Our School


Inspection dates:  12th - 13th March 2024.

During the inspection, inspectors engaged with the pupils, the headteacher, senior leaders, subject leaders, staff, and members of the governing body. Additionally, they conducted deep dive assessments in English, mathematics, science, geography, and design & technology.

These assessments involved discussions about the curriculum, classroom observations, conversations with teachers, and examination of pupils’ work. Inspectors also interacted with leaders responsible for pupils’ behaviour, attendance, personal development, and support for pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

They evaluated staff professional development, met both formally and informally with pupils, and assessed the effectiveness of safeguarding measures. This evaluation included reviewing records, considering views from leaders, staff, and pupils, and assessing the school’s overall culture of safeguarding. Additionally, inspectors took into account responses from Parent View and the Ofsted surveys completed by school staff and pupils. 

What did Ofsted think it was like to attend The Fernwood School?

Pupils enjoy attending this school in which expectations are high. All staff work hard to ensure that pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), feel comfortable and confident and achieve their best. Pupils achieve very well academically and become well-rounded individuals ready to achieve their goals in life.

Staff talk about the ‘Fernwood family’. They know that they play a vital role in preparing pupils for their lives beyond school. Staff fulfil this role with enthusiasm. Pupils and staff develop respectful, trusting relationships.

Pupils celebrate the diversity of the school’s population. They respect one another and their differences. Staff ensure that pupils engage with the wider world and debate and discuss current affairs. The school has created an equality, diversity and inclusion group to bring parents and carers, staff and pupils together in their drive to continue fostering the inclusive environment that pupils experience.

The school provides a broad range of wider opportunities designed to help pupils develop their talents and social skills as well as to provide for their well-being and mental health. Pupils benefit from residential trips to Sherwood Pines and Hagg Farm. They take part in the school performance of ‘Six’. Pupils participating in a poetry competition demonstrate a commitment to their education that is typical at this school. They memorise poems which they then confidently recite, doing so with flair and passion.

What do Ofsted think the school does well and what does it need to do better?

The school’s curriculum has been intelligently designed so that it is ambitious for all pupils, including those with SEND. The curriculum is under constant review so that pupils’ opportunities to deepen their knowledge are improving all the time. Pupils consistently refer back to previous learning so that this is not forgotten. They are articulate and confidently use subject-specific language to explain their views of the concepts and issues they learn about. For example, pupils in year 7 geography lessons discuss the physical features of the coast and how humans should best use the coastal environment without damaging it.

Teachers are subject specialists. They precisely and consistently check pupils’ understanding. They address misconceptions effectively and provide opportunities for pupils to connect their current and previous learning. Pupils take pride in their work. They use teachers’ advice to reflect on what they can do to further develop their already strong understanding.

Pupils with SEND and vulnerable pupils receive highly effective, personalised support. Each teacher knows every pupil in their classes well. They know which strategies to use to ensure that pupils build their knowledge. Pupils with SEND develop their confidence as well as their understanding of the subjects they study.

Reading is prioritised. All pupils read regularly. Pupils who need extra help to improve their reading fluency and comprehension are quickly identified. They receive support which they recognise as helping them to become more confident and accurate readers.

Pupils’ behaviour is exceptional. They are committed to their learning and take pride in their work. They move calmly around a busy school site.

Pupils learn about different cultures and have opportunities to share their pride in their own identities. They take part in cultural days and attend the ‘Free to be me’ club which celebrates LGBTQ+ contributions to society. The school has ensured that pupils have the opportunity to learn about British values. However, pupils do not yet have a secure understanding of these values and how they apply to their lives in school and society as a whole.

Pupils benefit from a carefully planned careers programme. They receive advice about next steps and how to write CVs. Pupils hear from a variety of employers. They are well prepared for life beyond school and are successful in going on to their chosen destinations.

Staff enjoy working at the school. They value the thoughtful approach taken to ensure that their workload is manageable. Staff benefit from the carefully designed programme of training the school provides to help them teach and support pupils to the best of their ability. A reflective approach ensures that priorities are identified and actions taken to improve pupils’ experiences of school. Governors play an active part in the evaluation and improvement process.

You can read the full report here.


Share your views through Parent View

Parents and carers can also give their views of our school at any time of the school year and at the time of a school inspection using an online questionnaire called Parent View.

When our school is notified of its next Ofsted inspection, parents will be invited to give their views about the school to inspectors using the Parent View online facility as this has replaced Ofsted’s paper questionnaire. Please make sure we have your most up-to-date contact details.

Please register with an email address and a password at Parent View. Once your login has been activated, it only takes a few minutes to complete answers to 12 short questions about aspects such as bullying, the quality of teaching, level of homework, etc.

Your views are important in helping inspectors make a decision about our school, and to help us know what is going well and what could be improved.

If you do not have a computer/email address or if you would like help to use Parent View, please come into school and ask at reception.


The Fernwood School
Goodwood Road, Wollaton
Nottingham, NG8 2FT

0115 9286326