Highfield Ely Academy retains ‘good’ status thanks to ‘relentless cycle of improvement to achieve the very best’

PUBLISHED: 14:33 16 November 2018

The young people of Highfield Academy, Ely joined PCSO Kat Deronal for a tour of the police station on February 7.

The young people of Highfield Academy, Ely joined PCSO Kat Deronal for a tour of the police station on February 7.

Archant

A ‘clear vision, drive and unwavering determination’ has led to Highfield Academy in Ely retaining its ‘good’ Ofsted rating.

In its first short inspection since October 2014, the report highlights that the school “strives to achieve the very best for pupils and staff, who are dedicated, motivated well by leaders and work effectively as a cohesive team”.

The report states that the team has “created an ethos in the school that promotes pupils’ welfare at the forefront” and that the headteacher has “high expectations and leads by example”.

It also commends “a relentless cycle of improvement to achieve the very best”, adding that “pupils at the centre” of all the school does and that members of staff “never believe their work is complete.

It adds that “the vast majority of staff who responded to the staff survey said that they are proud to work at the school, that leaders support staff well, pupils are safe, and they enjoy their work.

“Pupils say they enjoy coming to the school, their positive attitudes make them a joy to talk to and, throughout the school, pupils were engaged in their learning.

“One pupil stated, ‘It’s a great school. I don’t want to leave. I will be really sad.’

After the last inspection at Highfield Academy, which educates 140 pupils from early years to Year 14 with special educational needs, Ofsted identified two areas for improvement – which have been acted on.

The first was to improve the teaching and learning of pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and, secondly, to raise the achievement of students in the sixth form.

The latest report, following an inspection in October, found that these pupils are “making stronger progress because the curriculum and teaching are matched closely to their individual needs.

“Students in the sixth form are provided with more personalised opportunities to gain experience of the world of work and to link their learning to real life.”

In terms of safeguarding, the report states that “leaders have created a strong and effective safeguarding environment where pupils’ safety and well-being are prominent”.

The report adds that “parents are overwhelmingly supportive of the school”.

To further improve, the report states that the school should “further strengthen the curriculum content, further refine assessment systems linked to the new pathways so that all pupils make consistently strong progress and review strategies to ensure that teachers get the training they require to build upon their already strong practice.

Highfield Ely Academy joined the Active Learning Trust in September 2016.

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