Ofsted visited the Academy last week, as a follow up from the main school assessment which was carried out in January 2015. We are delighted that Ofsted have recognised the rapid progress being made with leadership and quality of teaching receiving particular praise.
The positive report praised the ‘highly effective’ leadership across the Academy from the Principal through to heads of subject and house, for bringing about ‘rapid improvements to the academy’. ‘Good support’ from governors and trustees was also helping to secure ‘significant improvements to the quality of teaching and students achievement’ less than six months after the Academy’s last inspection in February.
The quality of teaching was highlighted as ‘improving’ and more is ‘consistently good than at the time of the section 5 inspection’.Particularly in Maths and Science, the inspector noted ‘more effective lessons… good use of assessment again underpins students’ good achievement’.
The Academy’s development plan following its last Ofsted was praised repeatedly, with the report stating ‘the plan incorporates and builds on the findings from the previous inspection’; with ‘robust and accurate’ self-evaluation systems establishing ‘high expectations’ and a ‘comprehensive and searching schedule of monitoring’.
Strategies to improve middle leadership were highlighted positively as ‘proving to be effective’ and ‘accompanied by a well-planned programme of professional development’ as well as ‘increased support from senior staff’.
A particular highlight was where the report noted: ‘In discussions, students across a range of year groups commented on the frequency, timeliness and quality of marking’. This was reflected in classes viewed by inspectors, who noted one lesson in which ‘students were able to choose which question to do based on their current level of understanding’.
Anthony Partington, Principal at Stamford Welland Academy, spoke of his delight at the report’s findings: “I’m delighted to see this inspection has highlighted the steps we’ve taken since being visited by Ofsted earlier this year and how those steps have affected students’ learning and attainment, as well as teachers’ ability to teach effectively and dynamically.
“At Stamford Welland Academy we believe that students should be able to attain high standards of achievement in all areas, and this report shows that through good teaching that caters to the needs of all students, as well as effective marking and close monitoring, we are seeing that level of achievement rise.”
Stamford Welland Academy received its first Ofsted inspection as an Academy earlier this year, just 60 days after opening, under Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust (CMAT). It was rated as ‘Requiring Improvement’; however the changes that had already been implemented by Principal Anthony Partington were praised.