The Cowplain School

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About The Cowplain School

Name The Cowplain School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Ian Gates
Address Hart Plain Avenue, Cowplain, Waterlooville, PO8 8RY
Phone Number 02392612020
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 946
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils value the warm and welcoming atmosphere here. They are motivated to work hard and be successful.

The school's high expectations are evident in many aspects of day-to-day life. Most pupils strive to meet these expectations and conduct themselves sensibly in lessons and around school. Pupils appreciate the support they get from staff, which helps them learn well.

While attendance is improving, there remains a small number of pupils who do not attend as often as they should.

Relationships between staff and pupils are based on mutual respect. Staff show a genuine care for pupils, who feel safe and happy at this school.

Pupils understand the import...ance of respecting differences between people and celebrating diversity.Should any bullying or discrimination occur, pupils rightly trust that staff will listen and deal with it effectively.

The school is ambitious for pupils to develop their character.

For instance, learning is enriched through a vast number of clubs, experiences and trips. Some pupils also flourish in leadership positions by being a 'reading buddy' or as a member of the school council. Pupils are proud to hold these roles and know that they are making a positive contribution to their wider community.

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

The school has a sharply focused vision for pupils' success. Despite this, in 2023, pupils in Year 11 did not achieve well in public examinations. Many were adversely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number experiencing high levels of absence.

Consequently, they did not benefit from the ambitious curriculum that many pupils are now experiencing. Staff are working tirelessly to ensure that pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), receive a good quality of education. The impact of their work is evident and pupils are moving through the curriculum more successfully than before.

The curriculum has rightly undergone significant improvements. It is designed around three central strands, 'thinking hard, developing character and understanding diversity'. Across subjects, the important knowledge pupils should learn, and the order in which they should learn it, is clearly set out.

Reading is the bedrock of the curriculum. Pupils at an earlier stage of learning to read are given the help needed to catch up quickly. However, in key stage 4, the number of pupils undertaking the English Baccalaureate is comparatively low.

The school is taking appropriate steps to address this, while ensuring that pupils can choose from a wide range of qualifications suited to their interests and talents.

Staff have strong subject knowledge. They explain subject content clearly and introduce new learning in manageable steps.

There is a clear focus on developing pupils' subject-specific vocabulary. Staff identify the needs of pupils with SEND promptly. Pupils, including those in the specially resourced provision for pupils with SEND, receive appropriate support from well-trained staff, so that they can access a broad and balanced curriculum.

Despite this, sometimes, teachers do not check what pupils know and understand carefully enough before moving them on to new learning. This means that any gaps and misconceptions are not addressed effectively. As a result, some pupils do not learn as well as they could.

The school has high expectations for pupils' behaviour. In many lessons, clear routines and high expectations enable pupils to settle quickly and efficiently. However, at times when there is some off-task behaviour, teachers do not always address this.

The school considers pupils' personal development carefully. Pupils value learning about different religions and cultures. They learn to take care of their mental health and well-being, including age-appropriate relationships and consent.

Pupils receive regular, useful, unbiased careers advice. This means that pupils are well informed about different career pathways and future study options. Consequently, they are well prepared for their next steps in education, employment or training.

Trustees have a strong understanding of their roles and responsibilities. They provided appropriate challenge and support to the school. Despite this, leaders, including trustees, do not always have a precise understanding of how well staff use the school's agreed policies and procedures to deliver the curriculum.

This means that sometimes inconsistencies in how well the curriculum is taught are not always addressed.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Sometimes teachers do not check what pupils know and understanding carefully enough before moving them on to new learning.

When this is the case, gaps and misconceptions are not addressed effectively. As a result, some pupils do not learn as well as they could. The school should ensure that teachers assess pupils' knowledge consistently accurately, to enable them to make informed decisions about what to teach next.

• Leaders, including trustees, do not have a precise enough understanding of how well staff are implementing agreed policies and procedures to deliver the curriculum. This means that a few elements of curriculum implementation are inconsistent. Leaders and trustees should ensure that quality assurance procedures give an accurate view of how well pupils are achieving across all year groups and make sure the curriculum is adjusted to meet pupils' needs effectively.

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