Quarrydale Academy

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About Quarrydale Academy

Name Quarrydale Academy
Website http://www.quarrydale.notts.sch.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Tim Paling
Address Stoneyford Road, Sutton-in-Ashfield, NG17 2DU
Phone Number 01623554178
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1292
Local Authority Nottinghamshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's motto, 'Aspire, believe, achieve', sums up its ambitions for all pupils. The school provides a wide-ranging curriculum to pupils at all stages of learning. Pupils in key stage 4 and in the sixth form value the choice of courses available to them.

However, pupils' experiences in lessons vary. This means they do not always learn as well as they could.

In general, pupils are polite, behave well and work hard.

Most pupils feel safe. They have good relationships with staff. Most pupils report any concerns about bullying and say that staff deal with it seriously.

However, not all staff have high expectations of how pupils should behave. Some p...upils disrupt lessons and are boisterous in the corridors. This makes some other pupils feel uncomfortable.

In the sixth form, students value the academic and vocational curriculum. Relationships between staff and students are excellent. Students enjoy doing work experience, volunteering and taking part in the student government.

Pupils benefit from a strong careers programme. Pupils at all stages are well prepared for their next steps in education, training or employment. Many pupils take part in one of the school's many clubs, including sports, drama and chess, and in 'Ambassadors', the school's LGBT+ pupil group.

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

Leaders have designed a curriculum that is ambitious for all pupils. The range of courses on offer gives pupils the opportunity to develop their interests. Most pupils in key stage 4 study a language and either history or geography.

Leaders adapt the curriculum for a small number of pupils to meet their needs.

Leaders have prioritised curriculum design. Subject leaders have thought carefully about what they want pupils to achieve.

They have considered what pupils will learn and when. They have designed a curriculum to help pupils to remember the key knowledge.

However, leaders have not ensured that staff teach the curriculum consistently well.

Most teachers present information well. Many set tasks that help pupils to know more and remember more. However, many teachers do not make accurate checks on pupils' learning.

They do not routinely identify and correct pupils' misconceptions. Many staff do not make effective use of assessment to provide feedback that helps pupils' learning. As a result, the quality of pupils' work varies.

In the sixth form, it is different. Students are well supported by expert teachers in academic and vocational courses. Most teachers choose resources skilfully.

They guide students to become more independent in their work. Leaders have established a strong programme for students' personal development. Students get clear advice and guidance to make confident choices for their next steps.

Most students attend well. They contribute meaningfully to school life.

Leaders ensure that there is effective provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Leaders work in partnership with pupils and their families. Leaders provide relevant SEND training and information for teachers. Teachers make adaptations to meet pupils' needs.

Leaders identify pupils who need help to improve their reading. Trained staff teach phonics to pupils who need it. They help other pupils to read more confidently and fluently.

Leaders recognised that behaviour needed to improve. They worked well with staff to set out a new behaviour policy. Staff and pupils said that behaviour has improved recently.

However, leaders have not made their expectations sufficiently clear. Teachers do not use the policy consistently to challenge pupils who engage in low-level off-task behaviour. They allow negative attitudes to spread.

Some pupils behave poorly around school and treat others with disrespect.

Pupils benefit from high-quality pastoral support. Pastoral staff provide personalised support for individual pupils to improve their attendance.

They listen to pupils' concerns and help them to find solutions. Staff provide highly effective support for pupils who are at risk of suspension.

Leaders aim to broaden pupils' horizons.

Careers education is of a high quality. Pupils learn how to access the wealth of pathways available to them. Staff provide a variety of extra-curricular activities.

Leaders do not track participation in these. They cannot be sure that the pupils who need them the most are joining in. The programme for personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is new.

Pupils do not yet develop a secure understanding of the key knowledge.

Trustees know the school well. Along with school leaders, they are working to improve the school.

They consider staff's well-being and workload when making changes. However, leaders have not set a clear vision for the aspects of provision that need to improve. As a result, the necessary improvements have not been fully realised.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have increased the number of staff in the safeguarding team to meet the needs of the school community. Safeguarding staff work with determination to ensure that pupils get the right help.

They have effective partnerships with the local police, the school nurse and social care. They communicate well with parents. They make sure that pupils who feel vulnerable have a safe space in school and a key worker they trust.

Pupils learn to keep themselves and others safe, including when online. They can turn to staff if they are worried.Staff receive safeguarding training and updates.

They know what to do when they are concerned about a pupil's welfare.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers do not always make accurate checks on pupils' learning. They do not identify learning gaps and misconceptions.

They do not have the information they need to give pupils useful feedback. Pupils do not learn as well as they should. Leaders must ensure that teachers check learning effectively so that they address gaps in pupils' knowledge and provide pupils with feedback that helps improve their learning.

• Leaders have not communicated their expectations about behaviour clearly. As a result, behaviour is inconsistent in classrooms and around school, and staff do not make consistent use of the policy to reward or challenge behaviour. Leaders must ensure that they set high expectations that are understood by all.

They must ensure that staff are supported to implement the behaviour policy effectively. ? The curriculum for PSHE is new. It is not yet implemented consistently.

Pupils have gaps in their learning. Leaders must ensure that pupils gain a secure understanding of the key learning in PSHE so that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain. ? Leaders have not set a clear vision for how the school should be improved.

Expectations are not clear to staff and pupils. The impact of leaders' work is inconsistent. Leaders must ensure that they communicate a clear vision for improving the school to all stakeholders so that their vision is realised in strong, shared policies and practice.

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