Outwood Academy Riverside

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About Outwood Academy Riverside

Name Outwood Academy Riverside
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Melissa Brant-Smith
Address 100 Russell Street, Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, TS1 2AD
Phone Number 01642549950
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 448
Local Authority Middlesbrough
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders and staff at Outwood Academy Riverside are united in their commitment to the diverse range of pupils who attend their school. Leaders have high expectations of pupils' conduct. They have created strong routines that help the majority of pupils to meet these expectations.

Staff provide excellent pastoral support. They support pupils well and encourage them to become polite and resilient young adults.

Relationships between pupils and staff are warm and respectful.

Bullying is rare. When it does occur, staff take effective action to ensure issues are resolved. There are clear rewards and sanctions in place as part of a school-wide behaviour policy.
<...br/>However, behaviour in lessons and in corridors does not always meet the high standards set by leaders. All staff do not use the rewards and behaviour policies consistently. Some low-level disruption impacts upon pupils' learning.

Pupils benefit from a wide variety of opportunities that enrich their education. Regular health and well-being sessions are provided for all pupils by local sports professionals. Pupils learn about the importance of mental health, staying safe and eating a balanced diet.

Speech and language classes help pupils to present themselves confidently and communicate their ideas clearly. This prepares them well for the next stage of their education, employment or training.

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

Leaders have taken into account what pupils already know and can do when designing the curriculum.

What pupils will learn and in what order is clearly set out. Opportunities for pupils to re-visit prior learning are embedded. In some subjects, such as music, curriculum planning is not as well developed as it is elsewhere.

Where this is the case, pupils experience a less-coherent curriculum. This leads to pupils having a weaker understanding of the important knowledge they require at each stage of the curriculum.

Staff are passionate and knowledgeable about their subjects.

They are enthusiastic about engaging pupils in their learning. However, the way in which the curriculum is taught varies across the school. In some subjects, the impact of the curriculum is far more secure because staff have made stronger activity choices and given adequate opportunity for pupils to embed their learning.

In other subjects, pupils' recall of what they have previously learned is much more variable. This reduces the impact of leaders' intended curriculum.

Staff regularly assess what pupils know and can do in the majority of subjects.

They use effective questioning in lessons to identify where pupils might have gaps in their knowledge. Where this is most effective, pupils are beginning to make stronger links in their learning. However, between some subjects, inconsistencies exist.

Leaders ensure that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported. Staff understand how to adapt lessons to meet the needs of these pupils well. Leaders monitor the quality of provision for pupils with SEND and provide ongoing training for staff.

Reading is a priority across the school. Staff read with pupils regularly and focus on important vocabulary in lessons. Pupils at an early stage of learning to read receive additional support to help them catch up with their peers.

Pupils who speak English as an additional language work with support staff who have specialist training, to help them overcome any language barriers they might face.

Leaders ensure all pupils have access to a broad, rich set of experiences beyond the classroom. A number of clubs, such chess, robotics and several sports, are on offer to pupils.

Trips to the theatre, residentials to nearby coastal locations and visiting speakers all help to develop pupils' cultural understanding. The curriculum for personal, social and health education is well considered. Lessons include important messages about different religions and British values.

However, pupils' understanding of some topics in this curriculum is limited. Leaders know this is the case and have plans to address these gaps in knowledge.

Staff working at the school feel well supported by senior leaders.

They value the professional development opportunities they are provided. Ongoing monitoring of the school's curriculum, pupils' behaviour and personal development has identified some areas for improvement. Senior leaders have a stronger understanding of these than some middle leaders do.

Those responsible for governance also know the school's priorities. They ensure that the resources and personnel are available to continue to grow the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have established a highly effective culture of safeguarding at the school. Staff understand the risks posed to vulnerable pupils and their families. Information about pupils who may be at risk of harm is quickly shared with leaders.

Work with external agencies and the community also helps to mitigate risk.

Ongoing training for staff and governors ensures that they understand the risks pupils might face inside and outside of school. Pupils are taught how to stay safe in person and online.

Visits from local charities and the police support the important messages within the curriculum. Leaders respond to local and national safeguarding concerns rapidly.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pupils' learning experience in lessons is inconsistent across several subjects.

The way in which the curriculum is implemented, including teachers' pedagogical choices, approaches to assessment and expectations of what pupils can, and do, produce, is too variable. As a result, pupils do not learn the intended curriculum as well as they might. Some pupils do not have a strong understanding of what they have learned or what they need to do to improve.

Curriculum leaders should ensure quality assurance processes precisely identify teachers that would benefit from further training to ensure pupils' learning experiences are as positive as they can be. ? Pupils' behaviour, both inside and outside of the classroom, does not always meet leaders' high expectations. In some lessons, staff do not use the school's approach to rewards and sanctions consistently.

This sometimes leads to low-level disruption that impacts negatively on pupils' education. Leaders should ensure that all staff understand how to use the school's behaviour policy effectively. Leaders should closely monitor the impact of this work to ensure a positive behaviour culture is embedded across the school.

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