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The Rowans AP Academy

Inspiring change for a brighter future

School Self Evaluation Form

The Rowans – ‘Inspiring change for a brighter future’

Context of the school

The Rowans is currently one of two local authority pupil referral units in Medway and the only non-selective secondary school, within Medway, to be currently rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. The leadership of The Rowans have started the application for Multiacademy Trust status as well as applying to set up an Alternative Provision Primary Free School, within Medway.

The Rowans is a highly effective pupil referral unit, which caters for pupils who have been permanently excluded from Medway mainstream schools, with a roll of 52 pupils. There are occasions where the roll may increase, this is negotiated with Medway Local Authority on a case by case basis.  Pupils are taught in small groups of between six and eight, depending on the assessment of their needs, supported by a teaching assistant. Some of our pupils follow personalised curriculums, which enables us to meet all their needs. Many of our pupils needs are identified as social, emotional, mental health and behavioural, with mostly all pupils having additional learning needs.  Some pupils are assessed as needing to undergo statutory assessment and when completed these pupils will transfer to specialist provisions.

The Rowans offers holistic care, combining quality education with personalised behaviour and emotional support for the individual pupils. The Rowans recognise that this holistic care is imperative for the pupils, many of whom have often been out of education for a substantial period of time, some of whom have previously been school refusers. These pupils therefore need intensive work to ensure they can access learning.

The Rowans works in partnership with external agencies to offer targeted intervention and support, these agencies include; the youth offending team, Medway’s Early Help Team, Child and Mental Health service, functional family therapy (recently been stopped due to lack of funding), Onside therapy service, education psychology, Medway Community Health, social services, Kent police, open road substance misuse and Medway secondary schools. 

We have a strong, dedicated staff comprising of teachers, teaching assistants, learning mentors and specialist administrative staff. We focus strongly on pupil progress both academic and personal and work hard to inspire change for a brighter future.  More recently the newly formed and ever improving interventions team has taken a key role in the identification of pupils needing further more focussed support with academic progress and meeting complex welfare needs.

The Rowans (formerly part of the Silverbank centre) received its first monitoring inspection in October 2014.  It was a positive inspection and found many strengths and areas of significant progress.

All staff strongly agree they are proud to be a member of the school.  They report that the school is well led and managed and that the school makes appropriate provision for their professional development. The acting headteacher, ably supported by the assistant headteacher, is providing highly ambitious and effective leadership. There is a universally shared and understood view that the school is determined to provide students with an outstanding education”.  (Osfted monitoring visit Oct 14)

This monitoring inspection suggested that The Rowans was ready for full inspection.  On the 26th February 2015 The Rowans received its first full Ofsted inspection.  The inspection rated The Rowans Outstanding in all four categories.  With the key findings as follows:

Students’ achievement is outstanding. They make excellent progress and, for many of them, it is the first time that they have experienced success in education.

Year 11 leavers gain a wide variety of recognised academic and vocational qualifications which enable them to go on to employment, training or apprenticeships.

The outstanding leadership of the headteacher
and the senior team has brought about significant, rapid and sustained improvement since the last inspection.

The school has rigorous and highly effective
systems for checking on students’ progress and on the quality of teaching. The management committee is highly knowledgeable about all aspects of the school and provides excellent support and challenge to ensure that the school continues to improve.

Teachers are expert at gaining students’ interest and challenging them to improve their work. Students respond extremely positively and the vast majority want to do well.

Students make outstanding progress in English, particularly in reading, and in mathematics.

Students’ behaviour in lessons and around school is typically outstanding. Students show respect for each other and for adults.
The school’s procedures for keeping students safe in school are excellent and they say they feel extremely safe. They know that there are adults to whom they can turn if they need support.

The school places importance on coming to school regularly. In most cases, when students join the school, their attendance improves significantly. Attendance rates are close to those in mainstream secondary schools.

Staff agree that behaviour is good and that children are safe at the Rowans.

