Following the Ofsted inspection of Ellacombe C of E Academy at the end of the Summer Term, the proud staff and children have been celebrating the judgment that the Academy remains ‘Good’.
The one-day inspection in July saw the Inspector meet with groups of children and took into account the views from parents. The report recognises the close and important partnership working, between the academy and families stating: “Pupils, parents and carers regularly refer to the ‘family feel’ of the school.”
The report commented upon the high morale and dedicated work of all staff to care for and nurture the children at the academy: “Pupils feel safe. They know what to do if they have concerns and are unanimous in their views that they are happy and well cared for at Ellacombe.”
Ellacombe is proud to be a member of the Learning Academy Partnership (Multi Academy Trust) and the team live and breathe the Trust’s six Principles of Excellence, ensuring the number one priority is the children. The report commented on the ‘high staff morale and the Trust’s collective vision which energises staff to do their best for the pupils.”
The inspection praised the academy’s work on development of reading, stating that the
“Teachers’ improved use of assessment has enabled more rapid and precise identification of pupils’ needs. Teachers use their subject knowledge and understanding of the pupils to plan stimulating reading activities. These are tailored to the needs of pupils of different abilities, so they can access and enjoy their learning, regardless of ability.” This follows a letter from Education Secretary, Damian Hinds MP, earlier in the year congratulating Ellacombe on their excellent outcomes from the Phonics Check for early reading of 5 and 6 year olds, which saw children at Ellacombe in the top 3% of all schools nationally.
As a further result of Ellacombe’s work on reading, 95% of the Year 6 children achieved the national standard in reading this year. This result is 20% above the national average and puts progress in reading at Ellacombe in the top 5% of the whole country. This builds on the success of the children in Year 6, and Ellacombe has seen writing and maths outcomes above national averages for several years in a row.
As well as recognising the work in reading, the Ofsted report celebrated the academy’s high quality ongoing support and training of staff to ensure they are delivering the very best for pupils and the report recognises this: “Across the school, pupils are making strong progress in mathematics. This is due to teachers’ secure subject knowledge and improvements in the teaching of reasoning and problem solving.” The report also recognised the ‘strong provision’ in Early Years which was earlier in the year designated an ‘Area of Excellence’ by a Challenge Partners review, held by leaders in education from across England.
In the Ofsted letter to Mrs Semmens, Head of Academy, the Inspector acknowledged the Head of Academy and leadership team’s dedication: “You and your senior managers are passionate about raising pupils’ aspirations and are effective in doing so by modelling the Learning Academy Partnership Trusts’ ethos that ‘Together we Empower Excellence.”
Mrs Semmens said: “We are thrilled with the Ofsted report as it recognises and highlights the many excellent features of our academy. Ellacombe is one big school family, with our children and their families at the heart of everything we do. The team go above and beyond every day to ensure all of our children flourish in everything that they do. I was delighted that the report recognised our enriching curriculum in writing. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is enhanced by an extensive range of visits and residential trips.”
As a Church of England Academy, the Ofsted report recognised the importance of the Christian distinctiveness and how this ‘instils in pupils a respect for values such as kindness and honesty.’ Mrs Semmens commented that she was incredibly proud that the Inspector saw what the team at Ellacombe see every day: “Pupils are well mannered and considerate of each other. For example, pupils greeted me with ‘good morning’ and held doors open for me during the inspection.”
Mrs Atkinson, Chief Executive of the Learning Academy Partnership said: “This report recognises the excellent quality of provision that Ellacombe C of E Academy continues to provide. This is testament to the exceptional leaders, staff and children at the academy and the support from parents, leaders and teachers from across the family of schools within the Trust partnership; all working together for the benefit of every child. We are delighted that this report fully recognises the hard work and commitment of that team and what a very special place Ellacombe C of E Academy is. Ellacombe is well placed to continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”