Smith’s Wood Academy

Name Smith’s Wood Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 01 May 2019
Address Windward Way, Smith’s Wood, Birmingham, West Midlands, B36 0UE
Phone Number 01217884100
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 992 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.4
Academy Sponsor Fairfax Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Solihull
Percentage Free School Meals 32.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4%
Persisitent Absence 23.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 18.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school opened as an academy in April 2017 and is part of FMAT. The school’s local governing body, known as its academy association, has responsibility for setting the school’s strategic direction and creating and reviewing policies, objectives and targets. It approves and reviews the school’s budget and holds its leaders to account for the school’s performance. FMAT’s board of directors oversees the academy association and the work of the trust. The school is larger than the average-sized 11–16 comprehensive school. Its sixth form closed in August 2018. More than half of its pupils are disadvantaged. This is well above average. The great majority of pupils are of White British heritage. Few pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils with SEND is broadly average. The school makes use of alternative provision for approximately a dozen pupils. The alterative providers are TLG Kingstanding, TLG Yardley Wood, EBN1, EBN2, Blackwater Academy, IMedia, Riverside and WorkLearn UK.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement Pupils’ published outcomes at the end of key stage 4 were weak in 2018. This was particularly the case in English, mathematics, science, history and geography. The quality of teaching varies across the school and not enough is good. Teachers too often plan activities that are too easy or too hard for pupils. They do not consistently check that pupils understand their work. Provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), although improving, has weaknesses. Teachers’ planning does not consistently take into account these pupils’ needs. Additional support is not as effective as it ought to be. Although attendance has improved considerably this year, it remains well below the average for similar schools. Too many pupils do not attend regularly. There remains too much low-level disruption of lessons. A minority of pupils do not have good attitudes to learning and some teachers do not manage behaviour as well as they should. A minority of pupils do not have confidence in staff to deal effectively with problems, including bullying, when they arise. However, pupils are safe in school. The school does not promote pupils’ literacy skills as well as it should. Some staff do not always use correct spoken and written English. Staff do not consistently address the errors that pupils make. The school has the following strengths The school has improved rapidly since it opened as an academy in April 2017. Determined leadership from the headteacher, well supported by senior leaders and the Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust (FMAT), has resulted in considerable improvement in teaching, behaviour and attendance. Consequently, current pupils’ progress is improving rapidly. The curriculum is thoughtfully planned and contributes well to pupils’ personal development. It is particularly effective in helping pupils to understand how to stay safe and live healthy lives. Outcomes are strong in several subjects. These include languages and most vocational subjects.