Principal's Update - February 2020

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Following a rigorous two day inspection OFSTED have provided us with a report that I believe fairly reflects Oakbank School and shows the significant strides we have made so far this year to ensure that the school provides a great education for your children.

The inspection team was particularly impressed with the way in which students enjoy school and the strong relationships that they have with staff. They were clear that teaching and the curriculum have improved since September and that behaviour has got better during this time too. They were also very happy with our safeguarding arrangements and students told them that they feel very safe at Oakbank School.

The pastoral care we provide students and the additional support and attention we give to students with special educational needs was praised, as was the strength of teachers’ subject knowledge and the leadership provided by all of our heads of department.

The gaps in staffing and leadership the school experienced last academic year were recognised by the OFSTED team, they judged that these issues led to the poor performance in the 2019 exam results. Due to these gaps in learning and performance, the quality of education judgement was moved down from ‘good’ to ‘requiring improvement’ but the inspectors were confident that the right strategies are in place for strong improvement in the coming months, they said:

‘The new principal, with the support of the Anthem trust, has put in place a range of procedures and strategies to enable the school to improve.’

These strategies have included ensuring the school is fully staffed, providing intervention sessions for students to close any gaps they have in their learning and improving the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom.

It is disappointing that Oakbank has lost its ‘good’ OFSTED judgement but I am very pleased that so much of the fantastic work we have done so far this year has been recognised. It is my ambition to ensure that we are providing the very best education for your children and this inspection has confirmed that Oakbank is definitely a school heading in the right direction!

To help us achieve this goal the report provides us with four targets:

  • Leaders should ensure that the curriculum is implemented well across all subjects so that pupils’ achievement improves.
  • Leaders should improve the ambition of the curriculum so that higher proportions of pupils achieve well. (This refers specifically to the number of students taking French at GCSE)
  • Leaders should ensure that assessment is used well so that pupils are able to remember and understand more over time.
  • Teachers should ensure that work given to pupils is consistently demanding so that pupils produce high-quality work in all subjects.
  • These targets will be the focus for us in the coming months and years and I will make sure that our progress towards achieving them is communicated with you regularly.