Somervale School Specialist Media Arts College
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Post 16
School Guide Rating

Redfield Road
Midsomer Norton
11 - 18
Academy converter
4 1 1 2 3 4
Ofsted Inspection
Full Report - All Reports
5+ GCSEs grade 9-4 (standard pass or above) including English and maths
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School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Please pass my thanks on to the pupils and staff we met, and whose classrooms we visited, during the inspection. Your pupils are a delight to talk to and you can be proud of the way they conducted themselves during our visit. The staff clearly enjoy working in the school. Pupils, parents and staff all make very positive comments about the culture of care, support and high levels of concern for all pupils’ well-being and all-round development, as well as their academic achievement. There is a high proportion of vulnerable pupils in the school; the attention given to helping these pupils so that they are prepared well for their next steps is exceptional. This is a clear strength of the school and testament to the strong leadership provided by the executive headteacher and the impact you have made in the short time you have been at the school since September. Pupils are impressed and touched by how well you already know them as individuals. You are supported very well by the executive headteacher and by other senior leaders. You, other senior leaders and governors judge that the school is at least good in all aspects, with strengths in some areas, such as the personal support for pupils. We agree. The inspection findings fully support your self-evaluation. School leaders ensure that teachers’ assessments of pupils’ progress and achievement are reliable and accurate. These enable you to evaluate precisely the effectiveness of teaching and support for pupils, as well as making sure that pupils, and their parents, know how well they are doing. Pupils join the school in Year 7 with starting points that are well below average. At least one in five join the school at other times, often with less than positive experiences of education. Current pupils in all year groups are making strong progress in a wide range of subjects. Last year, pupils achieved well in the examinations at the end of Year 11 and their overall attainment was just above the national average. The achievement of the high proportion of disadvantaged pupils in the school is in line with others with similar starting points. The large majority of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make strong progress. Considerable attention has been given to raising the achievement of pupils with low starting points, and they now do well. Much has been done to successfully raise teachers’ expectations, and this has led to the improvements in pupils’ achievement. However, in a range of subjects, including in mathematics and science, the most able pupils are not yet challenged to do as well as they can. This includes the small number who are also disadvantaged. Those students in the sixth form, who are enrolled at Somervale, make progress from their starting points in line with the national averages overall and for the subjects they study. The joint 16 to 19 arrangements with Norton Hill School (the Midsomer Norton Sixth Form) provide a broad curriculum that meets students’ needs well. The local governing body is very supportive of you and other senior leaders. Governors share and make a strong contribution to the positive culture and ethos in the school. They agree with your and other senior leaders’ evaluation of the performance of the school. They are led well by the chair and are very well informed about pupils’ progress and achievement. They have a detailed knowledge of the work of the school, such as in the different curriculum areas and the effectiveness of the support for those pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities. They closely evaluate the impact of additional funds, such as how well the pupil premium is used to support and raise the achievement of disadvantaged pupils. Governors use this knowledge well to provide you and other leaders with an effective balance of support and challenge. Safeguarding is effective. Governors, the executive headteacher, you and other leaders have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are up to date, meet requirements and are fit for purpose. The senior leader who is the designated safeguarding lead is very well informed about all aspects of safeguarding and provides strong leadership. Additionally, responsibility for ensuring the effectiveness of the safeguarding arrangements is shared by all senior leaders and understood well by all staff. Best practice is shared effectively with other schools in the trust. Relevant records are detailed and of good quality. There is a highly effective culture that places the care, safety, welfare and wellbeing of pupils at the heart of everything the school does. Effective procedures ensure that pupils are safe and very well looked after. School leaders place an extremely high priority on the welfare of the many vulnerable pupils in the school. Pupils and sixth-form students are fully involved in creating and maintaining this culture. The views of pupils are gathered frequently and considered very carefully. They are universally positive about how well ‘the school’ looks after them. They place a very high value on how well they are known as individuals, the friendliness of staff and how they are confident in being able to report and discuss their concerns with teachers and other adults. It is difficult to imagine a friendlier and more harmonious school community. Governors are well trained and their attention to safeguarding helps to ensure that it permeates the life of the school. The link safeguarding governor, the chair of the local governing body, has regular and frequent meetings with the designated safeguarding lead to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of arrangements and of staff training. Staff are well trained, including in understanding the ‘Prevent’ duty to ensure that they are alert to the dangers of extremism and radicalisation. Safeguarding is promoted frequently through staff briefings and meetings. Regular reports are provided for the local governing body. Governors are aware of the need to keep the procedures for the safe use of computers and other technology, and the pupils’ use of the internet and social media, up to date. The overwhelming majority of parents believe that the school keeps their children safe and cares for them well. All of those who responded to the Ofsted online survey say that that their children are happy at the school and make good progress. Many make statements such as: ‘Somervale is a fantastic school and I can’t praise it enough.’ Pupils enjoy coming to school, as shown by their good attendance. Pupils are clear about what they need to do to keep themselves safe. Teachers and other staff also strongly agree that pupils are safe. An analysis of all relevant information, such as absence data and records of any incidents of poor behaviour, is undertaken by senior staff and governors. They quickly identify any potential safeguarding or child protection concerns. Inspection findings Pupils behave very well in lessons and around the school. They are extremely polite and respectful of adults and each other. During break and lunchtime pupils’ behaviour is safe, sensible and understanding of others’ needs. Pupils move promptly to lessons and arrive ready to learn. Pupils are keen to do well and mostly respond well when they are given clear feedback from teachers about how to improve their work. However, in a small minority of subjects, pupils are unsure about how well they are doing in that subject and what they need to do make further progress.

Somervale School Specialist Media Arts College Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

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National School Census Data 2020
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The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

01225 394312

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the last School Census collected by the Department for Education. It is a visualisation of where pupils lived at the time of the annual School Census.

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

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