have acted on the recommendations made at the previous full inspection in October 2021 and those made in the monitoring inspection in December 2022. Leaders have raised standards of behaviour and established a positive climate for learning.

Staff are extremely positive about the changes that have been made. They are well trained and work collaboratively to improve the school. Leaders ensure that staff have a healthy work–life balance.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some lessons, teaching is not adapted sufficiently well to meet the needs of some pupils. In some cases, the most able pupils are not fully challenged and specific support for pupils with SEND sometimes lacks precision.

The school should develop adaptive teaching methods to ensure that all pupils, including those most able and those with SEND, make good progress through the curriculum. ? Some pupils, particularly those who are disadvantaged and those with SEND, do not attend lessons regularly enough and miss too much learning. The school should continue to ensure that systems and resources to improve attendance are well embedded and that work continues with the community to improve attendance for all groups of pupils.

• Suspension rates for pupils, although improving, are still high. As a result, some pupils miss too much learning. The school should continue to refine systems for managing behaviour and develop positive attitudes to learning among all pupils, thereby reducing the number of suspensions.

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