West Derby School

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About West Derby School

Name West Derby School
Website http://www.westderbyschool.org
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Sian Graham
Address 364 West Derby Rd, Liverpool, L13 7HQ
Phone Number 01512351300
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 1020
Local Authority Liverpool
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders have high expectations of pupils and students in the sixth form. Pupils rise to these expectations by following the 'West Derby Way'. Pupils are proud to attend this school.

Leaders' careful consideration of the curriculum ensures that pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and disadvantaged, achieve well in most subjects.

Strong relationships and mutual respect characterise interactions between staff and pupils. Pupils know that staff care for them and want the best for them.

As a result, they are happy to attend school and feel safe in school.

Pupils show acceptance of those people who are differen...t to themselves. Leaders have ensured that any bullying is dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Pupils behave well. There is a calm and purposeful atmosphere in classrooms.

Pupils eagerly participate in the termly 'Personal Growth Days'.

These provide pupils with a range of opportunities to help to prepare them well for life in modern Britain. For example, they have recently taken part in sessions about positive masculinity.

Pupils and students benefit from meaningful experiences with employers and universities.

Added to this, some pupils enjoy working towards achieving the Duke of Edinburgh's award.

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

Since the previous inspection, leaders have ensured that pupils have access to a broad and suitably ambitious curriculum. Students in the sixth form can study a wide range of academic and vocational courses.

Leaders have made changes to the curriculum to encourage more pupils to study the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects. The proportion of pupils opting to choose these subjects in key stage 4 is increasing.

Leaders have ensured a consistent approach to curriculum design that carefully maps out what pupils need to know and when.

Teachers have strong subject knowledge, and in most cases they design learning that meets the needs of pupils.

In the main, teachers routinely select activities that help pupils to build on what they know already. Staff ensure that pupils are given sufficient opportunities to consolidate their earlier learning.

This helps pupils to develop a deep body of subject knowledge.

In most subjects, teachers are adept at identifying and remedying gaps in pupils' knowledge. However, in a small number of subjects, some teachers do not address pupils' misconceptions as successfully as they should.

This means that, in these subjects, some pupils have gaps in their learning.

Leaders accurately identify the needs of pupils with SEND in a timely manner. Pupils and students with SEND are well supported by staff.

Leaders have ensured that staff are well trained in the most effective strategies to use in the classroom. As a result, teachers adapt the delivery of the curriculum skilfully to support these pupils to learn well.

Leaders have carefully considered the support that they give to those pupils who find reading difficult.

Staff identify pupils' gaps in reading knowledge and address them swiftly. As a result, these pupils catch up quickly. Furthermore, staff understand their responsibility to teach reading.

Leaders have carefully chosen a rich variety of texts, linking closely to the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum, which pupils enjoy.

Pupils are keen to learn and model positive attitudes in lessons. They follow the clear routines set out by staff.

Learning is seldom disrupted. This allows staff to focus on delivering the curriculum.

Leaders provide suitable careers advice and guidance for pupils.

Almost all pupils and students progress to further or higher education, employment or training. Students in the sixth form benefit from enrichment activities such as driving awareness and cookery classes, which help to develop their life skills. However, in key stages 3 and 4, leaders have not ensured that there is sufficient variety of activities to cater for pupils' diverse talents and interests.

Trustees are well informed about the school. They offer appropriate support and challenge to leaders. Staff feel that leaders consider their well-being and workload.

They appreciate and value opportunities for subject-specific training.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have a clear understanding of the risks that pupils may face.

They have ensured that staff are trained to spot any potential signs that pupils are at risk of harm. Leaders have created a vigilant safeguarding culture where staff promptly report any concerns. Leaders act swiftly to follow these up.

Staff provide suitable pastoral support for pupils. Pupils readily share concerns with staff. They are confident that staff will help them.

Leaders work successfully with external agencies to secure timely help for vulnerable pupils.

Staff ensure that the pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe and healthy. For example, pupils in Year 7 learn about the dangers of caffeine and high-energy drinks.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, teachers do not always use appropriate strategies to address the misconceptions that have been identified. As a result, some pupils have gaps in their knowledge. Leaders should ensure that teachers respond to pupils' misconceptions appropriately to ensure that pupils are prepared well for subsequent learning.

• There are limited opportunities for some pupils to develop their talents, interests and leadership skills. This means that some pupils are not as well prepared for their future lives as they could be. Leaders should ensure that pupils have sufficient encounters to take a full and active role in the life of the school and the wider community.

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