Each pupil has a Pupil Profile document, which identifies areas of strength and also areas for further development, to support their progress. The pupils who are referred to the Rowans are often unable to return to mainstream school due to their complex needs, however there is a path for reintegration where deemed appropriate. The plan also provides a clear post 16 pathway for key stage 4 learners. This can be seen in the Rowans leaver’s destination data.

The Rowans combines an interesting, relevant and appropriately-accredited curriculum, with enrichment opportunities key to promoting and developing life skills and raising self esteem. The Rowans has a commitment to offering an engaging and challenging curriculum with a focus and increased curriculum time in English, Maths and Science plus a dedicated reading lesson once a week for key stage 3 pupils.  The expectation of all learners is to gain nationally recognised qualifications by the time they leave the Rowans.

Key points include:

  • The proportion of students who have special educational needs is well above the national average. An increasing number of students are learning English as an additional language. 

  • Most pupils are White British and there are more boys than girls. 

  • The proportion of students known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium (additional government funding for pupils who are eligible for free school meals or in local authority care) is well above average. 

  • All courses are taught at The Rowans with the exception of physical education, which is taught using off- site facilities but by Rowans school staff. The school does not use alternative providers. 

  • Very low attainment on admission.  Usually the low attainment on entry reflects indifferent attitudes to learning and history of poor attendance.  In addition pupils’ academic needs have not been previously identified or met.   All pupils have below expected levels in all subjects and inherent weakness with basic literacy and numeracy. Pupils have low reading and spelling ages with respect to their chronological age. Where the key stage 2 data is available it is found to be inaccurate largely due to long absence from school. Staff at the Rowans have the highest aspirations for all pupils, and through targeted support and effective teaching and learning they make substantial and sustained progress.
  • SDQ data on entry shows significant social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.  This data combined with observed behaviours often indicates a need for assessment of conditions such as ASD, ADHD, mental health issues and anger issues.
  • The Rowans is a member of the Medway Teaching Schools Alliance (MTSA) and has successfully supported trainees to gain QTS over the past two years.  This partnership is crucial in The Rowans’ continual pursuit of outstanding practice.
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment has significantly improved due to effective use of data, timely interventions, high quality training, robust teacher appraisal and strong leadership and management.  Inadequate teaching has been rigorously challenged by the leadership, resulting in significant staffing changes. Leadership and management successfully promote the Rowans shared vision of becoming an outstanding provision, with a continuous drive for improvement.  

Outcomes for Pupils

The current judgement for achievement is outstanding

Evidence that supports that judgement:

  • “In Key Stage 3, the careful match of work to individual needs means that students start to catch up rapidly and make outstanding progress, particularly in the basic skills of literacy and numeracy”. 

 Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • “Students who join the school in Key Stage 4 have often made little progress in Key Stage 3. They start to make much faster progress and, in 2014, all students achieved recognised qualifications in English and mathematics. Occasionally the school uses early entry to GCSE to help challenge students to achieve more”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • “The most able students are expected to aim high and are set challenging targets. They are currently on track to achieve the five GCSE passes at grade C or better, including English and mathematics. This allows them to move on to higher-level qualifications when they leave the school”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • The average point score per pupil has remained high and stable over the last three years, with a dramatic increase in 2015-2016.  KS4 APS have improved from 154.8 in 2014-2015 to 218.4 in 2015-2016.  The Rowans compares outstandingly well with PRU data nationally.  The Rowans APS for 2016 after discounting was 218.4, this compares with a national PRU APS of 52.0.  The % 5 A*-G at GCSE or equivalent nationally for PRUs in the latest data published is 12%, The Rowans is 92%. The % 1+ A*-G GCSE or equivalent nationally for PRUs is 58% compared to 100% for the Rowans.
  • 2015-2016 Key stage 3 progress is good and outstanding in some areas.  By the end of 2015-16, 85% of ks3 pupils achieved or exceeded national progress expectations in Maths, English 40% and Science 65%.  In practical subjects, pupil progress was higher with 90% achieving or exceeding progress expectations in food and 80% in sport.  Analysis of key stage 3 progress data and attainment on entry shows that significant progress is made in closing the attainment gaps.
  • With Raise on line data not available for the Rowans, we use national PRU data and our own comprehensive baseline assessment package to track progress, set aspirational targets and analyse and evaluate achievement. The term 6 data report shows that progress at key stage 4 is outstanding especially in GCSE Art, ECDL and BTEC Health and Social Care.  Analysis of data shows that for 2015-16, the predicted APS was 201.36 and the achieved APS was 218.4.  54% of pupils exceeded their APS target, based on predicted grades.
  • The Rowans has secure assessment and tracking procedures, recently updated, to incorporate the new assessment pathways at KS4 and steps of progress for KS3, which is rigorously applied. The interventions team is led and managed by The Head of English.  This team of teachers and intervention teaching assistants is proving highly effective in using the data available to identify gaps in learning, providing personalised provision and therefore closing attainment and progress gaps. The pupil premium money contributes to funding some of the intervention team posts, and ensures that pupils who receive pupil premium are targeted for intervention where appropriate and make progress in line with their peers. The work that the intervention team does is multifaceted and can include welfare/family work.
  • KS3 targets are set based on 4 steps of progress in an academic year, KS4 aspirational target grades are based on comprehensive baseline assessment data, end of KS2 and end of KS3 data.  We take into consideration the pupils Key stage 2 data however we feel strongly that within the PRU setting this alone is not an accurate assessment of progress or predictor of attainment.
  • Pupils and parents/carers both complete a strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ).  The SDQ is done three times per academic year.  This data is used to assess social and emotional progress of the pupils and is used to inform intervention and can be used as a tool to explain trends in pupil progress data as well as indicate mental health needs.  Pupils also complete a WRAT4 (wide range achievement test), SATs papers for literacy and numeracy, NNRIT, LASS, hodder reading, vernon spelling and a behaviour profile.  The amalgamation of these tests is a secure baseline for all pupils and a data overview is generated.
  • Progress is outstanding in relation to individual starting points and for some pupils their individual progress is exceptional.  On entry to the Rowans, data shows that pupils are underachieving; however, progress for most pupils is in line or often exceeding progress expectations by the end of the academic year.
  • Progress has improved since 2010, and this improvement has been particularly significant in the last few years.  Our analysis shows that overall progress in a wide range of subjects is consistently strong and regular robust monitoring indicates that pupils achieve well over time.
  • Monitoring and quality assurance including scrutiny of pupil’s work is carried out termly and shows that progress and the quality of learning is good. Where applicable the school uses pupil premium to support the progress of the most vulnerable pupils. Examples of this include in 2015/16; 1:1 maths and literacy intervention, therapeutic intervention including; art, lego, cooking and gardening, phonics and reading programmes and breakfast club before school and at break time.
  • KS4 Options were introduced in 2010-11 to allow pupils access to a more challenging curriculum and enabling them to achieve a wider range of nationally recognised qualifications. Since 2011 the breadth of qualifications available has increased year on year.  In 2015-2016 there were a choice of 14 GCSEs and 7 BTEC courses, in addition to the Duke of Edinburgh award and Rock School certificate for music practitioners.
  • The Rowans is committed to support pupils to read widely and often.  There is a timetabled weekly reading lesson in key stage 3, and reading is also a targeted intervention across the school.

Why achievement is not the grade below

Pupil progress is outstanding for the great majority of pupils; with the gap in attainment closing rapidly and taking into account their low starting points and contextual data.

Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment is currently judged at Outstanding

Evidence that supports that judgement:

  • “From the point where students join the school, staff quickly establish excellent relationships which help students to settle down and make outstanding progress” . Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • “The teaching of literacy and mathematics is outstanding and enables students to make rapid progress. The school has made the teaching of reading a particularly high priority. In a Key Stage 3 reading lesson, a popular choice of book really engaged students’ interest. They were reading confidently and discussing the text with high levels of enjoyment.” Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • As of July 2016, 93% of the quality of teaching, learning and assessment was judged to be good or better.  This data was based on rigorous monitoring, gathering data on lesson observations, planning checks, work scrutiny’s and learning walks.  This data is triangulated and shows an improvement in the quality of teaching and learning over the last few years. Where teaching in the past has been judged to be less than good, the Leadership group put support plans in place and started capability procedures in a number of cases.  These members of staff have subsequently left the Rowans.
  • Staff use assessment to ensure their lessons have the right levels of challenge, and as a result pupils are increasingly successful.  Formal assessment happens six times a year, which enables better tracking and monitoring of pupil progress.
  • LG judgements have been quality assured.
  • High expectations are set by all staff and founded on our habits of mind which are rigorously applied.  Investment in pupil mentoring, daily monitoring through day sheets and the celebration of individual and whole school successes is set alongside a restorative approach.
  • Information on pupils from the induction process is shared with teachers to inform planning and personalisation.
  • The use of assessment to support learning is good. Pupils are assessed regularly and accurately at both key stages.  Pupils all have a baseline and target pathway on their books/folders, next steps are clearly identified and signposted so that further progress can be made.  All pupils are fully aware of where they are in their learning and where they need to be.  Outstanding teamwork supports and engages learners.
  • There is a whole school marking policy, which has a focus on improving literacy.
  • Teachers have high expectations, which enables pupils to make good progress and develop a range of skills across the curriculum.  Effective teaching strategies are matched closely to the pupils needs and ensure optimum progress in learning.
  • The Rowans is part of the Medway Teaching Schools Alliance, supporting ITE within a partnership between ourselves, the MTSA and Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU).  We profit from targeted quality CPD as well as delivering CPD to the other schools in the consortium.

Why teaching is not the grade below

Teaching is good or better in all lessons as shown in monitoring and quality assurance data.

Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare

Personal development, behaviour and welfare is currently judged at Outstanding

Evidence that supports that judgement:

  • When they first arrive, a large majority of the learners show extremely challenging behaviour, all having been permanently excluded from mainstream Medway schools.  The clear and extremely well applied behaviour policy enables pupils to take ownership of their behaviour and sustained change for the better can be seen over time.

The behaviour of students is outstanding. The school is orderly, purposeful and focused on learning. Students respect their environment and the school is free from graffiti and litter. Guidance and expectations for behaviour are clear. Students know they have to keep the rules and to quote one student, ‘We don’t mess about in lessons.’ They are also extremely positive about staff support. Another student said, ‘This place changes lives.’ Staff are quick to pick up on times when extra support may be needed. Very strong links with parents, carers and different agencies means that the school is able to provide students with specialist help when needed. Students have excellent attitudes to learning. They are highly focused on improving their grades. Staff are patient and continue to encourage them if they are finding something particularly difficult. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15

