What Ofsted Says

Primary cluster

Samuel Barlow Primary Academy (December 2016)

‘Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring improvement in order to become a good school.’

‘You [principal] are providing strong and determined leadership, with a clear mission to raise the aspirations of every pupil in the school. As a result, you are successfully creating a culture of high expectations which is shared by staff, pupils and governors.’

‘The quality of work in pupils’ books, the learning observed in lessons and the assessment information provided by the school all show that pupils currently in the school are making accelerated progress as a result of stronger teaching.’

‘Governors are increasingly asking senior leaders challenging questions to rigorously and systematically check all aspects of the school’s work.’

‘Pupils [said they] felt happy and safe in school. Attitudes to learning were positive and pupils were well engaged in their work. The behaviour of the pupils seen was consistently good.’

Thrumpton Primary Academy (May 2014)

'The headteacher’s strong leadership and drive for improvement has been very successful. She is supported well by other school leaders and governors.'

'Pupils’ positive attitudes to learning help them to make good progress in all year groups. An increasing proportion of pupils are reaching above average levels of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics. The most-able pupils are being suitably challenged to reach the higher levels of attainment that they are capable of.'

'Pupils who benefit from extra government funding make good progress and their attainment is very similar to that of other pupils.'

'Governors are well informed and contribute effectively to school improvement.'

'Good teaching is the norm in the school with some that is outstanding. Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.'

'Respectful and supportive relationships encourage pupils to ‘have a go’ and their efforts and ideas are valued. This creates a very positive environment that supports pupils’ learning and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development very well.'

'Pupils feel safe and well cared for at school. Their attendance is above average.'

'Pupils talk enthusiastically about their lessons. Pupils enjoy each other’s company and work well together. They behave well and are keen to learn.'

'Staff morale is high and there is a strong team feeling within the school. By working together they have secured significant school improvement.'

'Parents are supportive of the school and appreciate the pastoral and academic support the school provides for their children.'

Bracken Lane Primary Academy (January 2013)

'The headteacher leads the school very effectively and is well supported by the deputy headteacher and all the staff.'

'Teaching is good overall and some of it is outstanding. Almost all the pupils make good or better progress and learn well in their lessons.'

'Expectations are usually very high, particularly in terms of behaviour.'

'Results when the pupils leave Year 6 are well above the national average.'

'Pupils make much better than expected progress in mathematics and reading because teachers have high expectations, good subject knowledge and good questioning skills, which the pupils respond to very well.'

'The school is using additional funding effectively to raise standards and pupils known to be eligible for free school meals are making good and improved progress.'

'Disabled pupils, and those with special educational needs, make good progress.'

'Pupils behave well and say they feel safe and cared for well.'

'Pupils behave well in lessons and around school. They are kindly, considerate, polite and courteous.'

'Pupils enjoy school because the lessons are made interesting and fun.'

'Governors are extremely knowledgeable about the school because they regularly check on how well it is doing. They are therefore able to provide an excellent balance of support and challenge.'

Wainwright Primary Academy (Ofsted yet to inspect)

Since the academy was re-brokered from their previous sponsor Delta Academies Trust (formerly SPTA) in September 2016, there has been no full Ofsted inspection undertaken.


Southern cluster

East Leak Academy (March 2016)

‘You have established a clear and unambiguous vision for the school.’

‘Standards and expectations have improved significantly. Senior leaders communicate consistent messages; they provide effective support and challenge for middle leaders and other teachers. Consequently, the quality of teaching is improving, pupils’ progress is accelerating.’

‘The quality of teaching is improving rapidly and pupils’ progress is accelerating quickly. There is a notable consistency in practice, in particular the high quality of feedback given to pupils to help them make progress.’

‘The designated safeguarding lead is diligent and meticulous.’

‘Governors have a sound grasp of the key priorities for the school.’

‘Subject leaders have received valuable support from subject specialists from the DALP network, which has helped to validate teachers’ assessments of pupils.’

‘Learners make good progress in the sixth form.’

‘The leadership of the special educational needs department has been strengthened. The progress of pupils with special educational needs and disability is improving. They are supported well through effective guidance from teaching assistants and intervention classes.’

‘School leaders monitor the progress of disadvantaged pupils robustly and carefully evaluate the support they are given.’

Walton Girls' High School (November 2015)

‘You [principal] and your team continue to have high expectations of your staff and pupils.’

‘Pupils enjoy their time at the academy. This is reflected not only in the attendance rates, which are above the national average, but also in the positive atmosphere around the academy.’

‘Leaders and governors have an accurate understanding of the academy’s strengths and areas which need further development. All members of staff understand the academy’s key priorities.’

‘Governors ask challenging questions of leaders. They are tenacious in ensuring that leaders provide them with accurate information so that governors have an exact view of the academy’s provision and its overall effectiveness.’

‘Leaders have focused on improving pupils’ achievement in mathematics.’

‘Pupils’ achievement at Key Stages 3 and 4 remains strong, with pupils achieving well in English, science, modern foreign languages and the humanities subjects, particularly at Key Stage 4.’

‘Sixth form pupils spoke highly of the support they receive, particularly in science subjects, where they also have lessons in science-related mathematical skills. The proportion of pupils who progress to higher education is above the national average.’

‘Pupils feel safe at the academy and enjoy coming to the academy.’

National Church of England Academy (October 2014)

‘The school very carefully tracks the progress of students on a regular basis. Those who are falling behind are given appropriate support to reach their targets.’

‘There is a strongly inclusive ethos with each student valued as an individual.’

‘The school’s curriculum is broad and balanced. It provides three main routes at Key Stage 4: the purely academic; a mixture of academic and vocational; and the largely vocational.’

