At the end of the Sumer 22 term we were inspected by Ofsted and the inspectors’ report is now available on our website.
They concluded that Oaklands continues to be a good school. In the report they said:
“Oaklands is a welcoming and diverse community, united by strong Catholic values. Pupils speak confidently about spiritual and moral issues, regardless of whether they have a personal religious faith. School staff provide a high quality of care which makes the young people feel safe and prosper. Sixth formers describe their school as a big family. Leaders encourage everyone to take part in the very wide range of activities on offer. As the school’s mission statement says, ‘no-one gets left behind’.”
The inspection team spent two days evaluating the school against their criteria. They observed learning, listened to students, held meetings and took evidence from school staff and governors, noted the views of parents, observed the school as we went about our normal business. A two-day inspection is a ‘snap shot’ although the inspection team attempt to judge the school over time. The governors are very pleased with the outcome considering the impact that COVID has had on all schools over the last three years.
Ofsted is just one lens through which to view a school. The inspectors acknowledged that leaders set high standards of behaviour and that safeguarding is effective. They also recognised that teachers set demanding standards for Sixth Form students. Ofsted have left us with two targets. The first relates to reading for understanding and the second concerns cognitive overload, which in essence referees to too much information being given to students. The public examination data for the summer of 2022, was not available to the team at the time of inspection, however these targets need to be viewed in the round with our examination outcomes. For example, 91% of students achieved the required grade in GCSE English and 83% in Maths.
The provisional progress data suggests that student performance was better than expected. Exam outcomes are important for students and parents.
The inspection process did not expose any new issues for the school or the governing body. In a school the size and complexity of Oaklands there is always more to do, and we are getting on with it responding to the agenda set by Ofsted. In the meantime, there is a great sense of pride in our school where the results speak for themselves and Ofsted recognised that we live our mission which includes the principle “no one gets left behind”.