Ofsted Monitoring Inspection 2021
I’m delighted to share news of the Ofsted report from our recent remote inspection in March 2021. The team have been working relentlessly towards our goal of being recognised as an outstanding school. This report shows we are making excellent progress towards this ambitious target.
Some key quotes from the report are:
Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances.
Leaders and governors are taking the necessary steps to put a new, ambitious curriculum in place for pupils in Years 10 and 11. As a result, pupils who enter Year 10 in September 2021 will embark on a key stage 4 curriculum that builds on the knowledge that they have gained in key stage 3.
The governing body has worked closely and productively throughout the pandemic. They have a clear understanding of the actions required to improve the curriculum. Governors have kept a close eye on the actions that leaders have taken to provide an education in the current circumstances.
After so much great work, the team are overjoyed at the summary which recognises the dedication of our staff and the expectation we have of ourselves to ‘go the extra mile’ for our school community. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our students are ‘known and valued’ as part of our small school ethos whilst continuing to be unapologetically ambitious for each and every child.
Mr Mat Galvin
MEd, PGCE, BSc, FCCT
Ofsted Inspection 2020
The Academy was inspected in February and March 2020. The inspection took place in extraordinary circumstances. The original team arrived on 25th February but left part way through the day amid concerns that a group of academy staff and students had just returned from a ski trip in Northern Italy where the first European outbreaks of Covid-19 were taking place. The lead inspector then returned on 10th March and concluded the inspection with a different team on 11th March.
Progress against previous Section 5 inspection February 2020:
- For too long, leaders and governors have not acknowledged that the current curriculum model lacks sufficient ambition for pupils. Decisions about the curriculum have not always been taken in pupils’ best educational interests. Some pupils are precluded from taking a modern foreign language as a GCSE. Leaders are in the process of reviewing and changing the curriculum offer for September 2020. They should ensure that this new curriculum model is sufficiently ambitious for all pupils. Leaders must ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to study a broad range of subjects at key stage 4, including modern foreign languages.
- The curriculum at least meets and often exceeds the National Curriculum in all subject areas.
- Curriculum structure completely remodelled to a 3 year broad and ambitious Key Stage 3 and a 2 year Key Stage 4 which is focused around EBacc qualifications (above national % entries).
- All students now have access to MFL qualifications at KS4.
- All students have a broad and balanced offer at KS4 which is made up of high-quality facilitating qualifications to enable students to study ambitious courses Post 16.
- Weaknesses in curriculum design mean that leaders at all levels do not understand the curriculum as the way of measuring pupils’ progress. In many subjects, the sequencing of the curriculum is weak. Pupils are unable to recall prior learning. Consequently, too many pupils have significant gaps in their knowledge. Leaders must ensure that the curriculum across all subjects is coherently planned and sequenced so that pupils can build sufficiently on prior learning.
- At Key Stage 3, the curriculum is the progression model. Curriculum improvement has been the singular focus for leaders and this has resulted in radical changes for some subjects to ensure the curriculum is effectively sequenced and builds on prior learning. Curriculum work has been stress tested through outward facing work with other schools to ensure students are taught critical knowledge which is ‘the best of what has been thought and said’. Leaders have thought hard about their curriculum intent and working intensively with their teams to build an effective curriculum.
- Flaws in the curriculum structure mean that in many subjects, leaders have not carefully considered the key knowledge that pupils need to embed into their long- term memory. This means that pupils are not remembering important information over time. Leaders must ensure that they are clear about what they want pupils to learn, the order in which they will learn it and how they will help pupils to remember this knowledge long term.
- Leaders have been given significant time, investment and training to consider the most important knowledge to embed in their student’s long-term memory. They have discussed ‘best bets’ in a post pandemic educational environment and continually improve and iterate their curriculum intent, with their teaching teams, through departmental development time. As a result, students study and embed key knowledge over time, which is well sequenced and builds on prior learning.