Wize Up


Name Wize Up
Website http://www.wize-up.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 14 January 2020
Address 579 Westhorne Avenue, Eltham, London, SE9 6DN
Phone Number 02088599664
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 39 (58% boys 42% girls)
Local Authority Greenwich
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils start here on either short- or long-term placements. Many have been out of school for a long time. Each pupil is treated as an individual. Everyone works together to make sure pupils’ physical and emotional well-being come first. Pupils feel listened to and are well looked after.

Staff have high expectations for pupils’ personal development. Leaders provide effective one-to-one support and therapy that help pupils to improve their behaviour and social skills.

Most pupils behave well and staff deal with any disruption calmly. Pupils learn how to stay safe, including in relation to bullying and its consequences. They say that bullying is rare and dealt with quickly.

Pupils succeed at Wize Up. Many go back to mainstream school. Others stay and go on to achieve qualifications that prepare them for their future lives. Those who stay are fully supported in finding the right courses for when they leave school.

Leaders design a broad curriculum to meet individual needs. However, it could include more activities and courses that would help pupils to fully develop their talents and interests. In some subjects, planning and teaching could be adapted more successfully to help pupils remember their previous learning.

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

Leaders are ambitious for all pupils. They ensure that pupils have the right support and a personal approach to help them succeed. Everyone has a focus on ‘breaking down barriers’ and helping pupils to have a fresh start. Other schools and local authority staff that work with Wize Up speak highly about how well the school helps pupils to achieve.

Pupils often join the school at different times during the year. Leaders find out what pupils know and what they do not. They use this information to create a curriculum package for each pupil. Leaders prepare individual learning plans. These include specific information about pupils’ special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Most teachers use these effectively to meet pupils’ needs. Teaching assistants work well with pupils to help them learn.

Pupils learn a range of subjects, including citizenship and information technology, to complement their English, mathematics and science. Leaders are working to improve the curriculum, for example by introducing new arts-related subjects and having more clubs.

Leaders make sure subjects are well resourced. Teachers have what they need to teach their subjects, so that, for example, pupils can complete practical work inscience. Leaders are beginning to work with mainstream schools to improve their curriculum, such as using their science laboratories and taking part in staff training.

Leaders have ensured that appropriate plans are in place for most subjects. Teachers think about how to plan and sequence what pupils will learn. They share their short-term plans with pupils. This is to help pupils remember what they have learned before. Some of these plans are not well developed, for example in science and information technology. They lack detail about the vocabulary and concepts that teachers want pupils to know and remember. As a result, these are not as helpful to pupils as they could be.

Most pupils’ behaviour and attendance improve during their time at the school. Most staff nip any disruption in the bud quickly to prevent small issues from becoming more serious. As a result, pupils learn to stay focused and to take responsibility for their behaviour and actions.

Pupils benefit from lots of advice and guidance about possible careers. They are well supported in preparing for life after school. During their time at the school, pupils make strong gains in both their studies and personal development.

Leaders check attendance well and work with external agencies when further action is needed. However, pupils’ punctuality at the beginning of the school day is not high enough. As a result, some miss out on topical discussions and reading activities.

Pupils learn a great deal about life in modern Britain, and other religions and beliefs. Staff, during citizenship and religious education, encourage pupils to form their own opinions. They also help pupils to listen to each other’s viewpoints. This includes when discussing topics such as sex before marriage. Pupils also go on different trips, for example to the Houses of Parliament and Royal Courts of Justice.

The management committee of the school has new members since the previous inspection. This includes a new chair of the committee. Currently, members offer more support than they do challenge. They have not had the range of training needed to help them to know how to hold school leaders fully to account.

Leaders have made sure that all the independent school standards are met. The school meets the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The safeguarding policy is on the school’s website.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that they find out about pupils’ needs and personal circumstances before they start their placement. Leaders work with and share information with external agencies quickly when they have a safeguarding concern.

Leaders rightly put a huge emphasis on the safeguarding curriculum. In personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), pupils learn, in an age-appropriate way, about risks to their health and well-being. This includes joy-riding, exploitation, and alcohol and drugs misuse. Leaders make sure that pupils hear from guest speakers who address issues such as extremism, gang affiliation and knife crime. All this work combines to make sure that pupils learn about how to look after themselves, including on their journey to and from school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders have ambition for the curriculum and keep it under review. They have identified that opportunities for pupils to be creative are too limited. As a result, pupils do not fully nurture and exploit their talents and interests to the full. Leaders should follow through with their plans to widen the curriculum offer further, including additional clubs and activities. . While teachers have long-term plans and schemes of work in place, some short-term plans (which teachers share with pupils) lack depth. They do not make clear the range of subject terminology and knowledge that pupils need to learn. As a result, they are not useful enough for pupils. Leaders need to make sure that all short-term plans are well planned. They should also make sure that all teachers use them to help their pupils go back and remember their previous learning. . Pupils’ punctuality at the beginning of the school day is not high enough. Some pupils do not benefit from the topical discussions, debate and coverage of current affairs that take place at the beginning of the day. Leaders need to do more to ensure that pupils arrive by the expected time of 9.10am. . The management committee has recently undergone significant change with new members, including a new chair. Members have not been as challenging to school leaders as they should be. There needs to be a suitable training programme, particularly for the chair. This is to ensure that all have the knowledge and skills to challenge leaders more on the impact of their work.