The Sydney Russell School

Name The Sydney Russell School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 14 May 2013
Address Parsloes Avenue, Dagenham, Essex, RM9 5QT
Phone Number 02082704333
Type Academy
Age Range 4-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 2275 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.6
Academy Sponsor Partnership Learning
Local Authority Barking and Dagenham
Percentage Free School Meals 16.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 30.4%

Information about this school

Inspectors observed 55 lessons or part lessons. Twelve lessons were observed jointly with senior leaders and managers. Meetings were held with groups of students, governors, staff and a representative from the local authority. Inspectors looked at a range of evidence, including the school’s documents on self-evaluation and safeguarding. They observed the school’s work, looked at students’ books and the tracking system used to monitor students’ progress. Inspectors considered the 15 responses to the on-line Parent View questionnaire, and the school’s own student, staff and parent questionnaires.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Students make outstanding progress irrespective of their starting points or background. Students join the school with below average skills in reading, writing and mathematics. They make rapid progress and achieve outstandingly well. GCSE results are high when compared to the national average. Teachers have very high expectations of students, and the students live up to these expectations. In lessons they are fully engaged in their learning. Students from a wide range of backgrounds get on extremely well with each other. Relationships between staff and students are positive and respectful. Students are proud of, and delighted by, their new school buildings. Students are given demanding targets, which they understand, and push themselves hard to achieve or exceed them. All leaders and managers are highly ambitious for students. They make checks on students’ progress very effectively, so that they can take immediate action if any students are at risk of falling behind. The Chair of the Governing Body leads his colleagues well. The governors expect, and receive, excellence from the staff and students. Leaders’ focus on improving teaching is relentless. Staff are managed so that they are constantly supported, encouraged and challenged to be better teachers. There is a very broad range of subjects and activities on offer for students, which interest and excite them and provide them with highly positive experiences of learning. Parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school, and feel it is a very safe place for their children to be. The school is well regarded in the local community, and over subscribed. The sixth form is good, and improving. Numbers in the sixth form are increasing. Students taking work-related courses achieve extremely well. The progress of pupils taking academic courses is also good.