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Ofsted delivers yet more "GOOD" news

Barbara Freeman / Categories: News

Students and staff at Nova Hreod Academy are celebrating after Ofsted inspectors judged the school to be ‘Good’, marking the first time in the school’s history that it has achieved such a rating.

Following their visit at the end of last month, inspectors praised senior leaders, governors, staff and the school’s academy trust, United Learning, who they said have “worked together very effectively to completely overhaul the school” since it became an academy in 2014.

The “impressive” rate of improvement has led to a range of benefits for students – including a significant rise in the number of them achieving five or more good GCSEs including English and maths from 31% in 2014 to 63% last summer. Inspectors said that students are now coming to lessons “expecting to work hard and to learn” and have “high expectations of themselves” and what they can achieve.

The report also highlighted a number of the academy’s strengths:

  • The “strong and resolute leadership” of Principal Darren Barton has been “central to the recent significant improvements.”

  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment has improved significantly in the last two years.”

  • Pupils and parents are very complimentary about the improvements

  • There is a strong and shared culture of safeguarding across the school.”

  • Pupils in all year groups are now making good progress across a broad range of subjects.”

  • Teachers have redesigned the curriculum… It is now well structured and asks a lot of pupils. Pupils are challenged and forced to think hard in every subject.”

  • Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities receive the help they need in classes to make good progress.”

  • Leaders have created a culture where staff reflect on their practice and improve it.”

The report also praises the support provided by United Learning, which is said to have “brought considerable resources and expertise to bear to improve the school”. Part of this has been the provision of “well-targeted training” for teachers, who are “very keen to improve their skills” and collaborate frequently to develop high-quality practice.

Principal Darren Barton said: “The feedback from inspectors demonstrates just how far the academy has come since 2014 and is a fitting reward for the dedication and hard work of all our students and staff. Everyone at the academy has worked tirelessly to establish and maintain high standards and expectations of what can be achieved and this is making a real difference to the education that our students receive.

“Over the past two years, we have seen significant improvements right across the school – from teaching and learning to students’ behaviour and achievements at GCSE – so we’re delighted that this has now been recognised by Ofsted. We are now in an excellent position to deliver further progress and success for our students as we aim to reach ‘Outstanding’ in our next inspection.

“Our results over the past two years have been noticed across the town and are known to be impressive and now our admissions figures show that we are an increasingly popular school – with our highest number of first choice applications ever for Year 7. We are very pleased that, like Ofsted, local families are recognising the significant changes underway at Nova and are making us their school of choice.”

The full report can be found here

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The school is part of United Learning. United Learning comprises: UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee. VAT number 834 8515 12.
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