Westwood College

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About Westwood College

Name Westwood College
Website https://wwc.ttlt.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Head Teacher Mr Matthew Taylor
Address Westwood Park, Leek, ST13 8NP
Phone Number 01538370930
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 13-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 784
Local Authority Staffordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Westwood College promotes 'respect, resilience, ambition and pride'. Pupils say these values help them focus on how to develop positively as young people.

While the school has high aspirations for all its pupils and students, these ambitions have not been fully achieved. Nevertheless, pupils say there is an improving environment to learn in.

There is a purposeful atmosphere around the school.

During lessons and unstructured times, such as breaktimes and lunchtimes, many pupils behave sensibly. Where pupils' behaviour is not acceptable, staff speak quickly with these pupils to explain the school's high expectations. Pupils speak positively about the support th...ey receive.

Warm and respectful relationships characterise life at this school. Pupils feel happy and safe. Pupils know who to talk to about any concerns they may have.

The school places a strong emphasis on pupils' personal development. Students in the sixth form are proud to mentor pupils in the lower school. These roles help pupils understand how to be responsible.

The extra-curricular programme is diverse. Pupils take part in a range of clubs, such as sport, art and drama. Pupils value being able to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and school productions.

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

There has been significant change to some post holders at the school since the last inspection. This includes a new headteacher and changes to staff in other leadership roles. The school has worked rapidly to review and design a highly ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

New policies have brought some improvement in how pupils learn. However, these improvements have not yet led to consistently improving outcomes by the end of key stage 4.

Some teachers use assessments effectively in order to check what pupils know and to ensure that they understand previous learning.

For example, Year 10 pupils in drama can use their knowledge from a theatre production well to develop their characters in a devised piece of work. However, there are frequent times when some teachers do not check pupils' understanding carefully enough. As a result, they do not have a sufficiently detailed understanding of whether pupils have remembered what they have learned before.

This means that teachers do not consistently adapt the learning to address any wrong ideas or missing knowledge, which limits the progress pupils make.

The school quickly identifies pupils with SEND. They provide some pupils with the additional support they need to access and learn the curriculum.

However, some pupils with SEND do not receive effective support to fully meet their needs. Many teachers use the key information about pupils with SEND effectively in order to adapt their teaching. However, some teachers do not adapt learning well enough to fully support pupils with SEND.

The school is beginning to develop support for pupils who are weaker readers. However, this is at a very early stage of development. During 'tutor time' some teachers effectively model reading by highlighting key thematic work.

The school is beginning to develop more effective systems of checking pupils' comprehension of what they have read. Pupils are also starting to develop their understanding of key vocabulary and themes.

Absence from school is preventing a significant number of pupils from achieving their potential.

There are too many pupils who miss school unnecessarily. This means that they miss out on too much learning. The school is aware of the need to engage with pupils and parents further as a matter of urgency.

To support pupils' personal development, the personal, social, health and economic curriculum is well planned and sequenced. Pupils learn about topics such as healthy relationships and online safety. The school is providing pupils with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and awareness of spiritual and cultural diversity, although this is at an early stage of development.

A comprehensive careers programme is in place for all pupils. Pupils engage enthusiastically with this programme.

The school has not precisely evaluated which actions are the most effective in addressing the school's shortcomings.

For example, the school does not have a good enough understanding of why the progress of disadvantaged pupils is not as strong as it should be. Similarly, concerns around some pupils' attendance are not as well understood as they could be. However, governors and trustees do have a secure awareness of the importance of safeguarding and well-being.

The school has implemented a clear well-thought-out professional development programme for staff. The school consults staff about policy changes and carefully considers staff workload, which staff are appreciative of.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers do not consistently check that pupils understand what has been learned and what they can remember. This means that gaps in pupils' knowledge are not identified and addressed effectively, and therefore they do not make as much progress as they should. The school should ensure that teachers consistently check pupils' understanding and adapt their teaching accordingly to close any gaps.

Some pupils miss too much school, including disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND. This holds back their progress and achievement. The school should work more closely with parents and external agencies to communicate effectively and secure more regular attendance for all pupils.

• The school has not reviewed or analysed some of its improvement actions as carefully as it should. This means that it does not always know the effectiveness of its strategies to support pupils' progress and development. The school should ensure that it precisely analyses the effectiveness of improvement strategies to ensure it makes a positive difference to all pupils' education, including disadvantaged pupils.

• Some pupils with SEND do not receive sufficient support to enable them to effectively access the curriculum. This limits the progress and achievement of these pupils. The school should ensure that pupils with SEND receive effective support to enable them to make strong progress across the curriculum.

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