The Bicester School

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About The Bicester School

Name The Bicester School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Tony Rushworth
Address Queen’s Avenue, Bicester, OX26 2NS
Phone Number 01869243331
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1283
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The core values of this school are 'respect, resilience and responsibility'.

They shine through the day-to-day work of this positive and happy community. Pupils are warm and friendly. They form positive relationships with each other and with staff.

In turn, Staff show a genuine care for pupils. They all share a commitment to provide pupils with the best possible education. As a result, pupils thrive at this inclusive school.

The school provides learning and wider opportunities that pupils enjoy and benefit from. Pupils are very well prepared for life in modern Britain. They say they are encouraged to respect difference and they really do.

There are h...igh expectations of pupils' behaviour, and these expectations are met. There are strong standards of behaviour. Pupils say that they have trusted adults with whom they can share concerns.

On the rare occasions when bullying happens, it is addressed effectively.

Parents are positive about the school. They like its caring and supportive ethos.

As one parent said, expressing views typical of other parents, 'All pupils are looked after and given what they need. The Bicester School goes above and beyond to help students and families.'

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

The school's curriculum is ambitious and well considered.

It is underpinned by the aim that all pupils will develop the knowledge they need to be successful during their time in school and beyond. The school has identified what complex and important knowledge pupils need to learn. The school has adopted an approach to teaching which ensures consistent and effective elements are always included.

This helps pupils know what to expect. Pupils regularly revisit knowledge so that they confidently recall their learning. Teachers provide useful feedback.

Pupils use this to reflect on what they have done well and how they can continue to improve. Most pupils develop secure knowledge of the subjects they study. Currently, pupils' achievement is strong.

In the past, pupils have achieved well, but in 2023 there was a decline in GCSE examinations results overall. The school is taking the right robust action to ensure that this is not repeated and the impact of this on current pupils' achievement is very clear indeed.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) achieve well overall.

They successfully learn the curriculum alongside their peers. There are clear procedures in place to identify pupils' needs. Teachers adapt their lessons for pupils with SEND using information about pupils' specific needs.

The school has developed effective systems to support pupils in the early stages of learning to read. These help pupils to improve their reading and to access the rest of the curriculum.

Pupils' conduct is calm and orderly.

They behave well. They treat one another with respect. The systems to manage pupils' behaviour are used consistently by staff.

As a result, learning is rarely disrupted by poor behaviour. The school has also encountered significant challenges in terms of attendance post-COVID and the school is working hard to address them. Nevertheless, some pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged, miss out on important parts of the curriculum and find it hard to catch up.

The school uses a range of strategies to promote attendance. These strategies include rewards, meetings with parents and carers and providing information about the importance of attending school. The school has taken steps to mitigate this lost time by delivering additional learning recovery sessions for pupils, including special 'Saturday schools'.

Pupils benefit from a strong personal development programme. It is carefully mapped out for all year groups. Wider opportunities, such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, are well used and valued by pupils.

The school uses opportunities such as these and residential visits to help pupils to become more independent young people. Pupils feel safe at school and know that they could talk to staff if they had any problems regarding themselves or concerns about others. The school ensures that pupils know how to keep themselves safe and well, including online safety.

As a result, pupils are well prepared for adult life.

The sixth-form curriculum is equally ambitious as in the rest of the school and builds on what pupils have studied in the previous key stages. Indeed, sixth-form provision is a strength of the school, outcomes for A-level are strong and students in the sixth form greatly benefit from their time there.

The school has a wide range of subjects that are available to students. These reflect students' changing interests. Lessons are calm, focused and intellectually interesting.

Students develop secure knowledge of the subjects they study. Through the school's careers programme, students are well informed about the options available to them when they leave the school.

Trustees hold an accurate understanding of the school's strengths and areas to develop.

They are well informed by audits and reports that examine specific aspects of the school's work. The school garners very harmonious and positive views from all stakeholders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils do not attend as well as they could and a number, including those who are disadvantaged, are persistently absent from school. Consequently, those pupils do not always remember their learning sufficiently nor benefit fully from the rich wider personal development opportunities offered by school. The school must ensure that pupils' attendance, especially those who are disadvantaged, rises further.

Also at this postcode
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