‘Teachers make good use of materials and imaginative approaches to engage students’ interest.’

‘Students have consistently positive attitudes to learning.’

‘The school works very effectively to promote equality of opportunity and understanding of and respect for cultures beyond the students’ immediate experience.’

‘Students, staff and parents all agree that students are kept safe at school. Students are taught how to keep themselves safe. Bullying is uncommon and students, staff and parents all report that it is well dealt with when it does occur.’

‘[Sixth form students] are challenged to reach their full potential. Students enjoy the extra responsibility that comes with the sixth form and respond positively to it. They actively seek out ways to support and help younger students and others beyond the school.’


Northern cluster

Retford Oaks Academy (July 2017)

'Members of the academy trust and the governing body play an instrumental role in bringing about improvements in the school.'

'Senior leaders are committed to raise pupil’s aspirations of what they can achieve. They are keen to improve pupils’ life chances and to provide pupils with a curriculum that is well suited to their needs.'

'Staff have high expectations of pupils and pupils’ attitudes towards their learning are typically positive.'

'Many disadvantaged pupils make rapid progress. This is equally true for pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.'

'Governors are ambitious for the pupils who attend the school.'

'Governors develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through a pertinent programme of training which ensures that they carry out their respective roles effectively.'

'All students have appropriate study programmes. This includes a relevant curriculum offer using partnership work and external collaboration with other organisations.'

'The school has a strong ethos of safeguarding.'

'Pupils are safe and well cared for. They are polite and show consideration and respect towards adults and each other. Leaders’ efforts to develop pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding are good.'

'Leaders ensure that the school’s curriculum is effective in providing a high-quality and relevant learning experience for all pupils.'

'Pupils now make good progress in a wide range of subjects, including English and mathematics.'

Tuxford Primary Academy (October 2014)

‘Tuxford Primary Academy is a rapidly improving happy school, where pupils feel safe and well cared for.’

‘The Principal has a very strong vision for the school. Staff and governors share her determination to improve further the quality of teaching, pupils’ progress and standards by the end of Year 6.’

‘Children get off to a good start in the Early Years Foundation Stage. They make good progress and achieve well.’

‘Pupils’ progress is accelerating rapidly in all year groups. Standards are rising quickly and all groups of pupils, including disabled pupils and those with special educational needs, and the more able achieve well.’

‘Pupils are proud of their school and behave well. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted effectively.’

‘There are rigorous systems in place to check pupils’ knowledge and understanding, and the progress they are making.’

‘Staff have a good understanding of the abilities and needs of all pupils. Good teaching encourages and motivates pupils of all abilities to want to learn and give of their best.’

‘Attendance has improved markedly over the last year.’

‘The school’s work to keep pupils safe is good. Parents acknowledge and appreciate the care and support provided by the school for themselves and their children.’

‘The school makes good use of the support and advice it can access as part of the Diverse Academy Learning Partnership when implementing its improvement plan.’

Tuxford Academy (May 2012)

‘The academy has an impressive track record of success over a sustained period of time, but does not rest on its laurels.’

‘Leaders’ and managers’ uncompromising pursuit of excellence is securely founded on rigorous self-review.’

‘The academy promotes exceptionally well the students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development by encouraging them to be reflective and to value one another’s qualities and differences.’

‘Students are courteous and considerate. They conduct themselves with commendable maturity in lessons and around the academy. Their positive attitudes are a key factor in their progress and achievement.’

‘Systematic use of assessment underpins students’ learning and progress. Students are aware of   their targets and how they can improve, and teachers are quick to identify any who are falling behind.’

‘Students know what they should achieve in each lesson because learning objectives are routinely shared, and work is carefully structured and well-pitched.’

‘The academy’s very high expectations and exceptional support and guidance ensure that students, including those facing barriers to engagement and achievement, are given every opportunity to succeed.’

‘The academy’s well-structured and flexible curriculum is central to securing students’ positive engagement and achievement.’

‘The quality of learning in the sixth form lessons is a notable strength. Lessons are well-structured and challenging and enable most sixth form students to make good progress and meet or exceed their individual targets.’


Central cluster

The Holgate Academy (July 2015)

‘Partnership with [DALP] brings benefits to all members of the group. Governors value the support and training they receive. Procedures have become increasingly …robust.. accountability is strong. Leaders and teachers…… share good practice and benefit from shared training. Standards are rising as a result.’

‘The Principal and leadership team have been relentless in their efforts to improve provision.’

‘Students… are polite, courteous and speak to visitors with confidence.’

‘Governors monitor the work of the school very closely..’

‘Students… enjoy school, work hard in lessons, want to learn, and care for each other well.’

‘Teaching is much improved because leaders carry out rigorous checks on its quality.’

‘Discrimination is not tolerated in any form.’

‘Governors recruitment and training are well managed.’

‘[Students] use good manners to each other and staff.’

‘Teachers have good subject knowledge. They are confident and … ask probing questions to check that students understand new learning.’

‘Students are enthusiastic learners because teachers…make lessons enjoyable.’

‘Good careers advice, guidance and support enables [sixth form] students to make well-informed decisions about their future.’

‘[Sixth form students] act as good role models for younger students. [They] routinely provide mentoring support for younger students.’

‘The most able students make good progress throughout the school.’

Queen Elizabeth’s Academy (Ofsted yet to inspect)

Since the academy was re-brokered from their previous sponsor Delta Academies Trust (formerly SPTA) in September 2016, there has been no full Ofsted inspection undertaken.

Redgate Primary Academy (Ofsted yet to inspect)

Since the school converted to academy status in October 2017, there has been no full Ofsted inspection undertaken.