June 2017 - Ofsted Report

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What do Inspectors recognise as strengths of our school?

  • Pupils have a positive attitude to learning because they enjoy it;
  • They are well behaved;
  • They treat each other and adults with courtesy and respect;
  • They benefit from very positive relationships with staff;
  • They enjoy being in the academy;
  • They are well looked after by staff;
  • Older students are compassionate and caring of younger ones;
  • The school is a safe environment;
  • There are no barriers between students of different backgrounds or abilities;
  • Bullying is dealt with effectively;
  • Provision for children in the kindergarten is good;
  • Leaders and governors are clear about the school's strengths and weaknesses;
  • Governors provide an effective level of support and challenge to senior leaders,
  • The development of leadership at different levels has led to key improvements since the last inspection;
  • The curriculum is effective in promoting students' spiritual, moral and social development;
  • It provides pupils with an exciting, diverse range of interlinked subjects, topics and activities;
  • There is good management of the provision for students with special educational needs;

Some quotes from the report:

Pupils are a delight! They are pleasant, friendly and courteous to visitors and clearly feel comfortable around each other and staff.
Pupils are confident and self-assured. This is because the school builds their self-esteem.
Pupils learn that it is 'ok' to be themselves and share their views, while respecting the views of others at the same time.
Pupils across the school demonstrate positive attitudes to learning.
Pupils are repeatedly prompted to ask 'why?' and consider the purpose of things. These activities develop their curiosity and natural inquisitiveness.
By the time pupils are ready to leave the school, they have become well-rounded, responsible citizens who are willing and able to make a positive contribution to their community. They are optimistic, cheerful and confident, in part because of the strong oral tradition that has empowered them to share and exchange views with others.
Pupils are clear about what is expected of them. They understand and respect the sanctions that are in place to secure good behaviour.
The school is a calm and orderly place.
The curriculum is a strength of the school, such is its breadth.
The school's distinctive ethos and curriculum support pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural education well. A celebration of spirituality, the seasons, the natural environment and festivals that mark key events is woven into curriculum topics and activities outside of lessons.
A positive relationship exists between governors and the principal because it is based on honesty, trust and transparency. The principal is open about the school's weaknesses so that governors have a clear understanding of the school.
Staff feel responsible for pupils' wider experience of school and recognise the importance of nurturing the 'whole child'.
The school has a 'family feel' to it because staff passionately believe that their obligations to pupils go beyond the classroom.

What do Inspectors say we need to do in order to improve?

  • Ensure that all teachers, especially in the upper years, have high expectations around the teaching of English and mathematics;
  • The level of pride that some students take in their work;
  • The way in which teachers feedback to students;
  • The extent to which we stretch and challenge different groups of pupils;
  • Continue to the work being done to improve attendance;
  • Continue to work closely with the minority of parents who are dissatisfied.

What next?

  • We will continue to implement the maths improvement plan developed in recent months with our School Improvement Partner;
  • We will be recruiting English and Maths specialists to work with small groups to increase directed support and challenge;
  • We will ask our English and maths leads to lead a review of provision in their subject areas, with the main focus on the secondary years;
  • We will continue to review and strengthen the way in which we address poor attendance and the concerns of those parents who are dissatisfied with the school.
  • We will complete our review of marking and feedback to ensure that pupils always know how to improve their work.
  • We will explore ways to ensure a consistently high level of presentation in students' written work.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of this letter or the Ofsted report with myself or members of our board, please contact the school.