Swinton Academy

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About Swinton Academy

Name Swinton Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr James Graham
Address East Avenue, Swinton, Mexborough, S64 8JW
Phone Number 01709570586
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 978
Local Authority Rotherham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy to attend this inclusive school.

They are considerate to each other and to staff. Pupils routinely behave well in class and concentrate in lessons. They say that bullying rarely occurs and that if it does, teachers deal with it quickly.

Pupils are taught to be 'ready, respectful and safe'. They are taught how to keep themselves safe and learn about local risks, such as those found at canals and railway lines.

The school has high expectations for pupils.

Leaders want pupils to have the highest aspirations. Pupils receive a rich variety of experiences, helping them to prepare for their next steps in education, training or employment. P...upils enjoy well-planned lessons.

Pupils sometimes struggle to remember some of what has been taught.

Pupils develop their reading skills through the school's 'everyone reads in class' (ERIC) strategy. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are well supported by teachers, who make sure these pupils have the same opportunities as their peers.

Pupils have warm relationships with teachers and value this strongly. In the words of one sixth-form student, 'It is the reason I decided to study here.' Pupils make meaningful contributions to school life through a school council.

They have opportunities to join many clubs and activities.

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

Leaders have taken effective steps in improving the quality of education since the previous school inspection, in 2019. Leaders are clear that the school's curriculum should provide the highest aspirations for all pupils and improve their life chances.

The curriculum prepares pupils well for life after school. Most pupils achieve well. Leaders have recognised that this is not yet consistent across all subjects.

New curriculum plans and appropriate teaching strategies are addressing this.

Teachers are well trained and knowledgeable. Pupils learn to recall facts and key knowledge in each subject.

There is variation in the extent to which teachers consistently support pupils to connect current learning to what they have studied previously. This limits some pupils from developing a deep body of knowledge in some subjects.

Most teachers check on what pupils know and revisit topics when needed.

This is strongest in key stages 4 and 5. In key stage 3, assessment does not consistently match with what teachers aim for pupils to learn. As a result, sometimes teachers do not have a clear awareness of how younger pupils are progressing.

The provision for pupils with SEND, including those in the school's specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND, is a strength of the school. Leaders support staff to identify pupils' needs quickly and accurately. Staff use this information to support pupils to access the curriculum successfully.

Reading is prioritised by the school. Leaders have ensured that reading is a central part of curriculum planning through the 'ERIC' strategy. The school provides comprehensive support for pupils at the earliest stages of reading and tracks their progress effectively.

Some pupils do not read more widely or for pleasure, but strategies used by the school are addressing this.

The school has high expectations for students in the sixth form. Students are punctual and attend their lessons regularly.

Students feel that they are part of a close knit family and have strong relationships with staff. The school offers a range of subjects matched to the needs of sixth-form students. They benefit from a strong programme of personal development that prepares them well for life in modern Britain.

Most pupils behave well and have positive attitudes towards learning. A new policy has recently been introduced to further improve standards of behaviour. It is too soon for leaders to evaluate the full impact of this.

Most pupils attend Swinton Academy regularly. For some groups of pupils, their attendance is lower than it should be. This slows down the progress that they make through the curriculum.

The school has a comprehensive wider curriculum offer. Pupils are encouraged to think about 'big questions' that explore themes of morality. They consider empathy and how others would feel as a result of their actions.

They learn about fundamental British values, such as democracy and liberty. Pupils learn about relationships and sex education. They are supported to develop responsible attitudes in this area of the curriculum.

The school provides comprehensive careers support. Pupils learn about a range of different career options. There are many opportunities for pupils to develop their interests outside of lessons at various activities, clubs and events.

Leaders are keen for more pupils to take full advantage of these opportunities.

Governors challenge school leaders and ensure that the school continues to improve. The multi-academy trust provides additional support to the school.

Trust leaders have recently helped to re-establish the school's sixth-form provision. They are also helping to develop quality assurance at the school. Supporting staff well-being is a priority for leaders.

Teachers feel that their workload is manageable.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a well-established culture of safeguarding across the school.

Leaders are aware of the local risks to pupils and educate pupils about these. Leaders keep detailed safeguarding records and any concerns that occur are dealt with quickly.

Staff receive regular training and know the signs that might indicate a pupil is at risk of harm.

They know what to do if they have concerns.

Pupils know that they can share their worries with a trusted adult. They learn how to keep themselves safe through lessons and assemblies.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The delivery of the curriculum does not consistently help pupils to make connections between what they are currently learning and what they have learned previously. This means that pupils sometimes struggle to link knowledge together and think deeper about key concepts. Leaders should ensure that the implementation of the curriculum allows pupils to go beyond recalling facts, and allows pupils to develop a deep body of knowledge in all subjects.

• Assessment in key stage 3 is not consistently well-matched to the knowledge identified in the curriculum. This means that sometimes teachers are unclear on how pupils are progressing through the curriculum and how to support pupils to improve. Leaders should ensure that assessment in key stage 3 is closely matched to the curriculum, and that this provides clarity on the progress that pupils are making.

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