Denewood Academy


Name Denewood Academy
Website http://www.denewoodunity.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 12 February 2020
Address Denewood Academy, 113 Forest Road West, Radford, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7 4ES
Phone Number 01159151271
Type Pupil Referral Unit
Age Range 7-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 68 (79% boys 21% girls)
Local Authority Nottingham
Percentage Free School Meals 44.1%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils like attending this welcoming and friendly school. Leaders create a calm place of safety where pupils, previously ‘switched off’ from education, are now learning. Staff help pupils to overcome challenges and focus on their educational goals. Pupils like to spend time with Buddy, the school therapy dog, who helps them to be calm and ‘stay on track’. Pupils behave well.

Pupils collect points for their achievements, striving towards the Denewood expectations to be ‘aspirational, enthusiastic and responsible’. They learn to celebrate their efforts, and those of others, in class and in assemblies.

Leaders provide many interesting opportunities for pupils to learn about different careers and the skills and qualifications needed. Staff also instil in pupils a sense of responsibility. Pupils take part in the local community by supporting people who are homeless and doing jobs such as litter picking.

Pupils show kindness and respect towards one another and adults. Pupils say that it is easy to make friends at Denewood. They say that the school is a safe place. Pupils are confident that if a problem occurs, they can tell an adult, who will sort it out quickly. Pupils confirm that bullying rarely happens and is dealt with by leaders if it does.

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

Leaders give pupils an education that captures their interest and helps them to prepare for the future. In particular, pupils learn the skills they need to return to mainstream schools. Learning is broad, interesting and varied. Teachers check what pupils already know and remember. They use this information to plan what to teach next.

Leaders pinpoint the difficulties that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) experience, and arrange timely support. Staff work with a range of agencies to make sure that pupils have appropriate learning plans in place.

Most teachers use their good subject knowledge to stretch and challenge pupils. Support staff ensure that help is on hand when pupils need it. Pupils achieve well in most subjects.

Teachers’ absences have caused some turbulence this academic year, but leaders have supported supply teachers with their planning. As a result, pupils have continued to engage in learning and behave well. However, in some subjects, such as history in the primary phase, plans do not clearly set out what pupils should learn and when. Senior leaders know which aspects of the provision they need to improve. They have not yet made fully clear the roles of subject leaders in planning and checking the impact of their work.

Leaders encourage pupils to read. Some teachers read regularly to pupils to help promote a love of reading. Many pupils who were once reluctant are making great strides with their reading. Pupils are keen to read to staff, and those who need extra support are quickly identified. Teachers develop the reading of younger pupils well. Pupils enjoy selecting the books they read from the wide range available to them.

Staff encourage pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, to be independent and think for themselves. Staff have high expectations of pupils, and pupils rise to the challenges set. Pupils learn to make their own choices and decisions. For example, they bake cakes and organise the school’s coffee morning.

Staff support pupils’ personal development well and help them prepare for their next steps in learning. Pupils learn to take responsibility and show respect. Staff also provide a range of career opportunities, which have included visits to Nottingham College and The Big Bang fair in Birmingham. These broaden pupils’ experiences.

Staff are positive about their work. The trust provides good support. Leaders and trustees are considerate of teachers’ workload. They put into action ways to reduce unnecessary tasks.

Parents and carers are positive about the school and the way in which their children have settled back into education. A typical comment made by a parent was: ‘I am so pleased my son is settled and happy now.’

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils’ safety and well-being are at the heart of all decisions and actions taken by leaders. Staff identify pupils who may be at risk and act quickly in response. Leaders work with alternative providers and a range of agencies to ensure that families get the help they need. Parents are positive about this support.

Leaders ensure that staff receive regular training to keep up to date with their safeguarding responsibilities. Staff teach pupils to keep themselves safe. This includes when pupils use the internet, and within their local community. Trustees make sure that the site is well maintained and secure.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Historical weaknesses in the quality of the curriculum are being addressed well by leaders. They have focused on improving the curriculum to meet the needs of the pupils. This is particularly true in subjects such as physical education (PE), personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, reading and computing.Senior leaders now need to support subject leaders to take a more active role in the monitoring and evaluating of their subject. . The sequencing seen in many subjects is not matched in all areas of the curriculum. The content of some subjects is not chosen and sequenced as well as it could be. Leaders need to ensure that the content of all subject plans is well chosen and carefully sequenced.