UTC Oxfordshire retains “Good” Ofsted

UTC Oxfordshire, part of the Activate Learning Education Trust, has retained its ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, following an inspection in December.

Ofsted inspectors described the Didcot-based STEM specialist school and sixth form as a place where: ‘Pupils are excited about the opportunities provided that will help them to pursue careers in science and engineering’.

Inspectors were especially impressed with the careers focus, the school’s links with industry and the good relationships throughout, saying: “Pupils value their teachers’ expert knowledge” and that: “The school’s curriculum gives each pupil a good understanding of the industry they would like to work in and how to get there.”

Pupils report: “The school’s environment reflects what they imagine the workplace to be.”

SEND provision, pastoral care and behaviour was also singled out for praise, with the inspector saying: “Pupils show a mature attitude to learning.”

Samantha Knowlton, Executive Principal of UTC Oxfordshire, said: “I am thrilled to share this news that our recent Ofsted inspection resulted in a positive report reflecting a strong Good for UTC Oxfordshire. The report reflects the dedication, hard work and collaborative spirit of our entire school community. I am delighted to highlight the commendations received and we will continue in our unwavering commitment to foster curiosity, critical thinking and a passion for Science and Engineering Excellence.’’

Other points highlighted in the report include:

  • Pupils value their teachers’ expert knowledge; detailed learning across subjects is linked so pupils develop the different skills they need in readiness for their future career plans
  • Lessons are positive, where pupils enjoy testing their knowledge and are helped to develop a broad range of skills beyond their academic qualifications. Sixth-form students particularly value learning about the importance of teamwork, presentation skills, time management and other crucial skills for the workplace alongside their academic studies
  • The school’s curriculum gives each pupil a good understanding of the industry they would like to work in and how to get there, with detailed provision focused on pupils’ different aspirations
  • Pupils benefit from the school’s close links to local businesses and other organisations, including site visits to help them to understand their future training options
  • Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are sensitively supported to fully participate in class discussions and learning activities
  • Effective pastoral support systems provide support and guidance if pupils have any concerns or worries. Wider personal development helps pupils learn the actions they need to take to keep themselves and their friends safe
  • Individual needs of pupils are well known by staff. This means that pupils, including those with SEND, get the support they need to learn well
  • Pupils are thoughtful about the needs of others and are respectful and welcoming
  • Behaviour concerns are immediately identified and where needed, helpful support is quickly put in place to ensure pupils know how to meet the school’s behaviour expectations.

John Kelly, Chair of Governors, said: “I am delighted that the hard work of all the pupils, the teachers and the whole staff team has been recognised in this very positive inspection result. I am particularly proud that the personal development of our pupils is viewed in the same positive light as our Science and Engineering curriculum offer and am excited about the next steps in our journey for our students, our staff and our local stakeholders.

Joanne Harper, CEO of ALET, said: “The report rightly highlights the benefits for our students of working with employers. This is a unique opportunity in the area for students to experience profound employer engagement; the staff should be enormously proud of their achievements and creating a school where students thrive.”

The full report can be found here: www.utcoxfordshire.org.uk/proud-to-be-awarded-good-ofsted-rating/

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