Park Academy West London


Name Park Academy West London
Website http://www.park-aspirations.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 13 November 2019
Address Park View Road, Hillingdon, Middlesex, UB8 3GA
Phone Number 01895430066
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 749 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.3
Academy Sponsor Aspirations Academies Trust
Local Authority Hillingdon
Percentage Free School Meals 34.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 31.2%
Persisitent Absence 17.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 16.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

The school is improving. Leaders have raised expectations of what pupils can achieve. However, pupils are not well prepared for the next stage of education. They do not build up detailed knowledge and understanding as they progress through the years.

Leaders have struggled to secure lasting improvements since the school opened. Staffing changes have limited the success of leaders’ work. In some subjects, planning has not ensured that pupils learn what they need to achieve well.

Plans and actions to improve the quality of education are still at an early stage. Pupils have started studying some subjects very recently. In other subjects, pupils are still learning basic concepts to fill gaps in their knowledge.

Leaders have introduced changes to boost pupils’ personal and social development and raise pupils’ aspirations. They have improved the variety of clubs and visits that encourage pupils’ wider talents and interests. Many pupils told us that they are enthusiastic for more opportunities to take part in outings and activities.

Behaviour in the playground and around the school is generally calm. In lessons, low-level disruption sometimes interrupts learning. Pupils are kept safe and know whom to turn to when they need help. Staff deal with any bullying swiftly.

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

The key stage 3 curriculum is a work in progress. Subject planning covers subject content that reflects the key stage 3 national curriculum. Pupils in Year 8 upwards have not studied this content. Until recently, they had limited opportunities to learn the full curriculum, including art, design and technology, computing and religious education (RE). Pupils spoke very positively about the improvements made to their education this year. They welcome the chance to learn a broad range of subjects.

Leaders have worked with staff to write new curriculum plans, including in English, mathematics and science. Previous weaknesses in subject planning have left pupils in Years 10 and 11 and in the sixth form with significant gaps in their knowledge. Teachers adapt subject plans to address this crucial learning before pupils move on to more demanding content that matches the aims of the curriculum. This is beginning to help pupils to catch up and remember missing prior content. However, in some other subjects, such as music, history and geography, teaching does not emphasise key concepts and make sure that pupils remember them.

Students in Year 13 take responsibility as mentors to younger pupils and as prefects. They provide some subject support to pupils in Year 7. They spoke positively about the ‘family feel’ in the sixth form. They appreciate how well staff know them as individuals.

This year, leaders have introduced the trust’s ‘No Limits’ programme to pupils in Year 7. Pupils use their knowledge and skills from different subjects to work on special projects. For example, pupils explore the theme of love and loss through reading war poetry and studying the science of the heart. Pupils in Year 7 enjoy many of the ‘No Limits’ activities, which encourage personal and social qualities such as teamwork. Leaders are beginning to introduce additional activities for pupils in other years to promote pupils’ personal development.

Leaders introduce students in the sixth form to useful skills for life through the trust’s employability programme. Pupils in Years 10 and 11 have access to a range of opportunities to help them to make choices for their future professional lives. Similar opportunities for pupils in Years 7 to 9 are not as well established.

Recent improvements to support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are helping to identify and fill the gaps in their previous learning. Training for staff is beginning to enable them to adapt teaching so that pupils with SEND learn the same content as their peers. Although at an early stage, the impact of this work can be seen in pupils’ achievement in reading.

Leaders promote a positive and respectful culture. All pupils’ attendance rates are rising. Pupils typically said that behaviour has improved this year. However, some pupils and staff told us that sometimes pupils’ learning is affected by low-level disruption. Students in the sixth form behave very sensibly.

Teachers enjoy the opportunities for their professional development provided by the trust. They appreciate leaders’ help and support to improve their teaching. Staff said that all leaders show concern for their well-being.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They are confident to share concerns with staff. They said that they get help when they need it. Staff have regular safeguarding training and know how to recognise the possible signs that a pupil may be at risk of harm. They also access more specialist help to safeguard pupils’ well-being should issues arise.

Staff and pupils are knowledgeable about local potential safeguarding issues, including knife crime. Pupils value the specific sessions that the school has arranged on this topic to help keep them safe.

Trustees check that the school meets all its legal safeguarding duties.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Subject plans and actions to improve the quality of education are at an early stage. This means that pupils have not built up the detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum that they need. Leaders should continue to develop the curriculum so that pupils are ready for the next stage of their education and have the knowledge and skills they need to achieve well. . Pupils are enthusiastic to take part in additional activities to develop their interests and talents. Opportunities are increasing, but much remains at the planning stage. Leaders should ensure that the school nurtures, develops and stretches pupils to help them to develop in many diverse aspects of life. . The careers programme is limited in key stage 3. This means that pupils in Years 8 and 9 are not routinely well informed when choosing and deciding on their next steps. The school should ensure that all pupils receive high-quality careers guidance. . By the end of key stage 4, subject planning has not ensured that pupils have built up the knowledge and understanding of key concepts needed for future learning. As a result, sixth-form students have gaps in their knowledge and skills. Leaders should ensure that students are better prepared to study the intended curriculum and all components of study programmes.