Larkmead School

Name Larkmead School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 03 February 2015
Address Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1RF
Phone Number 01235520141
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 764 (47% boys 53% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.3
Academy Sponsor Vale Academy Trust
Local Authority Oxfordshire
Percentage Free School Meals 10.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.5%
Persisitent Absence 16.7%
Pupils with SEN Support 15.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available Yes

Information about this school

Larkmead School is an average-sized secondary school with a sixth form. The students come from predominantly White British backgrounds. The proportion coming from minority ethnic groups, around one tenth, is below national averages. Few students speak English as an additional language. Approximately one fifth of students are disabled or have special educational needs, including those with a statement of special educational needs. This is in line with national averages. About a fifth of students are supported by the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for children who are looked after and students known to be eligible for free school meals. This is less than the national average. The school has a specialist unit which supports a very small number of students with hearing impairments. The school is part of a local sixth form consortium which includes John Mason School, Fitzharrys School and Abingdon and Witney Further Education College. The school shares support for the teaching of literacy with several of its feeder primary schools. The school does not access alternative provision for any of its students. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress by the end of Key Stage 4. It also meets the interim minimum standards for sixth form students.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. All teachers are clearly focused on helping students learn quickly. As a result, students’ achievement has risen sharply in recent years. The school’s leadership, strongly supported by governors, has improved the quality of teaching. It is consistently at least good and some of it is now outstanding. Teachers know their subjects well and plan lessons carefully so that students make good progress and achieve well in their examinations. Students are keen to learn. They cooperate very well with one another and their teachers. The rates with which they progress in their learning have improved as a result. Students behave very well outside of lessons. They are courteous to others when moving around the school. The school ensures that students are safe at all times. They know how to keep themselves safe, including when outside school, and also when using the internet. The sixth form is well managed. Students make good progress and do well in their examinations. All either go on to university, further education or into employment or training. It is not yet an outstanding school because: Those students who enter the school at below the expected levels in English and mathematics do not make progress as quickly as their peers. In a few cases students who struggle with their learning are given work which is too hard for them. As a result they find learning even more difficult at times, and do not progress as well as they could. Some teachers do not always make sure that students follow up written advice about how to improve their work. Students are given too few opportunities to practise their mathematical skills in other subjects so do not benefit from using their knowledge to progress as rapidly as they should.