The Oaks Secondary School

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About The Oaks Secondary School

Name The Oaks Secondary School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Head Teacher Mrs Fiona Tweddle
Address Rock Road, Spennymoor, DL16 7DB
Phone Number 01388827380
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 348
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school.

The inspiring headteacher provides a clear vision for the school with a leadership team sharing her drive for improvement. Together, with the skilled and effective contribution of governance, the school has excellent capacity for continued improvements. Management of the teaching quality is highly effective and this has ensured that students have made ever-increasing progress following the last inspection.

However, leaders in all subjects do not always ensure that monitoring improves the consistency of assessment of students' work. Students make outstanding progress, particularly in their personal development. This means they are... exceptionally well-prepared for the next stage in their education or training.

Students also make outstanding progress in English and mathematics. They apply these subjects extremely well to all lessons leading to credible achievements in other subjects. The outstanding teaching provides well-planned lessons and relevant activities which constantly challenge students' thinking and understanding.

However, there is not always consistency from teachers with feedback in students' books and files on how they can improve their work. Excellent systems are in place that ensures that students' progress is tracked rigorously and consistently across the school. The sixth form is providing high quality teaching and preparing students extremely well for applying their skills in an adult situation.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and behaviour is exemplary. Students work hard and live up to the high expectations set for them to ensure that their behaviour is outstanding. Students are happy being in school and say they feel safe, secure and well cared for.

Information about this school

The Oaks school is a larger than average secondary special school. All the students have a statement of special educational needs. The large majority of students has moderate learning difficulties.

There are small minorities of students with severe learning difficulties and autism and a very small minority with profound multiple learning difficulties. A well-above average proportion of students is known to be eligible for the pupil premium funding. The pupil premium is additional funding for those who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children that are looked after by the local authority.

A below-average proportion of students is from minority ethnic backgrounds and a similar proportion speaks English as an additional language. Most students are of White British heritage. The school holds the Healthy Schools Award, Investing in Children Award and Rights Respecting School Award.

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