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About Oakbank

Name Oakbank
Website http://www.oakbank.education
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Danielle Finlay
Address Hyde End Lane, Ryeish Green, Reading, RG7 1ER
Phone Number 01189883616
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 553
Local Authority Wokingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is ambitious for all pupils to thrive. However, regular staff changes have meant that the teaching pupils receive does not always enable them to learn well.

Some pupils have gaps in knowledge and skills. This means that they cannot always apply what they know to new contexts and build learning over time successfully. The school has not trained staff to check pupils' learning effectively.

As a result, the school's higher aspirations for pupils' achievement are not yet realised.

The school has raised standards of pupils' behaviour. Everyone understands the clear and consistent behaviour expectations introduced in September.

As a result, pupi...ls' conduct has improved. Behaviour between lessons is calm and orderly. Pupils are respectful of each other.

In lessons, pupils remain focused and listen attentively to their teachers.

Careers information, advice and guidance is a strength of the school. The programme of careers education is ambitious and thoughtfully designed.

Pupils learn how to make informed choices about their next steps in education, training or employment through authentic opportunities, such as exploring apprenticeships and engaging in work experience. Older pupils relish the opportunity to take on leadership positions, such as being 'student councillors' or house captains. This teaches them beneficial skills of responsibility and diligence.

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

The curriculum is well designed. The school's work to identify what pupils need to learn and when is complete. This has strengthened the curriculum.

Pupils study a broad curriculum at key stage 3. However, not enough pupils at key stage 4 gain qualifications in the English Baccalaureate. The school's aspirations to address this are not yet realised.

Some consistent approaches to teaching are developing, for example how some teachers help pupils recall key knowledge effectively. However, the teaching of the curriculum is not yet implemented consistently well in all subjects.

The school has identified the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) accurately.

This information is readily available to staff. A small number of teachers use this helpful guidance to meet pupils' needs effectively. However, pupils with SEND experience variability in teaching.

As a result, pupils with SEND are not achieving as well as they should.

Recently, the school has identified pupils who have fallen behind with their reading. The support to help them catch up and keep up is in its infancy.

Expert staff teach a weekly literacy lesson in key stage 3 for all pupils. This includes support for pupils' fluency and comprehension. The school is working hard to improve pupils' reading for pleasure.

The impact of this is not yet evident.

Crucially, pupils' attendance is improving. However, some pupils still miss too many days of essential learning.

The school works diligently to address individual issues where they arise. There is a kind culture evident in school. Relationships between pupils and staff are respectful and constructive.

Occasionally, relationships are not as positive where teaching is less effective.

The wider development of pupils is a strength of the school. Pupils learn personal, social and health education (PSHE) twice a week.

Well-trained staff deliver the thoughtfully structured PSHE curriculum. Pupils learn about healthy relationships appropriate to their ages. Older pupils demonstrate a thorough understanding of consent.

All pupils learn vital lessons about how to keep safe, both online and in person. Helpful signposting at the end of each lesson provides pupils with extra support should they require it.

The school has experienced many staff changes since the last inspection, as well as turbulence in leadership.

This has had an impact on the school's rate of improvement. Trust leaders, together with senior leaders, have identified the areas that need addressing to improve the school. They are starting to bring about the necessary improvements.

The recent changes to monitoring and review form part of this crucial work. This work is still at an early stage and has not yet brought about the required improvements to the quality of education.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Staff do not adapt their teaching to meet the needs of pupils with SEND effectively enough. This means that pupils with SEND are not supported to build knowledge and skills consistently well. The school should ensure that all staff receive the necessary training to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

• The teaching of the curriculum is not strong enough across all subjects. As a result, some pupils have gaps in their knowledge and do not achieve as well as they should. The school must ensure that the curriculum is implemented effectively so that pupils learn more and remember more.

• Teachers do not check pupils' understanding systematically to help them identify pupils' misconceptions accurately. As a result, teachers do not always provide clear, direct feedback to pupils or modify their teaching because of where gaps in pupils' knowledge and skills are. The school must ensure that teachers are trained to check pupils' understanding, provide helpful feedback and adapt their teaching as necessary.

• The school does not monitor the quality of education effectively enough. This means that some aspects that the school is working on are not having sufficient impact on teaching and learning. The trust must ensure that their systems for monitoring and review are embedded rapidly and securely.

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