The Cherwell School

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About The Cherwell School

Name The Cherwell School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Chris Price
Address Marston Ferry Road, Oxford, OX2 7EE
Phone Number 01865558719
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 2007
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils receive an excellent education, both academically and for their wider development. They experience a broad curriculum which is ambitious for all pupils across the school. The proportion of pupils studying English Baccalaureate subjects in Years 10 and 11 is above average and rising.

Students choose from a wide range of courses in the successful, inclusive sixth form. Leaders' high expectations are built into this rich curriculum which is taught with great expertise. Pupils achieve extremely well.

Pupils enjoy a vibrant culture in school. Differences are respected and prized. Pupils work very hard in lessons and are hungry to learn and succeed.

Leaders ...create this aspirational ethos carefully by placing each individual's needs at the heart of what they do. Relationships are highly positive, and pupils are safe from bullying. Discrimination is not tolerated.

Staff tackle any issues very effectively.

The vast majority of parents recognise the school's high-quality work. Reflecting the views of many, one parent rightly commented: 'Cherwell provides a superb quality of education and experience for my child.

It is a school where every individual can be themselves and diversity is celebrated while retaining a sense of togetherness and community. I cannot recommend this school highly enough.'

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

Leaders' thoughtful, ambitious approach means that pupils learn deeply and achieve highly from Year 7 through to Year 13.

The curriculum in each subject is a cohesive journey during which pupils continually build on what they have previously learned. Subject leaders make sure that tasks designed to check pupils' progress through the curriculum have a substantial impact on pupils' learning. Teachers have expert subject knowledge which they pass on to pupils effectively.

Staff support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) very well, including those in the specially resourced provisions for pupils with SEND, because they identify pupils' needs accurately and meet them precisely. Pupils who struggle with reading get effective help so that they are able to access the curriculum fully and become fluent, enthusiastic readers.

Pupils behave very respectfully.

The atmosphere is calm and orderly. Pupils are highly committed to their education. They concentrate in lessons, debate ideas thoughtfully and socialise happily together at breaktimes.

Leaders' high expectations for pupils' behaviour are underpinned by a wide range of effective processes, resulting in a motivational approach which rewards pupils' efforts and successes. Sixth-form students are role models for other pupils. Pupils' attendance overall is high, including in the sixth form.

Staff provide great care for pupils. Pastoral support is insightful and has a clear impact on pupils' well-being, in particular for disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils. It is a major focus in the sixth form, where students receive sensitive, tailored help and guidance.

Pupils also make an important contribution to others' well-being. Pupil 'ambassadors' are trained to help others with any issues they are experiencing. They promote a positive culture in the school which does not tolerate any form of bullying or harassment.

Sixth-form students act as mentors for younger pupils. The sixth-form 'change makers' improve the environmental sustainability around the school.

Pupils develop a deep understanding of relevant contemporary issues which affect them as individuals and as members of society.

The carefully designed 'social well-being curriculum' is taught effectively by a team of experts throughout the school. Additionally, different subjects contribute strongly to pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils feel very safe about expressing their views.

They are respectful and knowledgeable about different people's backgrounds and beliefs.

Leaders prioritise pupils' character development as a core aim of the school, helping pupils to make significantly positive contributions to the community. Although leaders are still re-establishing enrichment and extra-curricular activities after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is already a wide range in place.

Leaders make sure that all disadvantaged pupils are able to benefit from these opportunities fully. Pupils get the help and guidance they need to achieve their high aspirations for their next steps beyond school. Careers education, independent advice and guidance supports pupils' choices very effectively.

The vast majority of students go on to higher education when they leave the sixth form.

Staff are hugely committed to the school. Leaders, trust officers and trustees invest in high-quality training and development for staff, managing staff's workload and well-being effectively.

Local governors and trustees have a very accurate view of the school, supported by the effective work of trust officers. They set an ambitious vision, challenging and supporting school leaders robustly to constantly improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure staff are knowledgeable, very well trained and suitable to work with young people. If staff spot any concerning signs, they refer these to leaders quickly, who then act with urgency and expertise. Leaders make sure pupils get the right support, including from relevant external agencies when appropriate.

Pupils learn about keeping themselves safe, including online and in their relationships with others. When pupils have worries, they are able to raise these with adults swiftly. If any issues arise either in school or in the local community, leaders make sure these are addressed with the whole school immediately.

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