Academy judged 'Good' in all inspection categories
Sheffield Park Academy has been given a highly encouraging report following a two day visit earlier this month. The inspectors judged the academy to be a ‘Good’ school – the second highest rating in the Ofsted framework.
The academy was judged ‘Good’ in all categories including student achievement, the quality of teaching, student behaviour and leadership & management. The inspectors said that the academy ‘has improved significantly since the previous inspection’ in March 2011 when it was judged ‘Satisfactory’. The inspectors put this improvement down to ‘intelligent leadership, influential governance and the creation of a clear vision for improvement which staff and students have embraced’.
Inspectors reported that the majority of teaching is ‘good with elements that are outstanding’. They were highly complimentary about the academy’s staff describing them as ‘enthusiastic’ with ‘good subject knowledge’. Some teachers were described as ‘outstanding’ with the ability ‘to capture students’ imaginations and enable them to make exceptional progress’. The inspectors also noted that the academy has established ‘good relationships between students and staff’ which ‘encourage a positive climate for learning’.
Inspectors were particularly impressed by the strategies which have been introduced to improve students’ reading and reported that the academy ‘is very successful at boosting the reading ages and literacy skills of less-able students and those at the early stages of learning English’.
In coming to their judgement, inspectors looked at the academy’s GCSE results and said that the percentage of students gaining five or more A* to C grades including English and maths ‘is rising at a much faster rate than nationally over a sustained period’. In 2012, the academy was in the 200 most improved schools in the country. The inspectors also found that in 2012 more than half of Sixth Form leavers went on to university whilst the rest went into apprenticeships, further education or employment.
In their report, inspectors described the academy as a ‘calm and orderly place with a supportive and caring ethos’. Students’ punctuality was judged as ‘good’ and attendance was said to have ‘risen considerably since the previous inspection’.
Governors were said to ‘know the academy well’ and to exercise their duties to ‘monitor, support and challenge the academy to improve effectively’. The academy’s sponsor, United Learning, was also praised for supporting the academy’s development. Inspectors were particularly impressed with how United Learning has facilitated ‘access to the expertise and experiences of outstanding schools’ within its group.
Commenting on the report, Head Teacher Craig Dillon said:
‘The inspectors’ report is a vote of confidence for our students and everything that we have all been working so hard to achieve. We are determined to improve even further and give the community the outstanding school it deserves. The academy has made huge strides forwards in recent years and it is heartening that the inspectors recognised how much progress has been made.’
Andy Buck, Managing Director of Academies at United Learning, said:
‘This is a very positive Ofsted report which demonstrates the progress that has been made and which continues to be made. Everyone at the academy – staff, students, parents and governors – can all be very proud of everything that Ofsted has said.’
The academy’s students were equally delighted with the Ofsted judgement. Year 7 student, Nawras Salha said:
‘I always knew Sheffield Park Academy was a good school and now Ofsted have confirmed it!
‘I love coming to Sheffield Park Academy every day and my family and I are really pleased with my rate of progress.
‘I'm proud to be a student at this academy.’
Year 9 student Abbie Mason said:
‘I moved to Sheffield Park Academy from a primary school in the community. It's a really good school and I'm so proud to say I am a student here!
‘I hope the “Good” rating from Ofsted helps people in the community realise how great the academy is.’
Sixth Form student Faissal Ratyal said:
‘My journey at Sheffield Park Academy started in 2007. I feel that over the years this school has developed immensely and is a great school that meets the needs of its students and pushes us to reach our full potential. Achieving a “Good” rating from Ofsted has confirmed this and makes me feel proud to be a student here.
‘It helped me achieve amazing results at GCSE. I left the academy in 2012 for a short while to attend college but I felt that I wasn't being supported as much as I could be so I took the decision to come back to Sheffield Park Academy – it is one of the best decisions I have made!’