The Arnewood School

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About The Arnewood School

Name The Arnewood School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Jamie Anderson
Address Gore Road, New Milton, BH25 6RS
Phone Number 01425625400
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1000
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

While the majority of pupils at Arnewood are well-mannered and cooperative, a minority spoil it for others.

For many pupils, learning is frequently hampered by low-level disruption in lessons. High levels of staff absence mean pupils often experience cover lessons. This is frustrating for pupils, parents and carers and staff alike, who all express concern about the current situation.

Some pupils also expressed worries about bullying and discriminatory language. Pupils know whom to speak to in school if they need support with this, but they often choose not to and, instead, are resigned to the unkind behaviour continuing.

Despite this, most pupils enjoy at the school and have positive relationships with each other and staff.

They recognise that the school is trying to improve the situation. The situation in the sixth form is very different, with purposeful, focused lessons, during which pupils work diligently. Pupils across the school appreciate the wide range of extra-curricular activities, clubs and trips that enrich school life.

There is an ambitious vision for the school, and determined work to reverse its decline since the previous inspection. The school has been making appropriate changes to the curriculum, but these ambitions are not yet realised. Many pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, do not achieve as well as they should in their GCSEs.

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

The school has rightly focused on improving pupils' behaviour and their attitudes towards their learning. New approaches to managing behaviour have recently been introduced. Not all pupils and staff clearly understand and follow these approaches yet.

Consequently, the behaviour of a minority of pupils often falls short of the school's expectations. Lessons are frequently disrupted, and there are examples of antisocial behaviour outside of lessons.

The school's focus on improving attendance has had some positive impacts.

Overall attendance is similar to the national average, and persistent absence rates have reduced slightly. However, too many pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, are not attending school regularly. This is having a significant negative impact on their learning.

Over time, pupils have not achieved well in GCSE examinations. The school is now focused on improving pupils' achievement from Year 7 onwards. However, the organisation and delivery of the curriculum do not currently support all pupils to remember and apply knowledge securely over time.

As a result, many pupils do not achieve as well as they could.

The school has not fully identified the precise knowledge and skills that pupils need to learn in some areas. In addition, in some subjects, pupils do not learn the curriculum in sufficient breadth or depth.

There are inconsistencies in how the curriculum is taught and how pupils' learning is assessed. The school has introduced the 'Arnewood Lesson', which sets out the expectations for teaching lessons. Some aspects of this are working well, for example how teachers help pupils to recall prior learning.

However, staff do not routinely use their assessment information to address gaps in knowledge and misconceptions before moving on.

The school has improved its systems for identifying the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Individual 'pupil passports' ensure that staff are aware of what help they should provide.

However, at present, some staff do not always provide the precise support that pupils with SEND need to be successful.

The school is committed to providing a culture of reading. Pupils in key stage 3 enjoy reading with their teachers during daily reading lessons.

The school's reading and phonics programme is used successfully to support pupils who need more help to read more fluently.

There are many strengths in the school's personal development programme. Pupils have a secure understanding of how to keep themselves healthy and safe, including when online.

They discuss sensitive topics confidently, such as the importance of consent in healthy relationships. A comprehensive careers programme includes regular sessions with employers and local education and training providers. However, citizenship education is not delivered as well as other areas.

Many pupils have gaps in their knowledge about important topics such as democracy and civil liberties.

The sixth form remains a strength of the school. Study programmes are well planned to build on students' individual starting points and aspirations.

The extended project qualification is particularly impressive. Students benefit from the expert subject knowledge of staff and receive very personalised support. As a result, students develop very positive attitudes to their learning and attend regularly.

Students' achievement in A-level exams was not as strong in 2023 as in previous years. However, current students are being well prepared for examinations and their next steps after they leave school.

Trustees recognise that change is needed and are supporting the school to address its weaknesses.

They have prioritised improving pupils' achievement and have recently moved to set out new expectations for behaviour and attitudes. These changes are not yet established consistently, so have not had the required impact on the quality of education and culture across the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils' behaviour frequently disrupts lessons, hampering pupils' learning and progress overall. The school must further raise expectations of pupils' behaviour in lessons and around the school, and ensure a more consistent response from staff to poor behaviour across the school. ? Some pupils feel uncomfortable in school because of bullying or prejudicial language.

They do not always report these issues because they are not confident that staff will deal with them effectively. The school must address these aspects of the school's culture and restore the faith of all pupils that their concerns will be dealt with effectively. ? In some subjects, the important knowledge and skills pupils need to learn are not fully identified and carefully organised.

This means that teachers do not always provide enough opportunities for pupils to embed and apply their knowledge. The school should continue to develop the curriculum to ensure that pupils accumulate key knowledge and skills over time in all subjects. ? Within and across subjects, there is variation in how effectively the curriculum is being delivered.

Some teachers do not always use effective strategies to help pupils to learn well. As a result, not all pupils are learning as well as they should. The school needs to provide further training and support for staff to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to deliver the curriculum effectively.

• Staff do not consistently adapt their teaching for pupils with SEND. This means the achievement of these pupils is variable. The school should ensure that staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to adapt their teaching and rigorously check that pupils with SEND are learning as well as they could.

• Many pupils lack secure knowledge of important aspects of the citizenship curriculum. This means that they are not as well prepared for life in modern Britain as they could be. The school must ensure that it gives sufficient attention to teaching fundamental British values and checks that pupils develop secure knowledge and understanding of this aspect of the curriculum.

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