Sheffield Springs Academy has been judged ‘Good’ by Ofsted for the first time in its history – either as an academy or in its predecessor form.
Following a visit last month, Inspectors have praised leaders at the academy for bringing about a “transformational change” which is leading to better progress and outcomes for students.
According to the Ofsted report, staff have high ambitions for what all students are able to achieve and this ethos is now “threaded through the life of the school”. Teaching was said to be consistently good and improving, ensuring that the needs of all students are being met, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with special educational needs. Likewise, the Inspectors were impressed by substantial changes that had been brought into the curriculum to allow students to study a greater range of subjects and deepen their academic understanding.
The report was also full of praise for students’ attitudes towards their learning. According to the Inspectors, students are “curious” and eager to ask questions in lessons as they “want to learn and do well”. As a result, the overall rate of progress by students at the end of Year 11 has been “above the national average” for the past two years, with students receiving “effective” preparation for their entry into further education, training and employment.
As well as improved academic provision, the report highlighted the broad range of enrichment opportunities available to students. Inspectors praised the ‘Springs Promise’ and ‘Springs Challenge’ as excellent examples of how the school is fulfilling its promise to deliver an Education with Character, by offering a range of sporting, cultural and artistic activities to students. The report also credited teachers for developing students’ wider personal development by exposing them to concepts, ideas and knowledge that help to broaden their horizons.
The school was also praised for the improvement in its standards of behaviour. Inspectors reported that pupils treat each other in a “respectful manner” and a “calmness permeates the school” meaning that “teachers can get on and teach, and pupils can learn”. The report said that pupils are “proud of their school’s tolerant community” and are eager to make the most of leadership opportunities available to them, such as by becoming anti-bullying ambassadors.
Mark Shipman, Headteacher of Sheffield Springs Academy, said:
“We are all delighted to have secured this ‘Good’ judgement from Ofsted, recognising just how far our academy has come and our potential to achieve even more in the coming years. It is a reflection of the ongoing support, commitment and hard work of all involved – students, staff, parents and governors – and something that we will all take great pride in.
“It is particularly gratifying that the Inspectors saw the extent of the culture change at Springs – staff have all worked hard to establish high expectations and this is evident in the way students are enjoying and excelling in their lessons. These comments will spur us all on as we continue the improvements underway and deliver the very best education for all our students.”
Dame Sally Coates, Director of Secondary Education at United Learning, said:
“What is clear from this report is that the academy has successfully turned a corner and is firmly established as a strong, ambitious school in which students are thriving. We look forward to continuing to support staff as they build on this report and take the academy from strength to strength.”