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Pewsey Vale is a welcoming and inclusive school. Pupils say that staff know them as individuals.
Pupils feel safe and say that bullying is rare. Pupils are confident to report to staff any incidents that occur. They know that staff take these seriously and act on pupils' concerns quickly.
Leaders have created a culture where discriminatory behaviour or derogatory language are not acceptable. Pupils are respectful towards staff and each other.
Nonetheless, too many pupils and parents and carers are unhappy with the quality of education provided by the school.
Pupils do not have a consistently positive experience of learning across different classes an...d subjects. They are not supported to learn the curriculum well enough.
The school offers extracurricular clubs, such as for debating and bike mechanics.
Pupils can be 'navigators', who represent their peers by raising issues and ideas with school leaders. However, some pupils say that they do not participate in any of these activities.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have considered the aim of each subject's curriculum carefully.
They have planned the knowledge that they want pupils to learn. However, teachers' use of assessment is not effective in checking whether pupils have done so. Therefore, gaps in pupils' knowledge of the curriculum persist.
Pupils do not retain the depth of knowledge that they need in all subjects. Leaders, including governors, do not have sufficient oversight of how effective the curriculum is in extending pupils' knowledge and skills.
Some pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not receive enough support with their learning.
As a result, some pupils with SEND do not make progress through the curriculum.
Leaders have not yet fully established a love of reading across the school. Some pupils do read regularly, and teachers encourage them to extend the range of what they read.
However, too many pupils choose not to read for pleasure, either in or out of school. Pupils at the early stages of learning to read do not currently receive phonics teaching to help them to read accurately and fluently.
Pupils know about the fundamental British values, such as tolerance, and say that everyone is treated equally.
Leaders have recently revised their approach to managing pupils' behaviour. This has been effective in establishing the expectations that staff have of pupils. Staff, parents and pupils are positive about this change.
Pupils learn about important topics that contribute to their personal development, such healthy relationships, online safety and knife crime. The curriculum is relevant and appropriate to pupils' ages.The careers programme is well planned and responds to the needs and interests of pupils.
Leaders arrange for all pupils to have a careers interview. Pupils value this experience as it gives them useful information to consider for their future. The school has established helpful links with the local college.
Leaders are reintroducing work experience for pupils in Year 10 this year following the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Staff, including early career teachers, feel that leaders support them well. They say that leaders are approachable.
Staff believe that leaders consider their well-being when introducing any changes.
Governors are committed to the school. They work regularly with leaders and have increased the level of scrutiny and challenge posed to school leaders.
However, they have not dealt with weaknesses in the quality of education quickly enough.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have made positive changes to the system for reporting and recording safeguarding concerns.
Staff understand the new system. It provides a detailed oversight of vulnerable pupils. Leaders act quickly to secure help for pupils when required, including by working with external agencies.
Staff and governors complete regular and appropriate safeguarding training. The process for recruitment is clear and includes all the checks required to ensure that staff are suitable to work with pupils.
Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including when online.
Leaders provide education on harmful sexual behaviours for all pupils. Pupils know who the members of school's safeguarding team are. They say that they have a trusted adult whom they can go to.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• Leaders do not have a clear enough picture of the quality of education that the school provides. Consequently, they are unable to take swift and effective action to make improvements. Leaders should ensure that they have an accurate overview of the quality of education that pupils receive.
• Teachers do not always use assessment effectively to check what pupils know and remember. As a result, some teaching does not remedy gaps or misconceptions in pupils' knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. Leaders should ensure that assessment supports pupils to build their knowledge and retain it in their long-term memory.
Some pupils with SEND, including those who need help with their reading, do not receive timely or appropriate support. As a result, they find parts of the curriculum difficult to follow. Leaders should ensure that pupils in the early stages of learning to read receive the right support.
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