The Elms Academy

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About The Elms Academy

Name The Elms Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Amy Welch
Address Elms Road, Clapham, London, SW4 9ET
Phone Number 02078194700
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Christian
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 754
Local Authority Lambeth
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The school's motto is 'Be Exceptional'. The trust, governors, and leaders encourage pupils to live up to this. Leaders are ambitious for all their pupils.

Pupils respond to the high expectations which are set for them. Behaviour around the school is positive. In lessons all pupils are on task and focused.

There is no learning time wasted. Pupils are unfailingly polite to adults and their peers.

The school has changed a great deal since the arrival of the executive principal.

Pupils and staff welcome these changes. Pupils believe that they can learn more effectively because lessons are calm, although they say that sometimes teachers are strict and the...y would like more responsibility for managing their own conduct. Results in public examinations show a strong upward trend.

Staff are caring. Pupils said that their teachers help them to learn and deal with any problems they have. The school has effective systems in place to deal with bullying.

Pupils feel safe in school. Sixth-form students have a well-being centre where they can get help and support.

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

Subject plans are well designed.

Leaders adapt these for pupils and students. Teachers plan lessons carefully. They ensure that they teach topics in an appropriate order.

The lessons build on pupils' previous learning. All lessons start with a 'Learning Platform' which helps pupils remember previous work. Pupils like this system.

Teachers and leaders identify any gaps in pupils' learning. Extra help is then put in place if needed. Teachers said that pupils' behaviour in lessons makes it a pleasure to teach.

Because of this, pupils' achievement in a range of subjects is high.

Leaders train teachers to develop their subject knowledge. Teachers adapt lessons to help pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.

They also carefully check that disadvantaged pupils are doing well. These pupils receive extra support and resources when required.

The number of pupils studying the EBacc suite of subjects is increasing.

They achieve well. Pupils are willing to answer and ask questions. However, pupils do not have many opportunities to develop their extended writing.

Leaders recognise that this is a gap and are training teachers to develop skills in this area. In a few subjects in the sixth form students do develop extended answers. Students' results at A level are average.

They do better in vocational subjects.

Leaders and teachers use assessment effectively. Teachers pick up on pupils' misconceptions.

They put extra resources in place to help their pupils understand. For example, in science, teachers used several methods to help pupils understand genetics crosses and inheritance.

Pupils show respect for their peers and for others less fortunate than themselves.

They learn about different religions. They collect for charities. Leaders offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.

Many pupils in Years 10 and 11 follow the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. During break, lunch and before school, pupils enjoy playing chess in the atrium. There are many sports on offer.

This includes table tennis, where the pupils challenge teachers to play. During the inspection pupils were preparing for the school production of 'Mary Poppins'.

Leaders reward good attendance.

Pupils' attendance is improving and is now around average. Leaders help pupils and students prepare for the next stage of their education and employment. There is a broad careers programme which starts in Year 7.

Teachers help pupils in Year 10 to prepare for the world of work. Pupils learn how to write job and college applications. Teachers support sixth-form students with university applications.

However, pupils say that they would like even more information about jobs. Sixth-form students would like information on apprenticeships.

Parents and carers, teachers and pupils said that the school has improved a great deal.

They said this is because of the strong leadership of the executive principal and senior team.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have developed a well-being team.

This team consists of staff, the school nurse, the school social worker and a police officer. This team keeps a careful eye on the safety of all pupils in the school. Governors and staff are trained regularly in safeguarding.

All staff are vigilant in reporting any concerns they have about pupils. Staff are fully aware of local risks such as gangs, knife crime and extremism. Teachers give pupils and students information about how to avoid these risks.

Pupils and their parents say that pupils are safe in school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Pupils' writing skills are not developing effectively across different subjects. Pupils are not confident in writing at length.

Leaders should further develop the literacy and reading programmes. . Pupils do not have enough opportunities to lead activities or manage their own behaviour.

Teachers should develop pupils' motivation and ability to manage their own behaviour. . Students' attainment in A-level examinations is average.

As a result, students' access to jobs and universities may be reduced. Leaders should develop the quality of academic subjects in the sixth form.Leaders provide a programme of careers advice and guidance.

However, this is not consistently in place in all year groups. Pupils would like more guidance so that they can access all the information they need. Leaders must ensure that all teachers are clear on what advice is given to pupils and when.

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