Ofsted, performance tables & exam results

Students at the Macclesfield Academy were celebrating the numbers who achieved the highest grades (Grades 7-9) on the new GCSEs.   Although these new qualifications are regarded as more challenging than the ones they replaced, Academy students exceeded the national pass rates at these highest grades in Geography, History, Spanish, Art, Music and Drama.

Speaking after the publication of the results, Mr Richard Hedge, Headteacher said, “All over the country, schools had been worried about the impact of the new GCSEs.  I am delighted with the way that our staff and students have risen to the challenge of these new exams and congratulate all of the students on such impressive results.  Provisionally, almost 65% of students achieved grade 4 or above (the standard pass) in English and/or Maths and there were significant improvements in the number of students achieving the highest grades across a range of subjects “.

Among the high flying Year 11 students achieving multiple grades at these highest levels were Patrick Wood, Rob Rowson, Maddie Burton, Max Ludlaim, Emma Feay, Matthew Markin, Harry Johns, Georgia Clarke, Millie Carter and Jamie Robertson.  “Each and every one of these students has done really well” said Mr Hedge “and I congratulate them all”.

Mr Hedge added “Our unique curriculum structure means that not only have our Year 11 students outperformed the national levels in many subjects but we also have students in Years 9 and 10 who have passed the new GCSEs at the highest levels and paved the way for even greater success in the coming years.”

The Academy was inspected in October 2017.  We were pleased that the inspectors recognised many of the Academy’s strengths including:

  • The breadth and quality of our curriculum and its success in meeting students’ needs
  • The success with which students are prepared for their next steps after leaving the Academy
  • The strong culture of reading at the Academy which means that students enjoy reading and read confidently
  • The quality of questioning in lessons and the level of thinking and reasoning that results
  • The good behaviour and attitude to learning shown by students in lessons
  • The care and pride our students take over their work
  • The effectiveness of our systems for setting and monitoring homework
  • The clarity and usefulness of the reports we send home to parents
  • Our students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development
  • The way in which our students are prepared for life in modern Britain
  • Our extracurricular provision and the level of participation in our enrichment programme
  • Our careers education and guidance which ensures all students progress to further education, employment or training after Year 11
  • The quality of staff training and performance management
  • The quality of our provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and the good progress that they make
  • The quality of our safeguarding systems which ensure that our students are safe and feel safe
  • Our good work to promote students’ personal development and well being
  • The way in which our students learn to respect differences and tolerate views that are different from their own
  • The fact that bullying is rare and is dealt with effectively so that students say they are “safe to be who they want to be”
  • The support students receive when making the change from primary school to secondary school
  • The fact that our students are taught how to be healthy and stay safe, including online
  • The fact that the Academy is a calm place where students are polite and have positive relationships with one another and with staff
  • The orderly way in which students move around the school and the punctuality with which they arrive to lessons
  • The outcomes for our most able pupils
  • The strong progress made by students in years 9 and 10

However, when they considered the progress made by our students, particularly our disadvantaged students, in the 2017 exams and the attendance of our disadvantaged students, inspectors decided that we were a school which requires improvement.  We believe it is unfortunate that the inspectors did not give more weight to the 2015 and 2016 exam results when our students made more progress than those in any school in Cheshire East but, nonetheless, we completely accept that there are, as always, things we need to improve.  The full report can be found here.

Along with governors and all of our staff team, I have formulated a detailed plan to address the causes of underachievement and low attendance among some of our disadvantaged students.  In particular we will:

  • Improve the consistency of challenge in our teaching so that teaching in all subjects is as good as the best, including through the more effective teaching of grammar across the curriculum,
  • Improve the way that we use our pupil premium grant and our grant to help children who arrive in year 7 below the expected levels in Maths and/or English and
  • Improve the way that we monitor the implementation of our actions to support these vulnerable children.

Parents should rest assured that we will work tirelessly to make these important improvements.  In implementing these changes, we will, however, also hold firm to the many strengths of the Academy which the inspectors recognised in the report and which led 95% of our parents to tell them that they would recommend the Academy to a friend.

If there is any aspect of the report which you wish to discuss in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact me on richard.hedge@macclesfieldacademy.org in the first instance.  I should then be very happy to arrange either a telephone call or a personal meeting to discuss the report further and to explain the changes we are making as a result.

Please look at our exam results, our Ofsted report and the school performance tables. However, please also remember they are only part of the story. Please also come and see our staff and students at work and see the powerful attitude to learning that underpins the progress our students make every day. Every day is an open day at the Academy so please feel free to make an appointment to come and see us on any day in the school year.

Link to performance tables Click Here

New GCSEs: Parent Guide to Results Click Here