22 February 2017
Ofsted visited the Academy for a short inspection on 10 January 2017. We have now received the formal report and I would urge you to visit the school website and read the inspectors’ findings in detail.
As we were judged Good at the last inspection, this Section 8 inspection had to establish whether the school remains Good. I am delighted to say that the inspection team agreed that we have maintained the high standard that was seen in 2013 and tackled the two areas that we were asked to improve then:
• ‘consistency within teaching and, in doing so, improving the progress of pupils’
• ‘improve pupils’ attendance’
According to the inspectors, ‘staff have addressed both issues successfully’.
As an all-through Academy, there is only one report and judgement for the whole institution, even though we are made up of two schools - the Primary School and the Secondary School.
We were delighted that inspectors praise the high standards of behaviour across both schools: ‘Pupils behave safely and very well without needing excessive supervision. They are friendly, thoughtful and considerate to each other. They are happy to talk about their learning, and recognise that the school is doing its very best to help them do well. They wear their uniforms smartly. Bullying and other serious misbehaviour is rare.’ As a school community, we all work hard on this every day and these statements are a true reflection of day to day life.
In addition, inspectors recognised that in both schools, ‘Senior leaders are very purposeful; they lead the school successfully and with great tenacity…Staff morale is very high. Teachers and other staff feel very well supported and challenged in their work. They can give of their best for the pupils.’ We are very pleased that the passion, drive and commitment of the staff was highlighted.
As is always the case, there were some areas that the inspectors highlighted for improvement. The one specific to the Primary School was to ensure a rise in outcomes for children in early years and across Key Stage 1, so that they are above national average reflecting the very good progress and above average results made by the end of Key Stage 2. Pleasingly, the report acknowledges that steps have already been taken since the beginning of the school year in order to address these areas and that with the change in leadership, the Primary School is moving forward positively. In addition, the inspectors have asked the whole Academy to consider how we can tackle the national trend of boys doing less well than girls.
Representatives of the Governing Body also met the inspectors. Our Chair Andrew Caspari said: ‘The Governors are delighted that the school has been given such a positive report which recognises the excellent work of all the staff and the way staff, pupils and parents work together to make this a school of which we can all be immensely proud. Everyone involved in the Academy presented the school with aplomb on the day and we are very grateful for the efforts of all who made the inspection a success.’
All at the school will continue work to ensure that we maintain high standards, make improvements where necessary and keep providing excellent outcomes and opportunities for the pupils and families of our community. Thank you for all your continued day to day support.
St Mary Magdalene Academy Primary