Oxford Spires Academy

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About Oxford Spires Academy

Name Oxford Spires Academy
Website http://www.oxfordspiresacademy.org/
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Louise Cowley
Address Glanville Road, Oxford, OX4 2AU
Phone Number 01865428200
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1345
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Oxford Spires Academy is a highly inclusive school and pupils describe it as a 'beautiful community'. The school environment is aspirational and supportive, and pupils are happy to attend.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), are fully immersed in the same learning and enrichment activities as their peers. The school holds high expectations of what pupils can achieve, and pupils live up to these.

The school has ensured that pupils study an ambitious and enriching curriculum that is well suited to their needs and prepares them well for their next steps.

Pupils, and particularly those who speak English as an additional language, ach...ieve very well. Pupils know that all adults have high expectations of them.

Leaders make sure that pupils' well-being and safety are given top priority.

Staff have high expectations of pupils' behaviour. Pupils live up to these expectations and conduct themselves respectfully. Routines are clearly understood and followed.

The school works well with external agencies to give families any support that they might need. Pupils in Year 7 talk about how well they have been supported to settle in to the school.

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

The curriculum is very well designed.

The school has identified precisely the important things that pupils need to know. Teachers present new learning clearly and focus carefully on the important knowledge that pupils must gain. The school provides targeted training to help staff in their roles.

As a result, teachers' pedagogy and subject knowledge is a strength which means that pupils learn effectively.

Teachers use assessments accurately to check what pupils remember and understand. Bespoke 'scholar guides' set out the curriculum for pupils so that they understand what has, what is and what will be taught.

This helps them make important connections across the curriculum. Teachers are skilled at adapting their teaching to address any misconceptions. The regular 'super teaching' weeks help pupils to revisit learning and correct any misunderstandings.

Students in the sixth form follow a carefully planned and highly ambitious curriculum, studying a range of subjects in depth. Leaders have correctly identified issues that have led to students' underperformance in the past and are working increasingly well to establish high expectations. Students value the strong support they receive that prepares them well for the next stage of their education, employment, or training.

Teachers know their subjects well. They explain learning clearly, choosing activities that help pupils to deepen their understanding. Teachers adapt their teaching expertly to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.

Where required, pupils benefit from a calm learning environment outside of lessons. Here, they receive specific support aimed at helping them learn. The school has also developed strategies to support pupils who are not confident readers.

As a result, pupils with SEND access the school's ambitious curriculum, achieve well and in line with their peers.

The school's approach to securing strong attendance and punctuality are very well considered and monitored. Pupils are keen to attend school and learn new things alongside their friends.

Disadvantaged pupils do not always attend school regularly. This means that too many miss out on vital learning and the rich wider opportunities that the school provides.

The school environment is energetic and orderly.

Staff deal with any low-level disruption very well. The school carefully considers the education of the whole child. There is an impressive personal development programme.

This enables pupils to develop their character as well as their skills and interests. Pupils are taught about healthy relationships, managing risk and ways to stay mentally and physically healthy. As a result, pupils are well prepared for life after school.

There are a wide range of enrichment opportunities on offer, which the majority of pupils participate in.

Leaders have an accurate view of the school. They are focused on what is working well and areas that need further development.

Trustees maintain effective strategic oversight of the school's work. They fulfil their statutory responsibilities very well. The trust supports and challenges school leaders appropriately.

Staff speak highly of the way that leaders consider their workloads when making decisions. Teachers new to the profession feel very well supported at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The wider support for students in the Sixth Form is too varied. This means that while students do learn effectively, they could do even better. The school should ensure that support for students is more consistent.

• Disadvantaged pupils do not attend as well as they could. Consequently, they do not always remember their learning sufficiently or benefit fully from the rich wider personal development opportunities offered by school. The school must ensure that disadvantaged pupils' attendance improves so that they can increase their achievement and take up the opportunities offered by the school.

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