  • There are many implicit and explicit opportunities to promote spiritual, moral and cultural development; such as timetabled PSHE lessons, cultural visits, many charity events both worldwide and local and whole school assemblies.  SMSC is also embedded in all areas of the curriculum and all opportunities are exploited to celebrate diversity. Throughout the year we invite guest practitioners to deliver key areas.  In particular, we have a strong relationship with a high quality PSHE provider called ‘play it safe’ and ‘keep out’.  A teacher has responsibility for ensuring that SMCS is high profile in and around the school and that all opportunities for SMCS are exploited.  In addition an evidence file is kept to track these opportunities and to see the impact that they have on the whole school.
  • Exclusions have dramatically decreased in 2014-2015 to 27 days (18 children), exclusions were up in 2015-2016 with 50.5 days (18 children), so far in 2016-17 there have been 3 days lost to exclusion. Exclusions increasing has been due to a more consistent and rigorous application of the school’s behaviour policy.  Currently the behaviour in and out of lessons has dramatically improved and there has been a reduction in reported minor incidents.
  • Behaviour profile data shows a decrease in poor behaviour.
  • Behaviour and attitude to learning has improved due also to an engaging and relevant curriculum - improvements in teaching & learning; vocational learning opportunities, a personalised curriculum for the individual with the timely use of academic and therapeutic interventions.
  • There is a robust reward system for positive behaviour and celebration of achievements
  • The Rowans regularly communicates with parents and carers.  The latest parent/carer questionnaire (June 2016) responses showed that 100% of parents feel their child is safe at school and well looked after. Opinions include “They treat my son with respect and understanding”, “They listen to any problems and deal with concerns brilliantly” “One big family of support, fantastic teachers , my son is a changed boy” Parent consultation evenings are well attended with 98.5% of parents attending the last consultation in June 2016. The parental questionnaire shows an overwhelming majority of parents are pleased with The Rowans and feel that their children are finally receiving the support and education that they need to make progress, be happy and make positive changes.
  • There is a well-established school council led by the students.  This has increased participation and engagement in decision-making by the pupils and allowed better communication and conflict resolution between staff and pupils. Pupils have joined the Medway youth parliament and have taken a keen interest in current Medway issues, many pupils were nominated for Try Angle Awards with one Year 10 pupil being an overall winner in the ‘Personal Development’ category.  Pupils and staff take pride in the appearance of the Rowans.
  • The staff at the Rowans know the pupils well.  They build positive professional relationships quickly and act as positive role models ensuring pupils understand the importance of good attitudes and behaviour in school.  The form tutors and form TA play a key role in this process. 
  • There is a house system within the school, pupils and staff have a strong sense of belonging to their house team.  There are termly in house competitions, these are often sporting competitions but there is an increased number of academic based competitions.
  • Pupils tell us that they are listened to and respected by adults and other children. They know who to approach if they have a problem and know that issues are dealt with promptly and effectively. They like the form tutor role and feel that they can go to members of their form team or the Leadership group.  They are confident in the Leadership group.
  • All pupils give in their mobile phones at the start of the school day.  This has improved the learning environment immensely.
  • Pupils respect each other and incidents of racism or harassment are rare. The school has a comprehensive policy for challenging and managing incidents of bullying.  The pupils have a good awareness of their own needs and the needs of others within the school.  Pupil’s attitudes to learning are positive and there is a positive ethos in and around the school. All staff have received ‘teamteach’ training and training including more recently tackling homophobic bullying, FGM and PREVENT training.
  • Welfare needs have an impact on attendance and attainment.  At The Rowans, the welfare of the pupils is vitally important to us.  We have an interventions teaching assistant whose main focus is welfare work.  This has been instrumental in building relationships between school and home, nurturing trust and establishing crucial links with fellow professionals and external agencies.
  • Attendance is much improved.  The school has robust procedures in place to ensure good attendance.  Our whole behaviour policy and daily procedures feed into this.  The daysheet monitors attendance and punctuality on a lesson by lesson basis.  First day calling for absent pupils is a priority for the senior team, the school’s expectations of attendance for both staff and pupils is high.   The school are in regular contact with parents, via phone, text, email and letter.   The Rowans have devised our own information attendance leaflet which is updated and regularly sent out to parents.  This has contributed to improved attendance particularly amongst persistent absentees.  Whole school Rowans attendance shows an upward trend with current attendance target at 96%.   Attendance for 2015-16 was 87.4% at the Rowans and the latest national PRU data shows an average national PRU attendance of 68.1%. The vast majority of pupils’ attendance is significantly improved compared to their attendance at their previous school.
  • Pupils, regardless of ability and backgrounds, tell us that they enjoy coming to school and that they feel safe and secure.
  • Daily pupil tracking sheets monitor how well pupils respect the habits of mind foundation for the school day.  The daily pupil tracking sheets feed in to the whole school reward system.  The reward system is based on short term targets to be met with the highest achievers earning a whole group reward. 
  • All pupils are aware of the schools high expectations; and the sanctions and rewards to support improvement. 

