Oak Hill School


Name Oak Hill School
Website www.apoakhill.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 11 December 2019
Address Church Hill Road, East Barnet, London, EN4 8XE
Phone Number 02083614639
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 10-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 38 (92% boys 8% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.4
Academy Sponsor Ap Barnet Multi-Academy Trust Ltd
Local Authority Barnet
Percentage Free School Meals 55.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 15.8%
Persisitent Absence 81.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy their time at Oak Hill School. The school supports their personal and educational needs to great effect. Pupils achieve well and value the excellent relationships that they have with their teachers. These are built on trust and mutual respect. Pupils said that their teachers understand them, and this makes them feel safe.

Leaders and staff believe that every pupil can achieve, whatever their learning needs or past educational experience. Pupils develop practical life skills, such as cooking. They practise their communication to boost social interaction. Pupils aged 14 to 16 years achieve qualifications that showcase their mastery of basic skills.

Pupils’ behaviour is positive. This is a direct result of the effective support they receive from staff to help them overcome difficulties related to their needs. As a result, pupils’ behaviour improves.

Bullying is not tolerated. Pupils are confident that the school takes effective steps to resolve incidents when they occur.

Parents and carers acknowledge the positive difference the school is making to their children’s attitudes, including towards learning. They appreciate the weekly communication from the school about their child’s progress and welfare.

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

The curriculum provides pupils with an engaging and ambitious education. It upholds the school’s motto for pupils to ‘enjoy their learning, aspire and achieve’.

Staff use their subject knowledge to plan sequenced tasks that help pupils learn and remember key points. For example, pupils develop their reading skills and use these to interpret complex text. Similarly, pupils use their knowledge of multiplication tables to calculate areas of shapes. Pupils recognise that real-life connections in science make their learning more interesting.

Pupils make every effort to improve their knowledge in core subjects. They also develop their skills in practical subjects, such as information and communication technology (ICT), art, design and food technology. Pupils were proud of the items they had made, for instance wooden candle holders and bird feeders.

Owing to the nature of pupils’ specific needs, they join the school with starting points below those expected nationally. Although the standards achieved are below what is expected for their age, pupils make clear gains in their knowledge and skills. This is because the strong curriculum is implemented well and pastoral care is effective.

The committed and collaborative work of the senior leadership team underpins theschool’s success. Teamwork is effective throughout the school. Leaders are mindful of staff workload. They provide direct support and access to training courses to raise teachers’ skills.

Pupils respond well to the management of their behaviour, which includes rewards. Leaders and staff work hard to encourage pupils’ regular attendance at school so that they have the best possible chance to achieve well. Despite this, a small number of pupils are still absent too often without good reason.

Staff maintain a sharp focus on pupils’ well-being and personal development, including through pupils’ education, health and care (EHC) plans. Partnerships with outside agencies, professional services and therapies support pupils’ social and emotional well-being effectively. However, leaders are actively seeking even more of these resources because they know that they are so important to pupils’ development. They are right to do so.

Pupils explore moral and social issues in society, for example the wider impact of knife-related crimes. The school council has a high status with staff and pupils. It has achieved positive changes for the school. It is proud of securing a pool table and additional computers for pupils’ use.

Pupils celebrate diversity, including through appreciating foods from different cultures. They reflect on their own and others’ life experiences. This, together with careers education, boosts pupils’ aspirations and prepares them well for life in modern Britain.

Governance shares the ambition for pupils to receive an inspiring education and be prepared for life after Oak Hill School. Governors provide a wealth of experience to support and challenge senior leaders on school improvements. They ensure that all statutory obligations are met, including those related to safeguarding.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are appropriately vetted to ensure they can work with children. They are also trained to spot the signs of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Comprehensive procedures are in place to record and track pupils identified as vulnerable. Pupils learn about online safety.

Leaders and staff are approachable by pupils. Well-established partnerships with parents, carers and external agencies ensure that pupils receive early help, if needed.

Leaders and staff know the possible risks pupils may face within their local communities, including gang-related activities. A watchful approach is in place to protect pupils’ welfare.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders and staff have enabled some improvements in pupils’ attendance, including through working closely with external agencies and families. Despite this, a few pupils are still frequently absent when they need not be. Leaders should continue to focus on raising attendance and reducing avoidable persistent absences. . Leaders are actively seeking further support from external agencies for aspects of pupils’ development. This includes therapies and professional services to enhance pupils’ social and emotional well-being. Leaders should persist with these efforts.