The Bay Church of England School

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About The Bay Church of England School

Name The Bay Church of England School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Duncan Mills
Address Winchester Park Road, Isle of Wight, Sandown, PO36 9BA
Phone Number 01983403284
Phase Other
Type Voluntary controlled school
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1272
Local Authority Isle of Wight
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is less and less a school of two halves. Leaders' determined efforts have, bit by bit, raised standards in the secondary phase to meet those already established in the primary phase. Expectations for pupils to work hard and be successful are evident throughout.

Consequently, pupils gain the knowledge they need for a successful future.

In the main, pupils conduct themselves well, understanding what adults expect of them. The courteous and enthusiastic behaviour of younger pupils translates into a calm atmosphere in the secondary phase of the school.

Most pupils are positive about their experiences of education. Older pupils recognise how behaviour has imp...roved over time, as expectations have risen.

Pupils are highly accepting of each other's differences.

They feel safe in school, cared for by adults who understand their needs well. Work to improve pupils' understanding of bullying means they are reporting concerns more often than in the past. This enables leaders to address issues successfully when they arise.

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

Since the last inspection, The Bay has changed significantly. Leaders have established a secondary phase, taking in pupils and staff from a nearby school that closed. This has been no mean feat, made harder by the challenges and interruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leaders have successfully established an atmosphere of trust among the staff. This is enabling everyone to work towards a common goal of sustaining and improving standards in the school. Working links between primary and secondary staff are beginning to emerge.

Children get off to a solid start in the early years. Leaders understand the priorities for children's learning and development. Adults design activities that stimulate children's interests and respond to their emerging learning needs.

Children play happily together, taking turns and showing kindness towards each other.

In the recent past, younger pupils were not taught to read well enough. Leaders acted swiftly to address this weakness in the school's provision.

A new curriculum is being delivered successfully by well-trained staff. Consequently, most younger pupils are now reading with accuracy and fluency appropriate to their age.

Leaders are ambitious for pupils to learn well.

Across both phases of the school, pupils study a suitably broad range of subjects, aligning with what is laid out in the national curriculum. Leaders have recently changed how the secondary curriculum is structured, to help increase how many pupils achieve a more academic suite of GCSE qualifications by the end of Year 11. Older pupils are currently working at a higher standard than was the case by the end of key stage 4 last year.

Across the range of subjects and phases, curriculum planning is sufficiently well established. Leaders and teachers have given careful thought to what pupils need to learn and in what order. In most subjects and phases, their plans are being implemented successfully, with the remaining areas currently being developed.

Staff use a consistent approach to check on pupils' progress through the planned curriculum. However, these checks do not routinely help teachers to pinpoint and then build precisely on pupils' prior learning. At times, teachers focus more on examination techniques than on the knowledge pupils have learned.

A recent focus on subject-specific vocabulary is helping older pupils to communicate their understanding more successfully than in the past. A whole-school approach to promoting reading is also evolving, with appropriate support in place for pupils in the secondary phase who need extra help to access the curriculum successfully.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are catered for extremely well.

Their needs are identified, understood and met by the leaders and adults who work sensitively with them. In particular, pupils in the specialist resource base make excellent progress, integrating well into the main part of the secondary phase of the school. Pupils with SEND access the full curriculum, achieving relevant qualifications that prepare them for suitable post-16 education, employment and training.

The small number of pupils who attend off-site provision receive a suitable education that meets their needs.

Leaders place appropriate emphasis on deliberately supporting pupils' personal development. The personal, social and health education curriculum meets statutory requirements and is delivered in a timely way by staff who are well trained.

Pupils have access to a range of opportunities to become active citizens, for example through charity work, being cyber ambassadors and contributing to the local community. Careers information, education, advice and guidance makes effective use of expertise from local colleges and apprenticeship providers, fulfilling the requirements of the provider access legislation.

Leaders and governors are suitably informed about the school's strengths and priorities for improvement.

This has helped them to make recent rapid improvements to pupils' achievements in the secondary phase of the school. The impact of their work to monitor standards beyond academic outcomes is less clear.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have invested heavily in staff training, reflecting how they prioritise this aspect of the school's work. In each phase of the school, clearly defined routines ensure that staff report any concerns they may have about pupils. This enables leaders to act quickly and effectively when pupils are identified as being at risk of harm.

Staff are alert to pupils who may be at additional risk of harm, including some with SEND. They use a broad range of opportunities to help teach pupils how to keep themselves safe from a range of age-appropriate risks, including around harmful sexual behaviour.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers' checks on what pupils know and can do are not consistently precise across the age and subject range.

Consequently, gaps in pupils' learning are not always identified and addressed as quickly as they could be. This leads to pupils' learning in some foundation subjects being less secure than it is for others. Leaders should ensure that assessment routines enable teachers to identify pupils' next steps in learning so that their future planning meets these specifically.

• Although assessment and monitoring systems are in place, leaders are not currently using them as well as they could to evaluate the impact of their wider work. This risks them not prioritising improvements beyond those linked to pupils' academic outcomes. Leaders and governors should now evaluate and evolve how they assure themselves of the impact of their wider work, so they can hone in on the next phase of school improvement priorities.

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