Why personal development, behaviour and welfare is not the grade below

Pupil’s attitudes to learning are positive, there is a positive ethos in the school.  Behaviour is managed consistently well and there have been marked improvements in behaviour over time. 

Effectiveness of Leadership and Management

Effectiveness of Leadership and Management is currently judged at Outstanding

Evidence that supports that judgement:

  • The leadership group have a shared vision, consistently communicating high expectations and ambition for both pupils and staff.  As a result of accurate monitoring, rigorous appraisal and effective professional development, teaching is good or better.  The three year attainment and attendance trends show that there have been rapid and sustainable improvements in standards, progress, teaching and learning.

“There is a universally shared and understood view that the school is determined to provide students with an outstanding education. This aim is at the heart of all planning and decision making. As a result of this clear and focused approach, school leaders and the highly skilled and knowledgeable management committee have successfully secured improvements against all the areas identified at the inspection of June 2013” Osfted monitoring report 2014

  • The partnership between the headteacher and her deputy is the driving force behind the improvement in the school. Their rigour and high expectations ensure that the school provides an outstanding education where students flourish. Staff, students and the management committee share their vision for the school”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • “Teachers know that they are accountable for their students’ progress. Teachers receive highly effective support to develop their skills and every opportunity to improve. This approach has contributed well to securing high quality teaching over time”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • “The curriculum meets students’ needs very effectively and equality of opportunity is promoted well. The management of the provision for students with special educational needs and those with English as an additional language is highly effective. The curriculum is planned carefully to make sure it meets students’ requirements effectively”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • There is a relentless focus on helping learners to realise the true levels of their talents and their academic potential.
  • Teachers are made fully aware of the links between their performance and pay and that whole school responsibilities are expected of those on higher payscales, via the appraisal process.
  • “The management committee provides effective governance and delivers a strong steer for school improvement” Ofsted monitoring report 2014   It is determined to see that the school continues to improve. Members bring considerable expertise and a wide range of skills and experience to their work. This enables them to drive up expectations for improvement…….The work of the management committee has been highly significant in improving the school”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15
  • There are frequent visits from mainstream colleagues keen to see what lies behind the success of the Rowans, this has proved hugely beneficial for our mainstream colleagues. 
  • Inadequate teaching has been eradicated and there has been an improvement in the percentage of good and outstanding lessons.  Leaders are successful in improving teaching and learning and in providing a broad and relevant curriculum.
  • The Leadership have an on-going drive to engage learners and enable them to succeed in improving their literacy, reading, numeracy and basic life skills so that they are well equipped for the future.  Curriculum time has been increased in Maths and English to enable better progress.  One of the English lessons is a dedicated reading lesson.  The middle leaders of Maths and English have significantly raised the profile of these core subject areas including weekly quizzes, conundrums and whole school events.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets the needs of pupils is outstanding across the Rowans. The timetable is well organised and flexible to cater for the different phases and times of the year as well as meeting the individual needs of the pupils.  The flexibility also allows for creativity and many enrichment activities.
  • The curriculum encourages engagement and participation, providing pupils with many opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The range of experiences supports the development of wellbeing; the residential camping trips, activities week, excursions to historical or topical places, such as the theatre or Chatham Historic Dockyard. In September 2015 a small group of pupils and staff took part in a national residential trip to the Belgium battlefields. There has been notable impact of this enrichment over time, with pupils now able to manage outside of their comfort zones and travel outside of their home towns. This extra-curricular programme is supported by our range of after school clubs.
  • The school ensures that each child is respected and valued and staff work successfully to meet their needs academically and socially. We record and deal with incidents (child protection, racism, bullying, and parental concerns). Our in-depth involvement with the pupils and their families makes our safeguarding procedures outstanding.  Safeguarding has remained a high priority and key area for staff induction and training.
  • The school has a new committed management committee who systematically support and challenge the school’s leadership.  Members of the management committee are increasingly knowledgeable about the schools’ performance and sub committees ensure that staff and resources are effectively deployed. To effectively impact on the work of the school and leadership at all levels, the management committee all have a designated area of expertise and this forms the focus for monitoring visits. The management committee is comprised of Headteachers and senior leaders from local Medway schools, as well as a local authority representative and two parent representatives.

