Staff and students at Northampton Academy have received wide praise from Ofsted inspectors.
Following a two day visit by Ofsted inspectors at the end of January, Northampton Academy has been judged to be ‘Good’. This is a significant improvement on the ‘Satisfactory’ judgement the academy received when it was last inspected in 2010.
The inspectors were impressed with the academy and praised a number
of aspects including the quality of teaching, leadership, behaviour and
the achievement of students.
Teaching was judged to be ‘typically good and sometimes outstanding’
particularly in English and mathematics. With the academy’s GCSE
results having improved significantly in recent years, inspectors
highlighted how the achievement of students is improving; both in terms
of the more able students achieving the highest grades and the less able
students achieving in line with the national average.
The academy’s flourishing Sixth Form was highlighted as ‘good’ where
‘students make good progress because of good or better teaching’. It
was praised as an area where performance is improving and independent
learning is encouraged.
Inspectors were particularly impressed by the strategies the academy
has put in place to improve students’ literacy skills. They remarked
how reading skills are developed in all lessons rather than just in
English and how the library, which the inspectors described as ‘lively’
is promoting ‘an enjoyment of reading’ amongst students.
Inspectors complimented the behaviour of students. They said:
‘Students are keen to learn. They treat each other with respect and
value the cultural and social diversity found in the academy.’
The inspectors were also impressed with the academy’s engagement with
parents. They cited the Principal’s weekly drop-in sessions,
newsletter and parental consultations as being particularly effective.
Inspectors put the academy’s marked improvement down to the improved leadership of the academy. They said:
‘The key to the academy’s success lies in the Principal’s relentless
push to make sure that the academy serves the needs of its students as
well as it possibly can.’
Principal Anne Hill was said to have ‘galvanised staff to raise
standards and sustain a strong trend of improvement in students’
Commenting on the report, Anne Hill said:
‘We are very pleased with this report which recognises the
significant progress Northampton Academy has made over the past few
years. Everyone here works tirelessly to provide students with a
challenging and inspiring education and so I was particularly delighted
that the inspectors praised so many aspects of our teaching and
‘It is also great for our students to read that inspectors were
impressed by their attitude to learning, their behaviour and their
aspirations for themselves and the academy.
‘We know what we need to do to improve even further but as this
report testifies, we are well on the way to becoming an “Outstanding”
school. That is our next challenge but I know that everyone at the
academy; staff, parents and students believe that we can achieve it.’
In their report, inspectors were impressed with the level of support
provided by both the Local Governing Body and the academy’s sponsor,
United Learning. The governors were said to provide ‘good support and
challenge’ and are helping to ‘set an ambitious direction for the
Andy Buck, Managing Director – Academies at United Learning, said:
‘This is a highly encouraging report which demonstrates that the hard
work of everyone at the academy is paying dividends. Northampton
Academy is quickly becoming the “go-to” choice for parents in
Northampton and this report explains why. It is particularly pleasing
for Anne Hill and the staff that so many initiatives that they have put
in place have been praised.’