Oasis Academy Pinewood in Romford achieves Flagship School status for the third time.
The school is part of the Oasis Family made up of 53 schools and they receive a lot of support from this organisation who have the same values and principles as those as the Principal and senior team. Whilst the Oasis Trust provide model policies on key issues the School/Academy are encouraged to personalise them for their particular school. The school is a one and a half form entry school and is not full. This is causing budget and organisational problems. In addition, a number of new schools have opened in the local area that are easier for parents to get to. This has had an effect on recruitment of pupils. The school is currently undergoing extensive building works that will greatly enhance the facilities in the school. The school was inspected over three years and was judged to be a good school. They are due another inspection at some point in the year. The school is fully staffed.
Stimulating Children’s Learning
The school building and site is welcoming and designed to stimulate children’s learning and achievement. The school is well planned and well used and displays reflect the inclusive ethos of the school. Staff and pupils were equally welcoming during my visit.
Committed to Inclusion
I was able to meet the Principal who has been in post now for about four years. She was able to give me an overview of the school and particularly about the progress of pupils and targeted groups. Her commitment to inclusion across the school was very clear and it is something she would never compromise on. The Principal gets a great deal of support from the Oasis Trust and she works very closely with a local cluster of oasis schools. The Regional Director for Oasis also offers support and challenge as required.
Safeguarding is a Priority
In terms of safeguarding, the Local Authority provide clinical supervision for the Principal and the Principal provides supervision for the Deputy Principal. They find this process very helpful and supportive.
The Principal Oversees all Data
The Principal retains oversight of the data which is traffic lighted. Currently they are on green for reading and maths but on amber for writing. Therefore, improving writing across the school is a priority. There is a slight gap at KS2 for disadvantaged pupils but the school did really well in terms of greater depth. The Principal told me that this is because the school was more aware of what the pupils needed to reach this level. Figures at KS1 was around national but slightly below. However, this was due to staffing difficulties for that group of pupils. Greater depth at KS1 was also very good. The data shows that phonics is at national but there is still a disadvantaged gap and a gender gap.
Maths Mastery is a feature of the school and I was able to see this in action across the school. Maths Mastery is mandatory for all Oasis schools. The Principal explained that this is not a scheme as such but is an entire programme, which includes CPD for teachers. Maths Mastery requires teachers to plan in a particular way, teachers get a plan for the lesson and they use that plan to structure their own lesson, as a result of this approach pupils are now speaking in full sentences. The programme is also about really embedding the learning before the teacher moves on. The Maths Mastery programme is helping those with speech and language issues. They find that using specialised equipment (practical equipment) gives them an alternative way of presenting information. They are able to use pictorial representation in EYFS, which works well for the children.
A Heavy Investment in Inclusion
As a one and a half form entry school all senior staff including the Principal, Deputy Principal and Assistant Principal have a wide range of roles and responsibilities, which they carry out with great enthusiasm and expertise. Despite their budget the school has invested heavily in inclusion. This is reflected in the staffing and in the use of the building. Inclusion permeates every aspect of the school and both pupils and staff at all levels have a good understanding of the policies and practice that are promoted by the school. Both the Principal and Deputy have communicated these values to staff and parents/carers who are very proud of the school.
IQM Flagship Project
The school has addressed all the priorities outlined in their action plan and has a very clear idea of what they will do for their Flagship Project which is based around curriculum developments. They have set out a clear plan of action and I am in no doubt that they will achieve their aims.
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