Successes are underpinned by the following key areas of strength:

  • Leaders model outstanding teaching, planning and tracking and facilitate good and outstanding learning.
  • School improvement priorities are clearly articulated in strategic plans that are reviewed regularly in Leadership Group meetings and shared with all staff and management committee members.
  • All staff share a common ambition for the pupils success and work effectively as a team to drive improvement and communicate high expectations.
  • Staff make good use of data, pupil progress meetings and evidence from pupils work to identify strengths and areas for development, ensuring optimum attainment and significantly closing the attainment gap.
  • Appraisal systems are robust and linked to the school’s priorities, as identified in the SIP. All staff have focused appraisal targets relating to pupil progress.
  • Parental engagement, support for families including multi agency partnership is outstanding, particularly as the majority of parents have previously found working with schools difficult.  The school works well with parents/carers.

Why the effectiveness of leadership and management is not the grade below

The Leadership at all levels has secured rapid and sustained change and progress in all areas.

Overall effectiveness (including the promotion of pupils’ SMSC)

Progress since the last inspection continues to be outstanding in all areas. Examination results have been improved so that pupils now make outstanding progress.  There has been an effective focus on improving teaching, learning and assessment, which currently stands at 93% good or better, and this has had a notable impact on progress and attainment.  The development of quality assurance processes has confirmed good practice and confirmed the leaderships judgements.  Tracking systems provide an accurate and clear picture of pupils’ progress across the school, they identify any pupils not making good progress and interventions are planned to close the attainment gap.  All staff now share the responsibility for improving the education for all pupils, and morale is high.  The curriculum meets requirements and provides good opportunities for social, moral and cultural development.

Progress and achievement are outstanding, pupils who have fallen behind are being supported to make substantial and sustained progress.

SMSC is evident in all areas of the curriculum and can be seen in medium term plans of each subject area.  The school council also ensures that the pupil voice is heard and answered.

“The school prepares students very well for life in modern Britain through personal and social education, careers education, life skills and support for charities. Opportunities to take part in activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Sports Leadership are valued by students. British values, including tolerance and respect for differences, are promoted well”. Ofsted final inspection report Feb 15

Pupils are curious about the world around them and they embrace new experiences - participation in ‘play it safe’ workshop broadening their understanding. They respect others and interact positively and there are minimal incidences of racism, bullying or discrimination.   Pupils have increasingly positive attitudes to learning.

The support provided within the school enables most pupils to make rapid improvements. The curriculum successfully places strong emphasis on practical subjects as a means of enthusing and motivating pupils, giving regular opportunities to experience success, and boost self-esteem. The consistently firm but fair application of the habits of mind by members of staff, with the emphasis on the pupils having to make choices, is in the main enabling pupils to make informed decisions and judgements when faced with moral dilemmas. They also are developing a strong sense of common values.   The staff have worked hard to ensure that The Rowans is a community where pupils feel safe, loved and valued.

We are proud of our success in meeting the needs of those with significant behaviour or learning difficulties and other vulnerable groups.  We have increasingly broadened our approaches to teaching these pupils who consequently make outstanding progress. Whilst ensuring that more able pupils are helped to reach the higher levels.

Pupils enjoy coming to school and are enjoying experiencing success.  Leadership roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and having a positive impact. Senior leaders regularly monitor teaching and learning through a planned programme of observations and performance management and where any inconsistencies are identified in levels of challenge and expectations for pupils, these are quickly addressed.

Without exception the staff team are united in the pursuit of a shared, ambitious vision for the children at The Rowans.