The Westwood Academy

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About The Westwood Academy

Name The Westwood Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Helen Lawrence
Address Mitchell Avenue, Canley, Coventry, CV4 8DY
Phone Number 02476467779
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 881
Local Authority Coventry
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school? '

A thirst for learning' is the aim for all at The Westwood Academy. For lots of pupils, this is achieved.

Leaders are committed to ensuring that all pupils get the best outcomes from their time at the school. Pupils are positive about how teachers challenge them to learn and expect lots from them. They feel that they are supported to be emotionally and physically healthy.

For some pupils, lessons help them develop the knowledge they need over time. There remains some work to be done to ensure that the curriculum and the way it is taught ensure that pupils get the most from all lessons.

Pupils' conduct in lessons is generally strong.

However, some pup...ils' attendance and attitudes to learning are not always positive. Pupils say that while bullying can happen, they are confident that staff act when this is reported to reduce the chance of it happening again. Inspectors agree.

Opportunities to prepare pupils for employment, higher education or training are given a high priority. The provision for careers is a real strength of the school. Pupils are positive about the support they get to be ready for their next steps.

Sixth-form students enjoy their studies and do well.

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

Since the last inspection, there have been several significant changes at the school. Pupil numbers are increasing quickly over time, and there have been substantial changes to staffing.

Leaders, governors and the multi-academy trust have a clear vision for the school. Their initial actions to improve attendance, provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and reading demonstrate the drive to ensure that all get the best outcomes from their time at Westwood. Leaders know that some things need to get better.

Their actions demonstrate their commitment to doing this quickly.

Pupils study a broad curriculum to develop their knowledge in different subjects. In subjects such as history and art, pupils learn the knowledge they need to be creative or develop as historians.

However, in some other subjects, leaders have not ensured pupils are taught the right knowledge at the right time. Leaders are currently putting in place new sequences of lessons to ensure that pupils have the essential knowledge they need to be confident for future learning.

Some pupils start at school not being able to read well enough to access all subjects independently.

The school is currently developing its approach to ensuring all pupils are confident readers. For those who cannot read, there are targeted interventions provided by the inclusion department to teach phonics, decoding and comprehension. Lessons in English are highly focused on providing opportunities to build confidence in reading.

However, this is not yet the case in most other subjects.

In some subjects, teachers regularly check that pupils get the most from each lesson. For example, pupils use whiteboards in mathematics to quickly demonstrate their understanding.

Teachers then adapt the lesson to correct misunderstandings. However, in some other subjects, teachers do not systematically check on the knowledge of all pupils and adjust their teaching when needed.

For pupils with SEND, provision is improving.

Pupils' needs are accurately identified by the SEND team, and support is put in place to meet those needs. This support takes place within the inclusion department. While this support is positive, it sometimes means pupils do not consistently access all other subjects.

Leaders know there is more to be done in this area to ensure that all teachers are skilled in understanding SEND and adapting their lessons accordingly to ensure pupils with SEND consistently access a broad and balanced curriculum.

Students in the sixth form are rightly positive about the breadth and quality of the provision they access. Their lessons successfully build their knowledge over time.

Study skills and opportunities to support charities are promoted. Students go on to higher education destinations, and feel this is due to the support and guidance they received in the sixth form. As a result of quality pastoral support and personal development in the sixth form, students are confident and aspirational about their futures.

Pupils inspectors spoke to are proud of their school and want to get the most from every opportunity available to them. However, some pupils are not as focused on learning as they might be and need too much prompting to stay on task in lessons. Some pupils who responded to the pupil survey raised concerns about behaviour during breaktimes or between lessons.

Attendance is improving over time. However, there are still too many who do not attend school enough.

Getting pupils ready for life in modern Britain is a high priority at the school.

Every day starts with mentoring sessions for all pupils. Sometimes, these are used to develop discussion and debate around important issues such as abuse, bullying and self-harm. However, this is not consistently the case.

A significant number of pupils who responded to the survey suggest they do not have opportunities to develop their talents and interests.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Regular training and updates from leaders ensure that all staff know their responsibilities around reporting concerns when needed.

When concerns are raised, those responsible for safeguarding move quickly to investigate and act. In the past, leaders have been too trusting that other external services share their commitment to keeping pupils safe, and have been reluctant to challenge those services. However, this is changing, and leaders' current actions show a commitment to make safeguarding even better at the school and to hold other services accountable.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The planned curriculum and implementation of that curriculum in some subjects do not always ensure pupils learn the critical knowledge and skills they need. In some cases, pupils are not prepared for the following stages of learning because they have not been taught certain content or do not understand previous lessons. Leaders need to ensure that the planned curriculum in all subjects and key stages is structured well and delivered as intended to teach pupils the knowledge they need to be ready for the next steps in learning.

• Not all teachers have a secure enough understanding of pupils' individual learning needs, particularly for those with SEND and those who are less able, and do not, therefore, adapt their lessons accordingly. This means some of these pupils do not get the most from the intended curriculum. Leaders need to ensure that all teachers understand the reasons for the additional needs of pupils in their classes and adapt their teaching accordingly when required.

• The strategies that leaders want teachers to use to teach pupils to be confident readers are not yet embedded across the curriculum. This means there are missed opportunities to develop reading skills and to practise those skills in other areas. Leaders need to develop a shared commitment across all subjects to ensure that all pupils develop as confident readers who can independently access all aspects of the curriculum.

• Leaders have not yet ensured that all pupils attend well, have positive attitudes to learning and interact appropriately in school. This means that some pupils do not get the most from lessons or wider experiences in the school. Leaders need to ensure that all pupils attend more regularly and develop positive attitudes to their learning and wider experiences in school.

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